The only way to stop antisemitism is to criminalize it, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told reporters in New York on Monday.
“The time for talking and having a conversation is over,” Danon said. “What Israel and the Jewish community around the world demands is action and now.”
Danon, speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council meeting said that those who engage in antisemitism “must be punished, whether it is here at the UN, political leaders, editors, policy pundits, or college professors, it does not matter.
“Antisemitism should have no place in our society,” he continued. “Until it becomes criminal, this bigotry will persist. It will fester. It is only a matter of time until it erupts again in violence and bloodshed.”
When has criminalising something ever stopped it?
What a lunatic statement. When has criminalising something ever stopped it? Has criminalising prostitution ever stopped prostitution? Has criminalising drugs ever stopped drug taking? Did criminalising alcohol stop drinking? Did criminalising dissent against USSR stop dissent? It was criminal to hide Jews in Europe in Nazi occupied Europe, people still did it!
I wish people (and especially fellow Jews) would step away from the belief that legislation and government enforced laws are the answer to every problem.
We can’t stop people holding Jew hating views or spreading and believing lies (specifically crafted in most cases) to engender Jew hatred. All we can do is make holding these views socially unacceptable. Ostracise those who hold them and use ridicule too.
We’ve done this to Neo-Nazis and the so-called far-right but we’ve allowed Islamic Jew hatred and far-left Jew hatred (which disguises itself as anti-Zionism) to fester and now explode. Our efforts are massively hampered by the far-left control of the media and various hate filled NGOs (like SPLC in the US or Hope not Hate in the UK) calling any political position they don’t like “far-right”.
Our efforts are also hampered by the ridiculous overuse of the term “antisemitism” (while trying to ignore real antisemitism) and by the false equivalence of the new term “Islamophobia” with Jew hatred. Criticism of the ideology of Islam is vital for our civilisation: hatred of individual Muslims is abhorrent. The fact that the term “Islamophobia” deliberately conflates something necessary with something abhorrent renders that term maliciously dangerous.
“And yet these actions have gone unpunished,” Danon said. “I have not seen the NYT [hold] any one accountable for this horrible cartoon. When you have pictures, cartoons, words, demonstrations, it leads to violence and shootings.”
Now I do agree that when a significant cultural icon such as the New York Times publishes a cartoon that displays so many elements of Jew hatred they should be denounced and look very carefully at the specific staff who published that article. I am all for firing people if they are prone to believe and spread lies about Jews: they can go edit Stormfront magazine for the Nazis, not the New York Times.
We can’t legislate thoughts as a crime, we can only stop actions. We can’t change minds with laws.
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