Bestselling author J.K. Rowling stepped into Britain’s anti-Semitism debate last week, when she said in a series of viral tweets that “non-Jews should start shouldering the burden” in the fight against rising anti-Jewish sentiments, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.
The Harry Potter author referenced the abuse Jewish people suffer on social media platforms and condemned semantic arguments of anti-Semites.
“Most UK Jews in my timeline are currently having to field this kind of crap, so perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden,” she wrote in response to a tweet saying, “Because Judaism is a religion and not a race.”
Rowling continued, saying, “Antisemites thinks this is a clever argument, so tell us, do: were atheist Jews exempted from wearing the yellow star?”
Most UK Jews in my timeline are currently having to field this kind of crap, so perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden. Antisemites thinks this is a clever argument, so tell us, do: were atheist Jews exempted from wearing the yellow star? #antisemitism pic.twitter.com/H5xLLXTdQO
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 18, 2018
Rowling retweeting a ‘Basic test for Antisemitism’ formulated by comedian David Schneider, and shared a screenshot of a response she had received, which suggested that “arguing against antisemitism is extremely culturally insensitive to Muslims.” She described it as “mind-boggling.”
The author, who has over 14 million followers on Twitter, rejected all defenses of anti-Semitism, saying the response to anti-Jewish sentiments had to be the same as against any other racism or bigotry.
“Split hairs. Debate etymology. Gloss over the abuse of your fellow citizens by attacking the actions of another country’s government. Would your response to any other form of racism or bigotry be to squirm, deflect or justify?” she asked.
She then tweeted that “The ‘Arabs are semitic too’ hot takes have arrived,” a reference to the argument that Arabs cannot be anti-Semitic per definition because they are Semites too. (The term anti-Semitism was coined by the 19th century German journalist Wilhelm Marr, who opposed Jewish emancipation and sought to popularize a term that would make Jew-hatred sound more scientific.)
Rowling stated that she was “so sorry” to hear examples of anti-Semitism and replied to a Jewish mother, who had tweeted at the author that her children experience anti-Jewish bullying at school. “Know that you aren’t alone and that a lot of us stand with you,” Rowling reassured her.
The famous author also retweeted a link to the speech given by MP John Mann last week, during a parliamentary debate, denouncing anti-Semitism and highlighting the abuse his family has to endure for his stand.
In 2015, Rowling joined 150 British artists in signing a letter denouncing the Boycott, Divestment and Boycott campaign to isolate Israel.
Allegations of anti-Semitism in Britain, especially in the Labour Party, have grown since Jeremy Corbyn, who once described the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas as his “friends,” was elected leader of Britain’s main opposition party in 2015. The Israel Labor Party recently suspended all ties with Corbyn over what they described “hostility” towards the “Jewish community.”
[Photo: Executive Office of the President / WikiCommons ]