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Is Malia Bouattia an anti-Semite watch

  • View Poll Results: Do you think Malia Bouattia is an anti Semite?
    Yes
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    No
    35.85%

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    (Original post by WBZ144)
    If that's what she meant then she could have worded it differently.
    The sentence in question said: "The University of Birmingham is something of a Zionist outpost in British Higher Education." I really struggle to see how you interpret that as "Jews are running the world from behind the scenes", your previous wording. Again, is it purely the term "Zionist" you object to? Would it be OK with you if she'd said the same sentence, but "pro-Israel" instead of "Zionist"?

    Anti-Semitism is still a major problem which is on the rise, so making statements that perpetuate stereotypes which dehumanise Jews is dangerous, especially when you're a public figure.
    She wasn't a public figure at the time, it was five years before she became NUS President.

    Anti-semitism is "on the rise" from a very low initial starting point. Opinion surveys have shown that it's dwarfed by other forms of contemporary intolerance.

    She referred to media outlets as Zionist-led, which sounds like a statement that Anti-Semites would make about Jews, except that they would replace the word "Zionist" with "Jew". At best it was carelessly worded, which isn't OK in today's climate. At worst it was bigotry.
    I admit she was a bit cack-handed with that one. She should have just said "biased" instead of "led" - which I think is probably what she meant.

    I used to run the Palestine Society at uni and while I do recognise that there have been unwarranted accusations of Anti-Semitism by those who wish to shut down criticism of Israeli government policy, I had to constantly keep a sharp eye on my own society and make sure that debates and criticism didn't stray into the unacceptable territory of bigotry against Jews and Israelis. Sometimes people either don't know the difference and had to be corrected or didn't want to bother learn it. Taking the old arguments against the Jewish people and replacing it with "Zionist" is both harmful and lazy.
    Personally, I've never thought the accusations of anti-semitism against pro-Palestine activists were wholly motivated by some cynical strategy of "shutting down criticism". Sure, there's an element of that, and its an effect which has been noticed and capitalised on by Zionist/pro-Israel groups, but its rooted much deeper than that. It stems from an essentialism than ethno-nationalist movements tend to have - an equating of the ethnic group as a whole with the nation-state and or nationalist ideology/movement that claims to embody that ethnic group.
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    (Original post by QE2)
    Yes. And it's odd because I thought that kind of comedy, militant-left posturing had gone out of fashion with students. Perhaps it's making a comeback, or at least with the ones who can be arsed to vote in NUS elections (which is about 10% iirc)
    You go to great lengths to defend anyone accused of islamaphobia/ anti muslim bigotry yet you think that criticising Zionism, (a political ideology) is somehow anti-semitic?

    You do specialise in double standards though to be fair.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    The sentence in question said: "The University of Birmingham is something of a Zionist outpost in British Higher Education." I really struggle to see how you interpret that as "Jews are running the world from behind the scenes", your previous wording. Again, is it purely the term "Zionist" you object to? Would it be OK with you if she'd said the same sentence, but "pro-Israel" instead of "Zionist"?
    Calling it an "outpost" suggests a form of militancy, as though they have "taken over" the university, which is far from true. My sister studied at Birmingham uni and there didn't appear to be any sort of conspiracy.

    If I'm going to be completely honest: no, I don't like the term "Zionist". I used to use it myself at times but after hearing it being used for the purpose of veiling bigotry towards Israelis and Jews, I became less comfortable with the term. It's like the Pepe Frog meme, which started off harmless and ended up being used extensively by neo-Nazis, which is why I am now suspicious of people who use it. I also don't like how it's used as a blanket statement, as you can't compare Zionists who believe in a homeland for Jews but also support a two-state solution in which the land is divided as fairly as possible to Jewish extremists who believe that God gave them the land, therefore they are entitled to all is it as per his word. Had she said that Birmingham uni tends to be more pro-Israel in comparison to other unis, that would have been fine.
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    (Original post by niteninja1)
    Do you belive she is an anti Semite and do you support what she says.

    http://thetab.com/uk/2016/10/16/nus-...eriously-22696
    anti Zionism =/= anti Semitism, Zionism stinks! Semitic people don't!
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    (Original post by WBZ144)
    Calling it an "outpost" suggests a form of militancy, as though they have "taken over" the university, which is far from true.
    I can see how it suggests she regards Birmingham as having more militantly Zionist/pro-Israel activists, but I don't see how some sort of "take over" inherently follows from that. All I'd say she means by "outpost" is that it's an unusually Zionist/pro-Israel student body (either because of more activists, more militant activists, or a mix of both), in the context of British higher education which, on the whole, generally isn't very pro-Israel.

