UK Parliament Wants to Outlaw the Term ‘Zionist’, Considered ‘Anti-Semitic’

Oct 17 2016 / 9:13 pm
UK parliament (Photo via BBC)

A British parliamentary report condemned what it called “the growing prevalence” of anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom, notably calling for the term “Zionist” to be considered “inflammatory and potentially anti-Semitic.”

The report, issued by the parliamentary Home Affairs Committee, came in the wake of accusations of anti-Semitism against the Labour Party and the National Union of Students (NUS).

It highlighted that the UK remained “one of the least anti-Semitic countries in Europe” and that police and judicial responses to anti-Semitism were “for the most part excellent,” although it expressed alarm at an increase in “potentially anti-Semitic views” following the devastating Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in 2014.

 

While much of the report focused on anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom, it also addressed the issue in the context of discussions regarding the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The report called for the British government to “adopt an amended definition of anti-Semitism, aimed at promoting a zero-tolerance approach while allowing free speech on Israel and Palestine to continue.”

The committee report went on to call Israel “an ally of the UK Government” and “generally regarded as a liberal democracy, in which the actions of the Government are openly debated and critiqued by its citizens.”

The report did not mention the ongoing Israeli crackdown on critical voices within Israeli society, as well as on foreign activists.

However, it stated, “It is not anti-Semitic to criticise the Government of Israel, without additional evidence to suggest antisemitic intent,” adding that “it is not anti-Semitic to hold the Israeli Government to the same standards as other liberal democracies, or to take a particular interest in the Israeli Government’s policies or actions, without additional evidence to suggest anti-Semitic intent.”

The report criticized the use of the term ‘Zionist’ as used by ‘anti-Semites’ to refer to all Jews, saying that while the “concept remains a valid topic for academic and political debate, both within and outside Israel…The word ‘Zionist’ (or worse, ‘Zio’) as a term of abuse, however, has no place in a civilized society.”

“For the purposes of criminal or disciplinary investigations, use of the words ‘Zionist’ or ‘Zio’ in an accusatory or abusive context should be considered inflammatory and potentially anti-Semitic,” the report read.

The committee went on to recommend that critics of Israel avoid using the term “Zionist” when denouncing discriminatory Israeli policies against Palestinians, saying:

“Those claiming to be ‘anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic,’ should do so in the knowledge that 59 percent of British Jewish people consider themselves to be Zionists. If these individuals genuinely mean only to criticize the policies of the Government of Israel, and have no intention to offend British Jewish people, they should criticize ‘the Israeli Government,’ and not ‘Zionists.’”

Many advocates of the Palestinian cause contend that their criticisms of Israel have been conflated with anti-Semitism by Israel supporters in order to silence their denunciation of the country’s discriminatory policies and the siege on Gaza.

(MA’AN, PC)

Posted by on Oct 17 2016 . Filed under Articles, Features . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 . You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “UK Parliament Wants to Outlaw the Term ‘Zionist’, Considered ‘Anti-Semitic’”

  1. Matthew

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  2. Hugh Walker

    I’m speechless – I failed to realise that such incredible ignorance of language and of history could possibly exist in our own Parliament. How shameful, how embarrassing. How humiliating for the country.

  3. simon sadler

    Why is a select comitee needed to discuss this.It’s carrying political correctness a bit far ! They should be discussing the grave mistake in granting the occupation of Palestine to Jewish people after the war,and it’s horrendous consequences that we now see.Many Brits decry allowing immigrants to enter Britain, fearful of a takeover by Islam,yet that is exactly what has happened in Palestine( the birthplace of Christianity by the way ).Not all Palestinians after the war were Muslim.

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