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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
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The IHRA working definition of antisemitism should include lies about Judaism

It’s a lengthy definition but there are prominent oversights to be corrected

The first addition is not my idea, but it’s so excellent, I want to spread it.

A remark by Avi Shevin read: The IHRA working definition of antisemitism should be amended to include making false claims regarding Judaism.

1. Or better: antisemitism includes making false claims regarding Judaism that are meant to portray the Jewish Tradition as a wicked or secret plot, promoting evil, especially rape and murder, inferior, obsolete, or stupid.

How did no one think of this? There are so many examples of such falsity:

  • The Talmud condones pedophilia
  • The Talmud says that Jews should enslave the Gentiles
  • The Talmud secretly teaches Jews to hate Christians
  • The Talmud goes into great detail because Jews do not grasp ethics
  • The Talmud is spiritually empty, and so is the entirety of Judaism
  • The Talmud is full of “idolatry, lies, curses, and apostasy” (Luther)
  • Jews hold on to these ancient books because they never developed
  • Jews have different moral standards for Jews and Gentiles
  • Jews slaughter Christian kids to use their blood in matzos
  • Jews are too stubborn to be truthful and accept Jesus/Mohammed
  • Judaism commands taking false oaths, murdering Jewish children converted to another faith, testing medication on Christians, and selling them rotten meat
  • Jews must kill any Jew who tells Gentiles the truth about Rabbinic literature because if they’d know what it says, they’d kill all Jews
  • The Torah says G^d baselessly favors the Jews, which is supremacy
  • Kosher slaughter is needlessly cruel
  • Circumcising boys is barbaric and disgusting
  • Jews refuse to turn the other cheek and are full of revenge
  • The Old Testament G^d is cruel, the New Testament G^d is loving.

This is all untrue, which is obvious, when one doesn’t see Jews as wicked.

***

I could think of four more anti-Judaism aspects of antisemitism.

2. A next point must be preventing or hindering people, Jews and Gentiles, from freely learning or teaching and preserving or developing pure Judaism. This was done in Israel during the Roman occupation 2000 years ago that forbade Jewish learning, in the Middle Ages the attempt to burn all handwritten copies of the Talmud, and in the former Soviet Union in the previous century where teaching religion was outlawed.

3 Let’s also include: a. appropriating Jewish teachings, b. falsifying Jewish teachings, or c. presenting teachings foreign to Judaism as Judaism. Taking Jewish ideas and pretending they are foreign to it. Love your neighbor as oneself. Walk the Golden Mean. Also: explaining Jewish texts in ways different from Judaism without acknowledging it. An eye for an eye means revenge. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality. Judaism is full of diversity, but clearly, some foreign ideas defile it.

One example of each of the three prejudices in this point 3:
a. Hiding that certain non-Jewish teachings were taken from Judaism
b. [See the many examples in the first point 1.]
c. Mixing the Old and the New Testament and teaching it as Judaism.

4. Claiming that effective attacks on Jews prove G^d’s approval. This goes especially for ‘the Jews’ killed Jesus and/or reject him as messiah.

5. Irritation that Judaism, though promoting equality for the law, gives different responsibilities to Jews from Gentiles, men from women, etc.

The current IHRA definition of antisemitism focuses on safety for Jews and their possessions. Yet, the (in)ability to learn and teach Judaism is certainly a concern too that plays at Jewish survival from genocide.

***

Thinking about this, eight more ideas came to mind. I checked, but they’re not yet included in the current IHRA non-legally binding working definition:

6. Denying Jews are a nation with its own ethnicity of which religion is an important part, Atheist Jews are Jews, antisemitism is racism and genocide, or a need for a special name because it is as any racism, or claiming that in essence, Jews are not oppressed but oppressors. The essence of genocide is not even a mass murder aimed at erasing a nation, wicked as this idea is, but rather, aiming to erase a Culture.

7. Claiming an idea can’t be antisemitic because some Jews agree with it, possibly including oneself. I have several good friends who agrees with me, and they are Jews themselves. I say so as a Jew.

