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I personally have no problem with Jews to have their own state, neither do I have problem with any other group of people who want to have their own states. Those who criticize Israel, even its existence, as far as I have seen personally (and I live in Iran which is most famous for denying the right for the CURRENT Israel to exist as a state), only criticize how THIS Israel has been established, then how is this considered antisemitism? No personal problem with Jews, respecting them very much, living happily together, only not to be pleased with a group of people of any religion or family to oppress another group of people. This should be considered anti-oppression, why you coin the name antisemitism in this website?

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "why you coin the name antisemitism in this website?" Are you suggesting that we invented the concept of antisemitism?
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 27 at 15:23
  • No, I thought if I ask about this website, people will answer what they have accepted to be true on their own (I have seen people here defending such a presumption like it is their own belief, so a very good place to ask and know why), rather than to answer like "we are told to hold this definition, rather ask those who have invented it". Also, I'm asking on Meta, so I should ask about this website, otherwise maybe I should ask it on the main site, if I'm not wrong?
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 15:32
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Repeated antisemitism on this site. Charlie Evans' answer has the right angle IMHO. Commented Apr 27 at 22:51
  • @thegodsfromengineering, not really, I've already read it, I do not deny the right for the Jews to have their own state. I do accept the person A to eat an apple, apple is good for health, but if the person A eat an apple which not his own property, that would arise some objections, and if Person A argue anyone who object me is indeed spreading hate-speech against my right of having a healthy body, that doesn't sound correct to me. Even there exist several Jews who object Israel, why to think Israel and Jews as one equal identity?
    – owari
    Commented Apr 28 at 2:58
  • Why even hating THIS CURRENT Israel (not any possible Israel) is assumed equal to antisemitism? That's my question. Sorry if my English is so lame.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 28 at 2:59
  • Charlie Evans' answer may be a part of the answer, but what about the other non-moderator users who seem not to be biased but yet assume the two things equal? I want to know their view. Obie2.0's answer (or actually comments) was the only answer I received in that regard (although littleadv's comment is not totally off-topic either. Maybe the answer is something like people in general accept something true if they like it to be true, and that social and political notions and definitions pop out from what a majority of people consider as true, a territory media can affect much. But maybe
    – owari
    Commented Apr 28 at 3:08
  • this is not the case and I'm wrong, like for example antisemitism being a mere political word different than what a common person will understand from it. Similarly, US may assume anyone who is against its self-interests as Terrorist, regular person may understand different meaning. In that regard, yes I admit, maybe Charlie Evans' answer has the right angle, as he already mentioned me that my interpretation of IHRA definition is not correct, so maybe that's my problem.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 28 at 3:14
  • This should be posted on the main site. However, it seems to be a main site rule that questioning the existence of Israel is bannable antisemitism. So you may ask here why this is the rule. Commented May 18 at 10:50
  • 1
    @QuittingDueToAntisemitism, probably not if not asking why the rule ... the rules are set by the rulers which might have any attitude they have, but here I have seen many apparently (to me) regular people here that defend the rule as if they believe it on their own, and as I cannot understand why I ask it here.
    – owari
    Commented May 19 at 18:13
  • Why is this question on Meta? It does not appear to be about the operations of the politics.SE site. Commented May 26 at 15:34
  • @GaslightDeceiveSubvert, maybe you are right, but it has been stated that the rule here is not to question such things in politics.SE, I couldn't understand why, so asked it here, and actually I found my answer nothing more than that some pro-Israels have defined it to be so, and many people here believe they should stick to the definition. This was a question about the community, so this was the place to ask it.
    – owari
    Commented May 26 at 18:58

4 Answers 4

4

I think this question is pretty clearly in reference to your deleted question on the main site, which you already asked about on Politics Meta. If that is the case, the first thing to mention is that it was not deleted for being anti-Semitic, but rather because the moderator considered it a "push question." The reason given was:

The downvotes and closure is because Politics Stack Exchange is not a place for "push questions". As seen in the help center: "It is not a place to advance opinions or debate, but rather for exchanging objective information about the policies, processes, and personalities that comprise the political arena". Therefore, questions that seem to be mostly rhetorical questions with the intention of making a point about some political issue are considered off-topic.

