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Comment: Stephen Twigg on the parallels of homophobia and antisemitism

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  1. This pointless opinion piece.

    Anti-semitism is like anti-gay hatred. This new to anyone?

  2. yurifury – Probably is to many daily mail reading homophobes, who would find the idea of anti semitism abhorrent.

  3. Perhaps there needs to be more docs and films on what happenned to gays during the holocaust….since the holocaust in Germany it’s totally unacceptable to be openly anti-semitic but why did countries continue to be so anti-gay, anti-gypsy etc.

    I know the number of Jews that were killed was horrific but as the guy says it’s very similar…

    The natural order argument used by the catholics when they defend marriage for straight people sounds so like Germany in the 1930s..I keep expecting them to say men and women must have blond hair and blue eyes before they can breed as well!

  4. Anti-semitism and homophobia don’t really have much in common at all.

    1) Being Jewish: religious choice, no-one is biologically Jewish. Whilst some could argue about ethnicity and the physical features stemming from it, it is possible to ‘dilute’ ethnicity by interracial breeding, e.g. black + white = mixed race; mixed race + white = very light or, possibly, white. Jew + black = Lenny Kravitz. Who would know how Jewish he is? You wouldn’t, it’s been countered by the dominant black characteristic.

    2) Being gay: biological fact, not choice; homosexuality cannot be ‘diluted’ by breeding and there are no typical physical features or ethnicity associated with gay people (though some would argue mannerisms could be)

    Being gay is more akin to being disabled or comparing being a man to a woman. Simply because they are from birth.

    Twigg is looking at this from the wrong perspective – hatred of minorities. Instead, the reasons WHY people are gay should be focused on and how we cannot be accused of choosing this behaviour. We are not espousing a specific religious ideology, Jews are. We are not an ethnic group, Jews are. And we are not hated for the same reasons as Jews either.

    We are thus not very comparable.

  5. theotherone 24 Feb 2011, 10:26am

    Mmmmm: the Semitic people are a Racial group.

    I’ve got a dunce cap for you somewhere…

  6. Judaism unlike other religions is not an evagenlical religion. It does not seek to attract converts, in fact it makes it very difficult to convert.

    For this reason, being a Jew is not a choice, it is an accident of birth. Just like being born disabled or black and potentially being born gay.

    Hitler persecuted Jews even if they were practicing Christians or atheists. So unlike Islam or Christianity, you can not argue being s Jew is a choice. Being an observant Jew is choice but that is another matter.

  7. Mmmmmm -
    In lived experience there are many parallels between being Jewish and gay, even if their intrinsic character is different. Both have been demonized as an insidious and often unseen ‘threat’ to society(both have even been slandered as a threat to children) – and both at times have been stereotyped as ‘sly’ and ‘manipulative’. Both are able to be invisible and ‘closeted’, and it has been quite common for Jews to ‘pass’ as gentiles, just as l&g often pass as straight. Both often congregate in urban subcultures.
    Just by the by, I once had a Jewish boyfriend who told me an awful lot about Jewish culture and traditional wisdom and I appreciated it a lot (he was a great lover too!!).

  8. Ciaran McHale 24 Feb 2011, 11:26am

    mmmmmmmm wrote: “the reasons WHY people are gay should be focused on and how we cannot be accused of choosing this behaviour. ”

    The “don’t hate me because I was born this way” argument is commonly voiced, but I think it is flawed. After all, black people are “born that way”, but that has not stopped racism.

    Over the decades, research in the area of behavioural psychology has provided some insights into prejudice and bigotry. Do a Google search for “confirmation bias”, “cognitive dissonance” and “availability heuristic” for examples.

    From what I have read about such psychological research (I don’t work in that field, I just have a lay interest), it seems to me that different forms of prejudice (homophobia, racism, Islamaphobia, anti-Semitism, and so on) can be viewed as being different symptoms of the same underlying psychological causes rather than being distinct problems. If you agree with that thesis, then it follows that homophobia and anti-Semitism *do* have a lot in common.

  9. theotherone

    But gays are not a racial group, hence there are few similarities between us. Not to mention that being Jewish is about following Judaism. Are there ‘ethnic Chrsitians’? Er, no.

    I have an even bigger D on my cap for you.

    Ciaran

    We may both be persecuted groups, but we have no religious identity that is inextricably linked with us. Similarly, being black doesn’t associate you with any one religious either.

    People conflate religion and skin colour far too much, they are two very separate things.

  10. James

    “Judaism unlike other religions is not an evagenlical religion. It does not seek to attract converts, in fact it makes it very difficult to convert.”

    But Israel will gladly welcome you if you do. Hmmm, not looking for converst, eh?

    “For this reason, being a Jew is not a choice, it is an accident of birth.”