    If I'm going to be completely honest: no, I don't like the term "Zionist". I used to use it myself at times but after hearing it being used for the purpose of veiling bigotry towards Israelis and Jews, I became less comfortable with the term. It's like the Pepe Frog meme, which started off harmless and ended up being used extensively by neo-Nazis, which is why I am now suspicious of people who use it. I also don't like how it's used as a blanket statement, as you can't compare Zionists who believe in a homeland for Jews but also support a two-state solution in which the land is divided as fairly as possible to Jewish extremists who believe that God gave them the land, therefore they are entitled to all is it as per his word. Had she said that Birmingham uni tends to be more pro-Israel in comparison to other unis, that would have been fine.
    While I accept your point, I still see a couple of problems:
    i) "Pro-Israel" would also cover more or less everyone from the most liberal to the theocrats and ultranationalists.
    ii) While I do agree that "Zionism" has become too widely used, including disturbingly by blatant anti-semites and Holocaust deniers, I still think it retains a certain level of nuance and conceptual usefulness than something as simple as "pro-Israel" lacks. Zionism is a specific political movement with theoretical and conceptual bases that can be analysed. "Pro-Israel" is just a stance. Also:
    - "Pro-Israel" restricts discourse to an adversarial, two-sided, 'Israel vs Palestine' approach, which is unhelpful for various reasons.
    - It's anachronistic to describe anything that happened before May 1948. It seems a bit silly to refer to people like Herzl and Jabotinsky, who died before Israel existed, as "pro-Israel" rather than "Zionist".
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    You go to great lengths to defend anyone accused of islamaphobia/ anti muslim bigotry yet you think that criticising Zionism, (a political ideology) is somehow anti-semitic?

    You do specialise in double standards though to be fair.
    Incorrect. There is no excuse for anti-Muslim bigotry. Or anti-semitism.
    Criticising the religious ideology of Islam or Judaism, or political Zionism is perfectly acceptable.

    I really don't get what part of that is difficult to understand.

    The OED definition of Islamophobia includes "dislike of Islam, especially as a political ideology". I am therefore a proud Islamophobe and would defend anyone who dislikes Islam, especially as a political ideology. Again, what is there to object to there?

    Obviously there are some people (like yourself, it would appear) who seem unable to distinguish between prejudice against an entire group because of their beliefs, and criticising those beliefs (which includes challenging individuals who promote those beliefs). They are not the same thing.

    What you assume to be double standards is actually your inability to rationally and objectively analyse an issue, and to separate different positions, and while I have some sympathy for you on this, it isn't really my problem.
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    (Original post by Inzamam99)
    Anyone who opposes Israeli government policy/illegal settlements/the political ideology of Zionism is smeared as anti-Semitic nowadays.

    A good way for the pro-Israeli bunch to shut down any debate on its history of murder and occupation.
    possibly because society knows this is how it all starts - first its the fault of the 'zionist' then its the 'unbeleivers' then its the 'west' - the typical blame game of the undereducated and easily manipulated. whatever you want to blame israelis for, they dont profess an ideology that produces terrorists all over the globe
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    (Original post by QE2)
    Incorrect. There is no excuse for anti-Muslim bigotry. Or anti-semitism.
    Criticising the religious ideology of Islam or Judaism, or political Zionism is perfectly acceptable.

    I really don't get what part of that is difficult to understand.

    The OED definition of Islamophobia includes "dislike of Islam, especially as a political ideology". I am therefore a proud Islamophobe and would defend anyone who dislikes Islam, especially as a political ideology. Again, what is there to object to there?

    Obviously there are some people (like yourself, it would appear) who seem unable to distinguish between prejudice against an entire group because of their beliefs, and criticising those beliefs (which includes challenging individuals who promote those beliefs). They are not the same thing.

    What you assume to be double standards is actually your inability to rationally and objectively analyse an issue, and to separate different positions, and while I have some sympathy for you on this, it isn't really my problem.
    He actually has a point; I agree with what others have said about Bouattia's anti-Semitism but it's interesting that you would call her an anti-Semite when what she said about Zionists is not as bad as what people you have defended (such as Douglas Murray) have said about Muslims.
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    While I accept your point, I still see a couple of problems:
    i) "Pro-Israel" would also cover more or less everyone from the most liberal to the theocrats and ultranationalists.
    ii) While I do agree that "Zionism" has become too widely used, including disturbingly by blatant anti-semites and Holocaust deniers, I still think it retains a certain level of nuance and conceptual usefulness than something as simple as "pro-Israel" lacks. Zionism is a specific political movement with theoretical and conceptual bases that can be analysed. "Pro-Israel" is just a stance. Also:
    - "Pro-Israel" restricts discourse to an adversarial, two-sided, 'Israel vs Palestine' approach, which is unhelpful for various reasons.
    - It's anachronistic to describe anything that happened before May 1948. It seems a bit silly to refer to people like Herzl and Jabotinsky, who died before Israel existed, as "pro-Israel" rather than "Zionist".
    I see what you mean, but I don't automatically consider pro-Israel to be something negative. Most Israelis love their country, including those on the Left who are also sympathetic towards the plight of the Palestinians, making them pro-Israel and there is nothing wrong with that. It's negative in the context of when someone blindly defends actions against the Palestinian people carried out by the Israeli government, including those which are clearly illegal (such as the settlement building). And no, we don't want to simplify the situation to Palestine vs Israel, that's why I normally just refer to such people as apologists. I guess that you're right that it wouldn't be the correct terminology either
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    (Original post by QE2)
    Incorrect. There is no excuse for anti-Muslim bigotry. Or anti-semitism.
    Criticising the religious ideology of Islam or Judaism, or political Zionism is perfectly acceptable.