Politics Stack Exchange has more problems than perhaps any other site on the network with so-called "push questions": questions that basically seek to inform people of something that the asker considers pertinent ("Did you know this?") or that simply seek to make a political point ("Why is X leader/X system so popular if they are terrible?," "How can X country/X leader get away with their misdeeds?," "Is my idea for a perfect political system good?").

Your question probably could have (and perhaps still could be) improved to avoid falling into this category, but as it is, it did fit this definition. For instance, two central questions in your post start: "But is it OK...," or "Why do every people of every belief must submit...." These are moral questions, and thus would fall under the "tending to solicit opinion-based answers" close reason in any case, but by their construction clearly would seem to be promoting a specific answer ("It is not OK," "People of every belief should not submit") and thus fall into the push question category.


With that said, the characterization of your question as anti-Semitic came from two ordinary users, not the moderator who deleted the question, and those characterizations were based on the definition that you cited. I don't know whether the moderator also believed those characterizations, but that was not the reason they gave for deleting your questions. But it does not mean that your question is officially considered anti-Semitic according to site standards. Those users may see your question as anti-Semitic, but not everyone does.

Personally, I think that it is a little unclear what your self-answer and question are promoting, which is probably a factor in some users seeing anti-Semitism there. For instance, your self-answer has the assertion that "it is neither historical, not for the sake of humanity and to respect the victims of a severe oppression once (or even perhaps for Centuries) in Europe (against those who might be anti-Semite)," which some users seemed to take as implying that it was anti-Semites who were oppressed in Europe (though a more likely interpretation might be "oppression in Europe against those, which might be anti-Semitism").

Similarly, you say "Those who criticize Israel, even its existence, as far as I have seen personally (and I live in Iran which is most famous for denying the right for the CURRENT Israel to exist as a state), only criticize how THIS Israel has been established?" Again, that is unclear enough that someone could read into that anything from "Israel should be destroyed" (which, whether or not it would be indubitably anti-Semitic, would definitely fall afoul of another site rule, incidentally) to "Israel was founded in a questionable manner."

Writing with more clarity and specificity might make those users less likely to see anti-Semitism, depending on what point your are trying to make.

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  • very good answer for why my question was deleted, thank you for the elaboration, I was totally misunderstood :)
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:03
  • But about the current question I'm asking why such questions are anti-Semite? You are right that promotion of destroying Israel can be (but not necessarily in my mind) considered as promotion of violence, but my question is about why it is considered undoubtedly anti-Semite. It is not a question about the rules, but asking those who think the rules are correct to share their views.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:08
  • 5
    Hmmm. Well, first, I don't think you can "destroy Israel" without violence, any more than one could "destroy Palestine" or "destroy Iran" without violence. There are a lot of people who live there, many of whom were born there: Jews, Arabs, Bedouin—and foreigners of all types. They are not going to go somewhere else simply because someone asks them to.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:14
  • 1
    But you want to understand why some people see anti-Semitism in calls for the destruction of Israel. Let me try an analogy. Iran is a Muslim country. Calling for its destruction is not, a priori, Islamophobic. But people who live in countries like the USA know that there are anti-Muslim far-right groups that would be happy to see it destroyed, and a much smaller number of people who want it destroyed for some other reason (maybe Iranian Americans who dislike the government).
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:16
  • 1
    So when they hear someone calling for its destruction, what are they going to think? That they are from the smaller group, or from the larger group? And one might say "Well, obviously, they can just tell people that they are not from the Islamophobic group, right? It is as easy as that." But Islamophobia is also taboo in large parts of the broader society. So won't the people from the first group also claim to be in the second?
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:25
  • I liked your analogy, but maybe I've not understood your point so good. That some people lie, or pretend to be someone they are not really, is not a good justification of labeling everyone to be the worst case possible. This rather seems to be labeling people in the worst case to make a taboo, so that no one ever feel easy to criticize something without cost. Do you think this is the case for those who think such rules are correct?
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:40
  • If you think supporters of such rules think that way, that would be simply a proper answer, although I really doubt it to be the case for everyone supporting such rules.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 20:06
  • Not particularly relevant, but I think "Is my idea for a perfect political system good?" isn't a push question but rather opinion based, not that it really matters, it should get closed either way. Commented Apr 28 at 23:06
  • In the comment thread below the user suggests Jews to buy sand and fill a sea with it instead of living in Israel. Clearly, the user doesn't realize how antisemitic they are. I can understand that given they've been brainwashed since childhood (they're from Iran).
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 29 at 21:15
  • This answer is more relevant to the OP's prior question, IMHO politics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6898/… Commented May 2 at 5:17
0