8. Fraudulently or rightly claiming to be a Jew just to win sympathy or trust from Jews. George Santos. Madoff. Missionaries pretending to be Jews to try and introduce Christianity to unsuspecting Jews.

9. Gentiles in power favoring Jews, speaking highly of them, and hiring goodhearted or terrible Jews to high positions to exercise unpopular or hurtful measures, as an insurance policy in case of attacks on their rule, to deflect blame on the Jews as if they are the powerful and wicked ones who wronged them. This only ‘works’ where the Gentile working class is already hostile to Jews. This is the oldest form of State antisemitism. Trump and Kushner and Miller. Not to be confused with rulers who favor Jews because they proved them helpful. The King of Morocco.

10. Blaming the victim, highlighting hurts in Jews caused by antisemitism or flaws in Israel caused by the threat of or actual genocidal wars to ‘explain’ why Jews are evil. Lack of trust, optimism, and hope, and too much worry, over-responsible-ness, and heaviness.

11. Being jealousy of Jews because of imaginary or actual success. Possibly, the most popular antipathy against Jews is jealousy. Jews often do better than their Gentile counterparts. Yet, there is no foul play. Jews tend to work harder, if not frantically, since survival frequently had been only in money. Jealousy of Jews is then ‘justified’ by their fight to survive. Yet, richer Jews are still a minority. Some 80% of Jews are working-class.

12. The IHRA working definition already has: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” This could be improved (news words in italics) to: Denying the Jewish people their right to national self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a colonialist or racist endeavor or just a repayment for the Holocaust.

13. A journalistic hyper-focus on Israel and what’s really or imaginary wrong with Israeli Jews, portraying Jews as constantly creating trouble, especially fabricating they do onto others what was done to them: lying, discrimination, racism, murder, and genocide as if to say that the Holocaust was not so bad because Jews do the same to others.

***

To sum up my thirteen suggestions:

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Making false claims regarding Judaism that are meant to portray the Jewish Tradition as a wicked or secret plot, promoting evil, especially rape and murder, and as inferior, obsolete, or stupid, which is all untrue, which is obvious, when one doesn’t see Jews as wicked.
  • Preventing or hindering people, Jews and Gentiles, from freely learning or teaching and preserving or developing pure Judaism.
  • Appropriating Jewish teachings, falsifying Jewish teachings, or presenting teachings whole or partly foreign to Judaism as Judaism.
  • Claiming that effective attacks on Jews prove G^d’s approval. This is especially for ‘the Jews’ killed Jesus and/or reject him as messiah.
  • Irritation that Judaism, though promoting equality for the law, gives different responsibilities to Jews from Gentiles, men from women, etc.
  • Denying Jews are a nation with its own ethnicity of which religion is an important part, Atheist Jews are Jews, antisemitism is racism and genocide, or a need for a special name because it is as any racism, or claiming that in essence, Jews are not oppressed but oppressors.
  • Claiming an idea can’t be antisemitic because some Jews agree with it, possibly including oneself.
  • Fraudulently or rightly claiming to be a Jew just to win the sympathy or trust of Jews.
  • Gentiles in power favoring Jews, speaking highly of them, and hiring goodhearted or terrible Jews to high positions to exercise unpopular or hurtful measures, as an insurance policy in case of attacks on their rule, to deflect blame on the Jews as if they are the powerful and wicked ones who wronged them.
  • Blaming the victim, highlighting hurts in Jews caused by antisemitism or flaws in Israel caused by the threat of or actual genocidal wars against it to ‘explain’ why Jews are evil.
  • Being jealous of Jews because of their imaginary or actual success.
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to national self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a colonialist or racist endeavor or just a repayment for the Holocaust.
  • A journalistic hyper-focus on Israel and what’s really or imaginary wrong in Israeli Jews, portraying Jews as constantly creating trouble, especially fabricating they do onto others what was done to them: lying, discrimination, racism, murder, and genocide as if to say that the Holocaust was not so bad because Jews do the same to others.
About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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