    I really don't get what part of that is difficult to understand.

    The OED definition of Islamophobia includes "dislike of Islam, especially as a political ideology". I am therefore a proud Islamophobe and would defend anyone who dislikes Islam, especially as a political ideology. Again, what is there to object to there?

    Obviously there are some people (like yourself, it would appear) who seem unable to distinguish between prejudice against an entire group because of their beliefs, and criticising those beliefs (which includes challenging individuals who promote those beliefs). They are not the same thing.

    What you assume to be double standards is actually your inability to rationally and objectively analyse an issue, and to separate different positions, and while I have some sympathy for you on this, it isn't really my problem.
    Except of course her comments were about Zionism, not Jewish people.
    Yet you hold that to be anti Semitic?
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    (Original post by anarchism101)
    Again, I haven't provided any definition of Zionism. The only argument you've raised on this is that a minor semantic dispute over whether it can be called an 'ideology', because you prefer the term 'movement'.
    Oxford dictionary:
    Zionism
    A movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.

    Movement is movement, ideology is ideology. The only ideology behind national movements is the concept of self determination.
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    (Original post by WBZ144)
    He actually has a point; I agree with what others have said about Bouattia's anti-Semitism but it's interesting that you would call her an anti-Semite when what she said about Zionists is not as bad as what people you have defended (such as Douglas Murray) have said about Muslims.
    The question wasn't "Was her statement on B'ham university anti-semitic" (I don't think it really was). It was "Is she an anti-semite", and I think she is. That is simply my opinion based on what I have seen and heard and I will be happy to change my opinion if presented with convincing evidence to the contrary.

    The issue with Murray is that you seem to be basing your accusation of anti-Muslim bigotry on taking a statement out of context. I admit that when lifted from the speech and presented as a sound-bite, it seems a bit dodgy but in context, it clearly does not say what his opponents would claim (I also admit that he holds some right-wing views that I disagree with). Again, I am more than happy to change my position if presented with convincing evidence that he is a bigot. Has he unequivocally stated that "all Muslims are terrorists" for instance, or they they should all be "sent back", or that all Muslims refuse to integrate etc? Simply saying that there is a worrying incidence of terrorism, or that those fulfilling certain reasonable criteria (eg. foreign nationals guilty of an offence) should be deported, of that there is a problem with some sections of the Muslim community failing to integrate, is not sufficient to brand someone as a bigot - because they are all factual or reasonable.

    Any statement on the acceptability of Islamic ideology or those individuals who actively promote it have nothing to do with bigotry.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Except of course her comments were about Zionism, not Jewish people.
    Yet you hold that to be anti Semitic?
    The question was about her, not about that statement. I may be wrong, but I think that she is an anti-semite. I don't think her statement about B'ham uni was particularly anti-semitic. Also remember that "Zionist" often seems to be used to avoid using the more sensitive "Jewish", and if she has said "Jewish outpost" or "Jewish controlled media", people would not be defending her - well, not so many anyway.

    Also worth remembering that as a Muslim, her views on Jews is very likely coloured by Islam's attitude to them (and by the essential fact that the ability to follow a religion means that you capable of holding insupportable positions). I am always reminded of the sahih hadith where Muhammad says “You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them until even a stone would say: come here, O Muslim, there is a Jew, so kill him.”
    Obviously, most Muslims are probably both unaware of this hadith, and if they were would reject it in some way. However, I get the impression that she is a little more erm, "fervent" in her beliefs and positions (on most things) than most people.
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    (Original post by QE2)
    The question was about her, not about that statement. I may be wrong, but I think that she is an anti-semite. I don't think her statement about B'ham uni was particularly anti-semitic. Also remember that "Zionist" often seems to be used to avoid using the more sensitive "Jewish", and if she has said "Jewish outpost" or "Jewish controlled media", people would not be defending her - well, not so many anyway.

