How to fight anti-semitism and be an ally to Jewish people – Dazed

Posted By on August 2, 2020

Its time to educate yourself and take action as anti-semitism continues to permeate pop culture, from British politics to Wileys troubling Twitter tirade

Last week, Wiley took to social media to go on a two-day anti-semitic tirade, in which he compared Jewish people to the Klu Klux Klan, called them snakes and cowards, and enforced the age-old, discriminatory trope that they control wealth. The British MC also claimed Jewish people were at war with Black people, that they were responsible for the slave trade, and suggested they should hold some corn an expression meaning to be shot.

On Saturday (July 25), as his rant came to an end, Wiley was dropped by his management, and received news that the Metropolitan Police were investigating his tweets. The grime artist has since had his Facebook and Instagram accounts deactivated, while yesterday (July 29), Twitter confirmed it hadpermanently suspended him after temporary action earlier this week.

Wiley has sincesaidin an interview with Sky News: I want to apologise for generalising and going outside of the people who I was talking to within the workspace and workplace I work in. My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people. I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as anti-semitic.

Wileys anti-semitism isnt an isolated case, though, particularly in the UK right now. The Labour Party iscontinuing to grapplewith its own internal discrimination, after a2016 inquiryfound an occasionally toxic atmosphere of anti-semitism within the party. Earlier this month, Keir Starmer fired Rebecca Long-Bailey from her position as shadow education secretary after she shared an interview that contained an anti-semitic conspiracy theoryabout the Israeli forces. The action waspraised by Jewish groups, butcriticised by the Labour left, who accused the leader of trying to rid the party of its left wingers.

TikTokhas also been criticised in recent weeks after its algorithm promotedanti-semitic memesabout death camps. The video sharing platform said in a statement: We do not tolerate any content that includes hate speech, and the sound in question, along with all associated videos, has now been removed.

The Jewish community has been circulating ways for people to fight anti-semitism, as well as useful information about how both insidious and overt it is in our society theres an insightful Instagraminfographiccreated by@ethnicjewess, and activists like queer Jewish author and campaigner Adam Eli. In light of Wileys statements, as well as ongoing discussions around anti-semitism in politics and culture,heres how you can act best as an ally right now.

The first thing to do in the face of any discrimination is to educate yourself about how it manifests, how youre complicit in it, and how it impacts those who suffer it. Theres a plethora of information online, in books and documentaries, and through fiction. One place to start is the Anti-Defamation Leagues website, which offers adetailed historyof anti-semitism, aguideto anti-semitic tropes, andclears up questionsabout anti-semitism, anti-zionism, and anti-Israel bias.

You can also findeasy-to-digest guideson social media, viainfographicson what anti-semitism is, and what you can do to tackle it. In aposton Instagram, BAME LDN pointed out that anti-semitism is often not taken seriously, which helps perpetuate it further and allows it to grow and manifest. Referencing the Holocaust, BAME LDN said: These climaxes of anti-semitism have led to some of the worst mass genocides in history, yet as a global society we seem to accept it as a normal, but distant and untouchable part of life. The account offers a list of websites, books, and films that you can use to educate yourself. Do not rely on your Jewish friends to explain anti-semitism to you.

Aninfographiccreated byWhat The F Magazineexplains what something called the model minority myth is. The phenomenon relies on good stereotypes of a community as a way of erasing the bigotry they face, and is common among groups deemed too good to be marginalised due to stereotypes regarding socioeconomic status. AsWhat The F Magazinepoints out, this myth stereotypes a very diverse community and provides people with reasons to not speak out against bigotry. It is vital for those who witness anti-semitism to raise their voice against it, and not let the person perpetuating hatred get away with their abuse.

In protest against Twitters inaction over Wileys tweets the platform suspended him for 12 hours then let him back on, before suspending him for just seven days a number of users engaged in a48-hour boycottof the platform, in an attempt to both raise awareness about the detrimental effects of anti-semitism on Jewish people, and force action. Though silence isnt the answer, the #NoSpaceForJewHate boycott received a huge amount of press attention, holding the social media giant accountable for its passivity.

