Defining Antisemitism

This makes things so much clearer (and more acceptable) to me.

According to Kenneth Stern, the lead author of the I.H.R.A. “definition”, its main intent was more to identify things as warning signs of possible antisemitism than as de facto evidence of actual antisemitism. And interpreted that way, as opposed to as a list of prohibited opinions, I could well agree with it.

Holding Israel to a higher standard than some other nations is often a sign of semitophilic respect rather than the opposite, but it is also often just an excuse for giving vent to pre-existing hatred. So, it’s certainly legitimate to include it as a sign of the need to look more deeply.

But the wording of the I.H.R.A. “definition”, and its claim to be such, definitely encourage what Stern would identify as its current misuses.

A much better version is provided by the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA) and I am disappointed that Stern has not signed it, nor has he formally repudiated the I.H.R.A. definition.

This is especially odd given his recent observation that asking whether something is or is not antisemitism is the wrong question. “The question is, Why is this so binary that we want to label it this way or that way?”

Source: The Problem with Defining Antisemitism | The New Yorker

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