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Why is blatant antisemitism so rampant on this site? How's "Why do Jews need a safe space" question not a grounds for an automatic ban?

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  • Yeah, the original wording of the Q was pretty cringey in that regard, but they've edited it in the meantime... Commented Apr 14 at 20:56
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    BTW, you are very trigger happy in calling for bans.
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Apr 14 at 21:00
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    BTW, when you say 'repeated' do you mean from this same user? Commented Apr 14 at 23:51
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    I suggest that the next time you quote the problematic question verbatim, since by now it was edited many times, and it is hard to judge what specific language was objectionable.
    – Morisco
    Commented Apr 15 at 12:29
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    @RogerV. Given that OP links to a specific revision of the question, I think it's safe to assume that that's the version they take offence to.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 15 at 12:54

3 Answers 3

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I just deleted the question.

If you see an offensive question, answer or comment in the future, please flag them. See the help center article on flagging for more information.

The formation of the state of Israel is an interesting bit of history. But that's what it is: history. The state of Israel exists since 1948. Nowadays, over 75 years later, its existence is an established fact. One can argue about whether or not it was the right or the ethical decision to form it back then. Just not on this site, because 1. it's a matter of history and not contemporary politics and 2. politics stack exchange is not a discussion forum.

But debating Israel's right to exist now is just antisemitic trolling. This includes the whataboutism with other ethnic groups. Of course one can argue (on other websites) that the Kurds or Basques or Fulani or some other group should have an own state like the Jews have with Israel. And one could look at how the founding of Israel worked out for the region to come up with some pro and contra arguments in this debate. But arguing "those groups don't have own countries, so the Jews should lose theirs" is, again, antisemitism and an attempt to rile up minorities against each other.

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    Given that OP called for the user in question to be banned, you may also wish to disclose that the user has indeed been banned for 30 days.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 15 at 8:25
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    @F1Krazy We don't debate suspensions of individual users in public (unless they specifically ask for it)
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Apr 15 at 8:26
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    @Philipp, this is nonsense. The op was not debating Israel's right to exist, but asking for an explanation of a statement made by Joe Biden. The most that can be claimed, is that they were questioning Israel's right to exist as a country specific for one ethnicity. There is broad agreement that states / entities that provide privelages to one ethnic group are problematic. We would rightfully be unhappy if say the UK, claimed to be a state for Anglo Saxons.
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Apr 15 at 10:52
  • @BenCohen Jews are not merely an ethnic or religious group, but a nation (although nationalists of all brands do tend to identify a nation with ethnicity.) I recommend Rashid Khalidi's Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness and his other books for enlightened (and definitely not pro-Israeli) view on this question. See also this answer.
    – Morisco
    Commented Apr 15 at 12:35
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    @RogerV.: rather true, but not beyond [asking a] question here. The Truman recognition of Israel had "a Jewish state" etc. Whether such formulations can be purely faulted on American simplification is in itself an interesting question (IMHO). Commented Apr 15 at 12:44
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    @RogerV: and the issue is not purely of historical interest. Wikipedia claims "The Israeli government under prime minister Ehud Olmert made the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the State of Palestine a pre-condition in the peace negotiations,[7] as did the government of his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu. Palestinians regard the demand for Jewish-state recognition as a trap—a new demand that did not come up during years of negotiations in the 1990s or in peace treaties reached with Egypt and with Jordan. Palestinians regard acceptance of the demand as giving up their right of return." Commented Apr 15 at 12:49
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    @thegodsfromengineering Palestinians regard acceptance of the demand as giving up their right of return. - that's the point: the two-state solution makes sense only if Israel retains its Jewish majority. This would be impossible, if it allows entry to 5 million of refugees and their descendants. According to Oslo , the scope of the right of return is a part of the 'final status negotiations". There is an American hand in all this - It is really telling when people pretending to "criticize" Israel, adopt positions that are more resembling those of Moscow/Tehran than that of Washington/EU.
    – Morisco
    Commented Apr 16 at 8:28
  • @thegodsfromengineering I don't see how any peaceful solution can be reached without Palestinians giving up on their "right of return". That's just a dog-whistle for "destruction of Israel". The Palestinian laws are very racist and forbid Jews to live anywhere in their territory, how do you expect Israelis to agree to live under their rule?
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 16 at 16:12
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    Philipp, you quite often claim that users are acting in bad faith; they are "activists", they "have an agenda", or are "antisemitic trolls". Please try to understand that you cannot see through the internet and into people's brains so you can't know that. Consider whether it is your own biases that is clouding your judgment. If you can't then perhaps reconsider whether you're fit to moderate this topic. Commented Apr 16 at 16:20
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    @StandwithGaza Keeping the bad faith actors away from this community is part of my job description as moderator. And I don't need to look into their brains to know who these people are. I just need to read what they post. Or in some cases, just read their usernames.
    – Philipp Mod
    Commented Apr 16 at 17:15
  • Here's another example. It just never ends.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 16 at 17:20
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    @StandwithGaza with such an alias you want to discuss biases? Really?
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 16 at 17:21
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    @Philipp No, your job is enforcing the rules. Are you accusing me of being a "bad faith actor" and threatening to ban me? If so, I hope that you are demoted because that is absolutely not how moderators should act! Commented Apr 16 at 18:20
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    @StandwithGaza, I am afraid that Philipp has a long hstory here. See this thread.
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Apr 16 at 20:46
  • @littleadv: "It just never ends." Indeed. But at least the more Qs get deleted. Commented Apr 19 at 17:43
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The site represents a cross-section of the adult world population (sufficiently educated to use internet), so the prevalence of antisemitic and anti-Israeli attitudes is not surprizing.