You can be critical of the Israeli occupation of Palestine without being anti-semitic, and, despite what some people would have you believe, not all criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. However, youcanbe ignorantly anti-semitic while attempting to legitimately criticise Israel. One way to avoid this, as actor David Schneider wrote forThe Independentlast year, is to be precise in your language. He explained: Avoid saying zionist or zionism when discussing contemporary Israel/Palestine. The terms are too loaded now, too coarse and broad in their application, and too often used by hardcore anti-semites to mean Jews.

As discussed in more detail below, Schneider urges those criticising Israel not to slide from anger at the actions of the state into asserting that Israel is controlling everything or paying money to MPs, celebrities, or the media to act as they do. Doing this only reinforces conspiracy theories about Jewish people. He also reminds people not to conflate Israel and Jewish people, avoid using the terms Israel lobby and Jewish lobby, not to compare Israeli actions to the Nazis, and stop asking Jewish people to condemn Israel at every turn.

In a thoroughTwitter thread, user@oofouchowwoutlined a handful of Jewish sterotypes used to perpetuate anti-semitism. These stereotypes do originate mainly from Europen culture, they wrote, which is a huge part of why Jews of colour tend to be told they dont look Jewish. Despite anti-semitic beliefs, theres no one way to be Jewish, its not a race but a religion. The offensive tropes listed by @oofouchoww include the Jew nose one of the most common sterotypes linked to Jewish people and claiming all Jewish people are greedy bankers or lawyers who lie, cheat, and steal for profit, and ultimately scapegoating them for all economic crises. @oofouchowws thread also addresses two stereotypes frequently seen in popular culture: the loud Jewish mother, and the Jewish American princess (which reflects the fear that Jewish women were assimilating into society). Its worth reading @oofouchowws entire thread, which you can findhere.

In his tirade, Wiley enforced the erroneous stereotype that all Jewish people are white by telling writer Nadine Batchelor-Hunt that shes not really Black after she challenged his comments on Twitter. In an article forGQ, Batchelor-Hunt revealed her distress at having her two identities pitted against each other in a grotesque way, and said: Education within the Black community on anti-semitism, and in the Jewish community on anti-Blackness must be a cornerstone of tackling racism.

In aposton Instagram, writer Hen Mazzig also addressed what its like to be a Jew of colour, writing: The term (Jew of colour) has been co-opted by anti-Israel advocates who associate Jews with whiteness to deny our historical connection to Israel. Given how anti-semites exploit the identification, I understand why some Jews reject whiteness. When people argue we must drop the term Jews of colour, theyre really asking us to disregard the diversity of the Jewish community. Jews must be able to define ourselves without others overriding us.

Follow Jewish organisations, figures, and publications online, and take their lead when sharing information about anti-semitism. Though you shouldnt rely on Jewish voices to educate you nor speak for you, its important to amplify them above yourself when it comes to questions of their identity and experience with anti-semitism. For example activist and author Adam Eli hascontinually asserted thathe can talk about my Jewishness, whenever I want, however I want.BAME LDN shared a list of Jewish Instagram accounts to follow, including@progressivejews run by two Jewish teenagers activistSefira Lightstone,@jewishlgbt, confession account@whatantisemitismlookslike, theJewish Journal,@blackandjewishunity, 19-year-old activist Theo (@that.jewish.activist), andmany more.

TheJewish Charity Guideoffers an extensive list of charities you can donate to that support the Jewish community. In the UK, these includeAish UK,The League of Jewish Women,Community Security Trust(CST),World Jewish Relief, theFoundation for Jewish Heritage,Holocaust Educational Trust, theJewish Museum London, and more. You can also donate toJewish Voice for Labour, a network for Jewish members of the Labour Party.

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How to fight anti-semitism and be an ally to Jewish people - Dazed

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