The basic answer to your question is "because at least one of the moderators believes it is". The opinions of the moderators are far more important than those of any other user, in this instance, because they have extreme powers to delete posts and suspend users. There is no ability for users to remove moderators, so the view of the user base as a whole is largely irrelevant, let alone the views of some subset of users.

If you believe a moderator is behaving inappropriately, you can make a complaint to Stack Exchange staff. However, it is unlikely that they will side with you in this case, because Stack Exchange operates under the jurisdiction of the US government, which has adopted the IHRA definition of antisemitism. The IHRA definition is commonly interpreted as suggesting that "questioning the right of Israel to exist" is antisemitic, so it is very likely that Stack Exchange (the corporate person) "believes" that too.

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    Bear in mind that SE is a private company, so it does not have to go by what the US government considers anti-Semitism. Unlike in many countries, the government definition of various kinds of bigotry does not create hate speech laws, for instance.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 16:52
  • 1
    @Obie2.0 I don't know enough about the relevant laws to say whether there is any legal risk to Stack Exchange of essentially endorsing antisemitism (according to the US government) on their platform. However, even absent any legal risk, there is still a significant reputational risk associated with defying the US government in this way. Commented Apr 27 at 17:01
  • I know enough to say that there's no legal risk. Is there a reputational risk? Probably. But not because of what the US government thinks, but rather because of newspapers, social media, NGOs, and the general public. Anyway, not really relevant here, because their question was deleted by a single moderator under a site policy that (whatever the moderator's biases may be) did apply to the question and was not related to anti-Semitism. SE would not recur to any definition of anti-Semitism if this were pushed up to them, because that was not the moderator's expressed reasoning.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:02
  • @Obie2.0 It is naive in the extreme to believe that US government positions have no influence over the positions of US corporations. What question? I am answering owari's question in general, without reference to the deletion of a particular question. Commented Apr 27 at 17:16
  • This is about their deleted question, rather obviously. As to "no influence," nothing has no influence. But corporations primarily care about their shareholders and customers (i.e. their god is Mammon). The federal government matters insofar as they are a customer of many larger corporations, and insofar as other customers and shareholders care about their pronouncements. But there are a lot more customers.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:16
  • @CharlieEvans, actually I doubt if it is a matter of only the moderators here. Only recently being here I don't know the regular users one by one, but reading random posts I have seen many who have appeared to me as rational and respectable, but even those users from times to times label my questions (not to say me myself) anti-Semite, no matter how much I insist not to be one. The reason for the present question is to try to see the issue from their own perspective?
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:37
  • That a moderator is so much biased can be a reason for closing and deleting posts, but not for the users (as far as I saw, and sorry if I have misjudged many) answering me apparently on their own behalf.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:38
  • 1
    @owari - Depending on what you are saying, more clarity in your posts might help dispel the allegations of anti-Semitism. For instance, from what you are writing here, it seems that you might not want the current state of Israel to cease to exist, but only want it to cease to oppress Palestinians, and you want recognition of the injustices committed in its founding. If that is the case, I believe that of the two users who characterized your question as anti-Semitic for that reason, at least one probably would not (the other, I believe, still would).
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:40
  • @Obie2.0, not really, it might be the case that I have not received a complete answer to my deleted question, but having heard ideas of different users (including you), maybe I myself know better now what my question was really. At least this is what I think to be the case so far.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:42
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    Another point of contention was "it is neither historical, not for the sake of humanity and to respect the victims of a severe oppression once (or even perhaps for Centuries) in Europe (against those who might be anti-Semite)," which several people were interpreting as saying that it was anti-Semites who were oppressed. I do not think that is likely what you meant, but rather something like "a severe oppression, once and perhaps for centuries, which might be anti-Semitism." I think phrasing that differently (and definitely removing the "perhaps" and "might") would have helped.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 27 at 17:42
  • @Obie2.0, I have my own thinking structure and several sets of beliefs and accepted info in different layers of that structure, with tons of evidences for the whole structure and sometimes contradictory ideas that have not decided upon yet and else. Everyone does the same, but asking questions is another thing. I might like to examine what I think to know by asking people who seemingly think the reverse to be true. Some may answer back with hand waving arguments and bias, others may respond back with sound arguments.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 18:05
  • At this time, I don't recognize myself anti-Semite insofar as I can think of what "anti" and "Semite" could mean, unless someone defines antisemitism right in a way right to fit me and even exclude anyone beside me.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 18:05
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    @Obie2.0 I simply can't be bothered to continue to engage with you in a pointless debate over the role of the US government in influencing US corporations. The question here doesn't refer to any particular incident, so I answered it in general. I was mostly influenced by this meta question in which Philip explicitly identifies "debating Israel's right to exist" as antisemitic. Commented Apr 27 at 18:18
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    @owari The views of the other users are largely irrelevant. It is the moderators who make the impactful decisions. Commented Apr 27 at 18:19
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    @owari Your interpretation of the IHRA definition is incorrect in this instance, but these comments aren't the place to discuss it. Commented Apr 27 at 18:21
-4

