Indymedia UK goes anti-Semitic

Reader Tony Greenstein comments on our previous post about the current anti-Semitic and Holocaust denier stance of IndyMedia UK.

(This is an abbreviated version. His entire comment is here, and includes relevant links)

Yes, after months of battling to get the Indymedia collective to bar holocaust deniers and anti-Semites from posting articles, we have a situation now, after their meeting at the weekend, whereby anti-Semites are welcome and their opponents are banned!

The fools and fellow-travelers with racism and anti-Semitism on UK IM are unable to tell the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. Some of them think they are doing Palestinians a favour by publishing this sort of garbage.

There is nothing the Zionists love better than to demonstrate that supporters of the Palestinians are anti-Semitic. Indymedia UK has now done all it could to prove them right.


Tony also has a long post about this on Socialist Unity.

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  • Linguistic Question of the Week

    Two definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary…
    Main Entry: Sem•ite
    Pronunciation: ‘se-“mIt, esp British ‘sE-“mIt
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French sémite, from Semitic Shem, from Late Latin, from Greek SEm, from Hebrew ShEm
    Date: 1848
    1 a : a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia, including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs
    b : a descendant of these peoples

    Main Entry: an•ti-Sem•i•tism
    Pronunciation: “an-ti-‘se-m&-“ti-z&m, “an-“tI-
    Function: noun
    Date: 1882
    : hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group

    Question: If Semites include “Hebrews and Arabs,” why is anti-Semitism just “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews” instead of all Semites?

  • Dunno, but it does. Words are strange things.

  • DJ

    I suspect because antisemitism originated in Europe (specifically England from whence it migrated to the mainland) where at the time the Jews were the only Semites living there. Apart from Spain, Arabs did not reach Europe in significant numbers until much later.

  • Semite refers to a language and both Arabic and Hebrew are semitic languages. Of course strictly speaking one can therefore say that both Arabs and Jews are semites, though Jews in Europe tended to speak Yiddish not Hebrew!

    However Jews were associated with being a semitic people, on the basis of the Hebrew language, not least by the anti-Semites. And the person who coined the term ‘anti-Semitism’ was Wilhelm Marr, a German anti-Semite.

    But really this is irrelevant, except for the pedantic. Words acquire their own meaning and usage over time. Anti-semitism has come to mean anti-Jewish racism. Anti-arab racism is called just that, and though I dislike the term immensely, Islamaphobia now tends to mean anti-Muslim racism (though it is also conflated with hatred of the religion itself).

    So you just have to accept that Marr got it wrong. Jews weren’t semites in Europe. They had no connection with Europe and Jews who prayed in Hebrew, like me and many others, never understood more than a few words of it, just like Catholics praying in Latin!

    However the term has stuck and if someone is an anti-semite it means they believe in discrimination against or hate Jews.


  • Err correction above. ‘They had no connection with the Middle East’ not Europe!!

  • Jack Bernstein

    Very good posts, Tony. Nothing new to me, but certainly eye-opening to the average person raised on the hyper-prevaricating media to believe that only Jews – who are mostly descended from Eastern European converts – are Semites.

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