    You either choose to follow Judaism or you don’t. Seems like a choice to me. Being ethnically Jewish is not possible, as being ethnically Muslim or Christian are not. Whereas being ethnically semitic could well be, like with being ethnically European. Some strange special status has been afforded to those claiming to be ethnically Jewish since WWII, probably as a way to overcompensate for the atrocities of the holocaust. But the Jews are not a race, they are followers of Judaism.

    “Just like being born disabled or black and potentially being born gay.”

    No. Because you are not Jewish by birth, but you can be gay/black/disabled by birth. YOu can be semitic by birth, however.

    “Hitler persecuted Jews even if they were practicing Christians or atheists.”

    Well then they weren’t Jews, they were semitic people who were atheist or Christian. A Jew is someone who follows Judaism, it is not an ethnicity, it is a religious adherence. Hitler killed semitic-looking people, which many Jews obviously were, Jewish or not.

    “So unlike Islam or Christianity, you can not argue being s Jew is a choice.”

    Yes you can, because being a Jew is being a follower of Judaism. White Europeans could, on your basis, all be described as ethnically Christian. That is totally absurd! Being a semite, now that could be argued.

    “Being an observant Jew is choice but that is another matter.”

    Being an observant anything is a choice. You can’t be an observant gay.

  11. Ciaran McHale 24 Feb 2011, 3:14pm

    mmmmmmmm wrote: “People conflate religion and skin colour far too much, they are two very separate things.”

    I am *not* saying I believe that sexuality, religion and skin colour are similar. Rather, I am saying I believe that anti-, anti- and anti- prejudices are similar. As I stated in my original message, I believe that because of discoveries made by some researchers in behavioural psychology.

  12. Ciaran McHale 24 Feb 2011, 3:17pm

    D’oh! The lack of a “preview” button meant I didn’t realise that the add-a-comment software would screw-up my messages. I will try again.

    mmmmmmmm wrote: “People conflate religion and skin colour far too much, they are two very separate things.”

    I am *not* saying I believe that sexuality, religion and skin colour are similar. Rather, I am saying I believe that anti-X, anti-Y and anti-Z prejudices are similar (replace “X”, “Y” and “Z” with names of discriminated groups). As I stated in my original message, I believe that because of discoveries made by some researchers in behavioural psychology.

  13. Ciaran

    I do see where you’re coming from, but the reasons why we and other minorities are disliked are very different. Other than a universal fear of the ‘other’, the root causes are diverse. It would be far more productive to focus on those specific causes as opposed to churning out the well-intended, but ineffective, statements about how being black, Jewish, gay, female etc are all somehow the same just because we are disadvantaged in some way.

    For example, those who dislike blacks.The reasons? Some include: skin colour, immigration, cultural norms and behaviour, religion, treatment of biological groups (women, LGBT)….

    For LGBT: sexual deviance, implied paedophilic tendencies, effeminate or butch mannerisms, contradiction of religious texts.

    Some overlap, but very different. We get flung into the same bracket as Muslims, which for us is quite alarming considering how much Islam condemns us, just because we are a minority. There is something very wrong in that approach because we are at odds with each other.

  14. There are no anti-semitic laws in Britain.

    The revoltingly homophobic civil partnership apartheid law is still sitting like a bigotted stain on our stature books.

    what is Twigg and his party doing about it.

    Why is marriage equality not part of Labour’s official policy?

  15. I am gay and I am an atheist. I am also Jewish and even if I deny my Judaism, or pretend I were not Jewish, or do not “self-identify” as Jewish, or convert to another religion, I will be Jewish (just as I will be gay) until the day I die. The epitaph of Cardinal Aaron Jean-Marie Lustiger (1926-2007), Archbishop of Paris, reads in part: “I was born Jewish. I received the name of my paternal grandfather, Aaron. Having become Christian by faith and by Baptism, I have remained Jewish.”

  16. @mmmmmmmm “A Jew is someone who follows Judaism, it is not an ethnicity”

    No Jew is ethnicity, many research prove this, Judaist is follower of Judaism, it advanced English, I teach you.

  17. theotherone 24 Feb 2011, 9:05pm

    I’m sorry Mmmm…

    Do some research on the Semitic People – it is NOT a choice; being a practising Jew is a choice but being of the Semitic Race is not.

  18. Jonathan

    You are not Jewish, you need to face up to that. You cannot be born religious, it is something that is chosen for you or by you. But you can be a Semite. More to the point, if you don’t self-identify as Jewish, then you cannot be Jewish. Just of semitic ethnicity. Semitic and Jewish are not synonyms for one another.

    theotherone

    “Do some research on the Semitic People – it is NOT a choice; being a practising Jew is a choice but being of the Semitic Race is not.”

    Which is what I said, dunce. Read my posts again, you prat. Jewish = choice, being semitic = ethnicity. I wonder how you made it through school sometimes (if you did).

    I’ll put an extra D on that hat for you, shall I?