This was answered here:

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.

If you live in Iran, which famously just recently launched a failed attack on Israel, you must understand that the information available to you from Iranian sources is severely biased. I know quite a few people from Iran living in the US, and their worldview is wildly different from yours. Also, worth reminding you, that before the Iranian Revolution, Israel and Iran were very close allies and with very strong economical and political ties. Some of the initial Revolutionary Guard officers were trained by the Israeli military instructors.

Questioning anyone's right to exist is hate. That's true for Israel, and that's true for Iran, and for the Palestinians for that matter. Claiming that one country should cease to exist to make space for another is unacceptable. Claiming that one country should change its internal characteristics for someone outside to benefit is unacceptable.

There may be arguments for or against certain Israeli policies, but Israel is a sovereign country that is entitled to whatever policies it wants. Even if we disagree with these policies, it's not up to us whether the Israelis have the right to enact them. We can try to convince them not to, or maybe influence them otherwise (The BDS movement is claiming that that's what it is trying to do), but in the end of the day - Israelis need to decide for themselves how to live their lives.

Same for the Palestinians - we can hate their inhumane behavior, using human shields, targeting civilians, kidnapping hostages and bombing indiscriminately (all these things, by the way, they are doing in part with your country's support), but in the end of the day it's their choice how they manage their lives, and whether we agree with that or not doesn't matter as much.

And yes, same for Iran. The oppressive theocracy with severely hindered human rights, that perpetrates murderous attacks around the world and supports some of the most vile of terrorist groups, is a sovereign country and its citizens and residents are entitled to decide how to live their lives. Do we want to trade with them? Supply them? Interact with them? These are our choices. Should they exist? In what form? That's their.