    Also worth remembering that as a Muslim, her views on Jews is very likely coloured by Islam's attitude to them (and by the essential fact that the ability to follow a religion means that you capable of holding insupportable positions). I am always reminded of the sahih hadith where Muhammad says “You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them until even a stone would say: come here, O Muslim, there is a Jew, so kill him.”
    Obviously, most Muslims are probably both unaware of this hadith, and if they were would reject it in some way. However, I get the impression that she is a little more erm, "fervent" in her beliefs and positions (on most things) than most people.
    You regularly switch from splitting hairs to reductivism, and back.
    When it suits you, you try and play on semantics and other minor factors to defend anyone accused of bigotry towards muslims, yet you are now doing the opposite when it comes to accusing someone of being an anti Semite.

    Opposing Zionism, a political ideology, is not anti Semitic.
    If I was to say 'I believe Israel should be a secular democracy open to all people of all religions without distinction' then that would be anti Zionist but it would not be anti Semitic.

    Your argument for Malia being anti Semitic seems to be 'ah well some anti semites are anti Zionist so therefore her anti Zionism is probably masked anti Semitism'.

    You say 'if she had said Jewish outpost'- well she didn't say that, she said Zionist so what ifs are rather pointless.

    If we allow 'what ifs', we can say that if she had said Birmingham was an Islamic outpost, you would be the first to defend her against accusations of being a bigot...

    If we are going to use the logic that anti Zionism is probably masked anti Semitism, then we can equally argue that some 'islamaphobia' is masked anti Muslim bigotry so therefore we can assume anyone who's islamaphohic is also prejudiced against muslims.


    You simply don't hold the same standards for different groups in very similar situations.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    You simply don't hold the same standards for different groups in very similar situations.
    Incorrect. I hold the same standards for all. I have never defended anyone who is guilty of anti-Muslim bigotry, I always condemn it. I think that Bouattia is probably antisemitic because of the combination of religion and militant-leftism and the nature of statements made. I may be wrong. If someone was a far-right Holocaust-denier and claimed that the media was controlled by Zionists I would also assume that they were anti-semitic. Again, I could be wrong.
    See, no double standards. If it looks like a duck, etc - but likewise, if it looks like a chicken, etc...

    I don't form opinions because of what I think I should feel, but because of evidence and reason. That is all.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    If I was to say 'I believe Israel should be a secular democracy open to all people of all religions without distinction' then that would be anti Zionist but it would not be anti Semitic..
    Israel is democratic enough to avoid racist attacks in University campuses.
    Israelis are democratic enough to avoid teaching other nations what their countries should be.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Except of course her comments were about Zionism, not Jewish people.
    Yet you hold that to be anti Semitic?
    similar argument used by people accussed of being 'islamaphobic'
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    (Original post by QE2)
    Incorrect. I hold the same standards for all. I have never defended anyone who is guilty of anti-Muslim bigotry, I always condemn it. I think that Bouattia is probably antisemitic because of the combination of religion and militant-leftism and the nature of statements made. I may be wrong. If someone was a far-right Holocaust-denier and claimed that the media was controlled by Zionists I would also assume that they were anti-semitic. Again, I could be wrong.
    See, no double standards. If it looks like a duck, etc - but likewise, if it looks like a chicken, etc...

    I don't form opinions because of what I think I should feel, but because of evidence and reason. That is all.
    Your argument is that you 'feel' she is anti Semitic, without any proof that she is. A rather serious accusation.

    You don't hold the same standards. If she'd have said 'Birmingham is an Islamic outpost' you would have defends her in great detail, splitting hairs, playing on semantics to defend her against accusations of 'anti Muslim bigotry'. Heck you would accuse anyone claiming her to be bigoted as a lefty social justice warrior.

    Yet now you act all reductivist going 'ah well anti Zionism is probably just masked anti Semitism'.

    Where's your evidence that she is anti Semitic? Anti Zionism does not equal anti Semitism nor can you argue that it probably does. Zionism is a political ideology. Non Jews can be zionsits and Jews can be anti zionists. Stop trying to make Zionism and Judaism the same.

    I don't like Malia, she's silly and unprofessional but an anti Semite she is not.
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    (Original post by admonit)
    Israelis are democratic enough to avoid teaching other nations what their countries should be.
    Then the jewish state should pay back Germany and American the money they took from them.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    I don't like Malia, she's silly and unprofessional but an anti Semite she is not.
    On what do you base this assertion? She has certainly displayed behaviour that contained elements that could be construed as antisemitic, and she follows a religion that contains explicitly antisemitic texts, and subscribes to a political movement that has been linked with antisemitism. I happily admit that it is all circumstantial to a greater or lesser degree, but it's all we have.
    Remember that I'm not saying that she is, just that I think she is but I am prepared to change my opinion if contradictory evidence is presented.
    You are categorically stating that she is not. So, what is the evidence that supports your assertion? If it is reasonable, I will happily change my position.
 
 
 
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