  19. @mmmmmmmm you are in need of dictionary. Why so angry?

  20. Yuri

    I’m not angry – there’s nothing to get angry about. I’m just blunt with my comments, blame my Dutch ancestors.

  21. Ciaran McHale 25 Feb 2011, 7:36am

    mmmmmmmm wrote: “I do see where you’re coming from, but the reasons why we and other minorities are disliked are very different.”

    I agree the reasons often appear to be different. But those reasons do have something important in common: the “reasons” are irrational.

    The reason I am interested in behavioural psychology research (related to irrational thinking that seems to underpin prejudice) is as follows.

    The behavioural psychological issues that underpin prejudice are easy to understand but, unfortunately, are not well known outside of the research community. My assumption is that being aware of the psychological issues underpinning prejudice will help most people to identify and reduce their own prejudices.

    This suggests there is an opportunity for the X, Y and Z activists (“X”, “Y” and “Z” are placeholders for oppressed groups) to pool their resources to focus on raising awareness among the general public about the easy-to-understand psychological issues that underpin prejudice.

    Thus, instead of X activists campaigning to end only anti-X discrimination, and Y activists campaigning to end only anti-Y discrimination, we could end up with Y + Y + Z activists working on joint campaigns to end *all* discrimination.

    By the way, I don’t think the approach I am suggesting is incompatible with the current situation in which activists for each oppressed group campaign to end discrimination against only their own group. Rather, I think the two different tactics can complement each other. So, I am not saying, “Your approach is wrong”. Rather, I am saying, “Your approach is right, and there is also another ‘right’ approach.”

  22. Ciaran

    Again, I see where you’re coming from, but whilst such groups may be facing a common enemy of fear and prejudice, the fact that they are different means they are not able to fight with one voice very successfully.

    Muslims, Jews, other religious minorities – by and large, they dislike homosexuality. And aggressivley so. Immediately, any hope of common ground there is gone. Black communities? Ok, colour and sexual orientation are similarly biological, but the cultural elements associated with black communities are completely unrelated to gay people as we have no specific culture. People and communities are more than just their colour or sexual orientation, we must not forget that. More to the point, the cultural and religious elements associated with black communities, yet again, puts us at odds with them as they disapprove of our ‘lifestyles’.

    If we are to fight our corner en masse with any degree of success, we can only stick to those who widely support us because we have similar things in common: LGBT, women, the disabled, The Quakers etc.

    It is a bit naive to think that we could organise an all-embracing political rally along with Muslims and black people. In one breath, they would be denouncing discrimination along with us, in the next breath, they’d be defending their right to their ‘culture’, which includes denouncing us. LGBT people would do well to dissociate themselves from their opponents in such matters – because it is always us who lose out. LGBT people continually stick up for black and Muslim communities (and other minoritiy rights), yet we get sod all in return. It’s probably because many of us are atheist or agnostic and thus our real focus is on human rights as universal principles. The religious? they don’t believe in human rights, yet abuse them to continue their hate campaigns against other groups.

    We should steer clear of that.

  23. Greetings, All. In Eastern Europe, the hatred of Jews and of Gays is linked in the minds, policies and activities of the haters, quite a separate question from the comparisons of various minorities in society. For example, a hideous cartoon that appeared (legally) on the front page of a mass circulation Lithuanian daily, shows ‘The Jew’ and ‘The Gay’ holding up the globe under the headline ‘Who controls the world?’ When a bold (and it so happens, Christian and straight) journalist dared to complain, HIS image was put into both and THAT was put on page 1 of another paper. The antisemitic and homophobic elites in Eastern Europe are the same politicians, academics and opinion-makers, and there therefore needs to be a coordinated response. All credit to MP Twigg for bringing to light the association. Please see on my website:
    http://holocaustinthebaltics.com/jew-gay-cartoon/786
    and
    http://holocaustinthebaltics.com/human-rights-advocate-andrius-navickas-is-put-inside-the-jew-and-the-gay-on-page-1-of-vakaro-zinios-evening-news/782
    and most recently, the important letter to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry from Gay Rights organizations in the region, posted at:
    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fholocaustinthebaltics.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2011%2F02%2FLetter-to-Azubalis-and-Zingeris-re-Gay-Rights-23-Feb-2011.pdf&h=f7b15

    Thank you.

  24. Dovid Katz

    Just because some Lithuanian nutters put us together, that doesn’t mean we have anything in common. That’s as bad as the Daily Mail insinuating that gays and paedophiles are the same and you agreeing with them!

    You need to stop dragging up WWII-type arguments and focus on the realities of today. We no longer box people in together as ‘minorities’, we are all different. Hence was Jews and gays have little in common in their fights for equality. Especially given that Jews have all their rights already!

  25. He’s the MP for Liverpool West Derby, not Derby West. He seems like a nice man though, I voted for him last time.

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