Thus, the Global 100 studies by the Anti-Defamation League suggest that every 4-th adult in the world harbors antisemitic attitudes. This percentage can be much higher or lower in some parts of the world, but it is about the same in Europe. In other words, it is safe to expect that every 4-th user here is antisemitic, regardless of their views of Israel. (Although basic antisemitism and anti-Israeli attitudes often correlate - e.g., see the detailed report on the antisemitism in the US.)

Furthermore, ADL defines as "harboring antisemitic prejudice" only those who answer positively to at least 6 of the standard 11 questions. Looking at specific countries shows that there are significantly more people harboring each specific attitude, but few of them simultaneously believe in at least six. This means that the number of people we expect to tap occasionally into this or that prejudice is much higher than 25%.

Then there are people who are too intelligent/well-natured to tap into obvious antisemtic tropes, but who nevertheless feel animosity towards Jews and grasp to any piece of information/news that allows them to express this animosity in a "politically correct" manner. This often results in people "criticizing Israel" for its mistreatment of Palestinians... but who know little about Palestinians and who care little for their mistreatment by anyone else (e.g., but the Islamist Hamas leadership or the apartheid-like status of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.)

There are also people who are not inherently antisemitic, but who see doubling down on their criticism of the Israeli misdeeds as a way of atoning for what they perceive as the past misdeeds by their own countries - e.g., the colonial past of Britain and France, many bloody wars waged by the US, brutal treatment of Germans and their allies in the two world wars, etc.

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    Right. I know why people do that. The question is why SE and the mods allow it here.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 16 at 8:35
  • @littleadv they might not be free from their own bias (though my impression, that they do their best). More importantly - there are no clear criteria to for deciding what is antisemitic and what is not.
    – Morisco
    Commented Apr 16 at 8:59
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    -1 the ADL is not a reliable source of information.
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Apr 16 at 10:35
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    See for example The Anti-Defamation League: Israel's Attack Dog in the US
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Apr 16 at 10:43
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    @BenCohen because an article in some obscure journal says so, and you want very much that this would be the case?
    – Morisco
    Commented Apr 16 at 12:43
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    @FourLegsGoodTwoLegsBad, because the ADL have a history of conflating antisemitism with criticism of Israel to such an extent that most of their output is little better than propaganda.
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Apr 16 at 14:51
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    @BenCohen we are talking here about poll of antisemitic attitudes, conducted according to the state of the art rules - please consult the links before spreading misinformation.
    – Morisco
    Commented Apr 16 at 15:10
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    @FourLegsGoodTwoLegsBad, a poll is only as good as the definitions it uses. In this case, the ADL defines almost anything as antisemitism and so, surprise, surprise they find lots of antisemitism. It's certainly not me that is spreading misinformation in this discussion...
    – Ben Cohen
    Commented Apr 16 at 20:57
  • @BenCohen rants are cheap. If you can't cite any alternative poll to compare (and still don't bother to follow the links), then stop wasting people's time.
    – Morisco
    Commented Apr 17 at 5:39
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A user who writes something like this, even if edited later, must be banned immediately (the length of the ban is up to the moderators and depends on the exact nature of the post, edit history, comments and other texts of this user). Their post must be deleted immediately. That's the only way to be sure.

Here is the original post, which falls under the category of antisemitism.

Why do Jews need a safe space?

Biden said that Jews need an Israel, i.e. a safe country specifically for Jews.

Most groups of people, other than groups based on country already, don't have specific countries for them - i.e. America for Americans, but no country for Christians, or for Manchester United fans.

What is the specific difference with Jews, which causes them to need one?

References:

Unacceptable Behavior

We have outlined key forms of unacceptable behavior across the entire platform:

Abusive behavior

We do not allow harassment nor any content that promotes, encourages, glorifies, or threatens acts of violence. We also do not allow causing or contributing to an atmosphere that excludes or marginalizes.

Code of Conduct - Politics Stack Exchange


See also a great answer from Philipp, a moderator

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    There is no reason to do an immediate ban, the users history should always be taken into account.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 16 at 13:41
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    @JoeW Thank you for your comment. My suggestions is exactly what you suggest: "user [...] must be banned immediately (the length of the ban is up to the moderators and depends on the exact nature of the post, edit history, comments and other texts of this user)" So this means that "the users history should always be taken into account", as you suggest. Should I clarify my suggestion in the answer - maybe it should say "history" explicitly? Commented Apr 16 at 15:06
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    I think you misunderstand, I am saying that after looking at the user history a ban might not be needed at all and jumping straight to a ban before looking into that is premature.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 16 at 15:23
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    @JoeW In that case we disagree. Thanks for the clarification. I believe the ban is needed, and I think the minimum is "the penalty box" for a day, if there is no prior relevant history. Any prior history of similar posts and/or bans, and the ban length goes up quickly, up to the max (not sure what this is). Basically, it is a clearly antisemitic post here. I say we take off and nuke the entire antisemitic nest from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. Commented Apr 16 at 16:35

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