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  • So many arguments that I'll bypass, as any answer from me would be a start of a long debate, and would be probably deleted if happen here in comments. That put aside, the point relevant to my question might be this: "Questioning anyone's right to exist is hate. That's true for Israel, and that's true for Iran, and for the Palestinians for that matter. Claiming that one country should cease to exist to make space for another is unacceptable. Claiming that one country should change its internal characteristics for someone outside to benefit is unacceptable."
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:53
  • Although I might be able to bring you some examples that you probably will not grant right to exist, but my question is not about whether it is hate or not. I may hate Israel, but my question is why you INTERPRET if as anti-Semite? There I see no one-to-one correspondence and identity between Israel and Semitic, or Judaism, or being Jew, or things alike. Being anti-Israel (even in its most sever form) is not the same as being anti-Semite, if you think they are the same then add it to your answer. @Obie2.0 addressed it in his comments, but not you as far as I could see.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:53
  • @owari there's no argument against Israel's existence that doesn't include it's self declared Jewish identity.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:55
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    if Iran declares itself an Islamic identity, it doesn't mean that Iran is Islam and Islam is Iran, so is the case for Israel. If Israel declares itself as a Jewish identity, it doesn't say any Jewish identity is Israeli or anyway belong to Israel. Jewish identity has been around for a few millenniums but Israel is only 75 years old.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 27 at 19:59
  • @owari here's the problem: Israel did exist thousands of years ago. Israel is a Jewish state, and as opposed to Islam or Christianity or Buddhism - the only Jewish state. Israel's independence is tightly coupled with Jewish national identity (Zionism), and it's self declared purpose is to be a safe haven for Jews.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 27 at 20:15
  • Oh, and yes - half of the world's Jews do in fact live there.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 27 at 20:17
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    This is mostly correct but "Questioning anyone's right to exist is hate." YMMV when it comes to states. Surely some 'hated' the USSR and caused it so to disappear as a state, and likewise for Yugoslavia or even Czechoslovakia, but that kind of hate of national/political institutions is a bit different than ethnically targeted hate. Commented Apr 27 at 22:48
  • @thegodsfromengineering I may not be old enough, but I don't remember anyone questioning the right of the USSR or Yugoslavia to exist. In fact, both were universally recognized
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 27 at 23:11
  • @littleadv, my question is clear, if someone accepts that Jews have a safe haven, a state of their own, but hates THIS CURRENT Israel (let assume "that someone" whether right or wrong thinks THIS CURRENT Israel to be established over innocent bloods) then why is that considered antisemitism, Why you accept what Israel declares itself, but do not accept what anti-Israelis declare themself as not being against Jews but only THE CURRENT Israel?
    – owari
    Commented Apr 28 at 2:46
  • That half the world's do in fact live in Israel, and that many who don't live there also have their heart with Israel, is a proof of anyone who is against THIS CURRENT Israel is antisemitic even if THERE EXIST Jews who have the same position against THIS CURRENT Israel? I conclude quite the contrary if you have nothing to add to your answer.
    – owari
    Commented Apr 28 at 2:49
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    @owari you keep saying "this current Israel". What does it mean?
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 28 at 3:26
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    I think what he's trying to argue is that it's antisemitic to deny Jews the right to their own state, but that it's not antisemitic to hate the Jewish state that current exists (i.e. Israel), on the basis of its actions in Palestine.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 28 at 9:24
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    @F1Krazy as I've said, we can disagree with the policies, but we can't say that a country should disappear. I wonder how many people feel so strongly about other conflicts that don't involve Jews, though.
    – littleadv
    Commented Apr 28 at 9:27
  • I feel the same way, I'm just trying to get my head around OP's argument.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Apr 28 at 9:27
  • @F1Krazy, Yes Israel as established and continued is only one possible example of a Jew state but not the only possible example, and arguing against an example should be considered so different than arguing against a rule. Let the name "Israel" gathers all such possible Jew states under its coverage, then the Israel as is now today is only one possible state, so being against it doesn't strictly suggest being against all other possible states as well. My question is why a mere example is treated as the rule? Is my point clear?
    – owari
    Commented Apr 29 at 21:00
-4

To me, personally, if someone assumes hating THIS Israel is antisemitic, this itself is antisemitic, as it is arguably putting equal all Jews to either being a genocider/criminal or a pro-genocider/pro-criminal. But anyway people can easily define anything they like and pretend like it is the certain truth, and gather people under a same flag with that definition as a main slogan. This website also goes after a definition given by some pro-Israels, and so not strange that they have the idea that anyone who criticies Israel is anti-ALLJews, antisemitic, so cruel, oppressive, and many label like that. This is a mere matter of definition, just like US coins the label terrorist to people who are against the US interests, or maybe indeed the Zionist interests, no matter if those people are being oppressed and are fighting for their obvious rights or not. Such people can be Middle Easterners, or even their own citizens (like US university students, and even some Israeli university students, as far as I have seen). These are only names and labels.

But why many regular people sometimes accept such fabricated definitions? Maybe they really have the same attitude or simply think, be it right or wrong, the definition makes sense.

I waited for some times to hear other possibilities, with no considerable gain. If I missed a point do not hesitate to make me informed, I will love to hear also other possibilities.

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