Europe

J. K. Rowling Assails Fellow Author for Charging Jewish Outrage at Labour is “Synthetic”

British novelist J. K. Rowling stepped up her defense of Jews against anti-Semitism on Sunday in a heated Twitter exchange with Simon Maginn, an author and supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corby, The Algemeiner reported.

In a tweet, Maginn had called Jewish outrage over Corbyn’s 2013 comments indicating that “Zionists” do not understand British culture “patently synthetic outrage,” and demanded that a Jewish tweeter explain his “deep and wounding sense of injury.”

Rowling, who created the Harry Potter series and is not herself Jewish, slammed Maginn for his comments and replied: “How dare you tell a Jew that their outrage is ‘patently synthetic’? How dare you demand that they lay bare their pain and fear on demand, for your personal evaluation?”

Rowling continued: “What other minority would you speak to this way?”

In the cause of the exchange, the bestselling novelist quoted extensively from the classic 1946 essay by the French leftist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, titled, “Antisemite and Jew.”

“They (antisemites) delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert,” Rowling tweeted to her 14.4 million followers on Twitter.

Maginn accused Rowling of “libel” over accusations of anti-Semitism but said he would not take legal action against the novelist. “I’m not going to mount a legal action against you because I haven’t got any money and you’ve got a lot, but false + defamatory = libellous. What a class act you are. What a nasty vicious little bully. Blocked.”

Maginn in the past lashed out against Jews. In July, in response to the Labour Party rejecting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, he wrote: “Astounding isn’t it, that a group which claims to be silenced, oppressed, powerless manages to keep the story running day after day, week after week, month after month, in every Tory paper and on the Tory BBC. Must be terrible to be so oppressed, so silenced.”

The weekend’s exchange followed earlier comments from Rowling in wake of Labour’s ongoing anti-Semitism scandals. In April, she posted a screen grab of a non-Jew attempting to explain what Judaism is — “Judaism is a religion not a race” — and explained why this is hardly relevant to defining anti-Jewish bias.

“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?”

Rowling also responded when someone argued that Arabs can’t be anti-Semitic because they are Semites. “The ‘Arabs are semitic too’ hot takes have arrived,” she said.

[Photo: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child / YouTube ]