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Are Jews white? Show more Show less
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In a landmark 2018 court ruling, Jews became a protected "race" under American law. This judgement was divisive. The case, in which a Catholic convert had been denied a job beause of his Jewish bloodline, should have been a victory for victims of anti-Semitism. Instead, many Jews saw its result as short-sighted. They argue that formalising racial distinctions legitimises racism. And that this approach is in the same genre of identity politics as the Holocaust. Others claim that categorising Jews as a minority ethnic group helps protect them against discrimination. Are Jews white?

Yes, Jews are white Show more Show less

There is only one necessary condition for whiteness: being white. Jews are white.
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Skin colour is not a distinguishing factor for Jews

Jews can be white because skin colour has nothing to do with whether or not someone is Jewish.

The Argument

Jewishness is an ethnoreligious identity. While some people identify as ethnically Jewish due to a long history of Jewish family, and sometimes from a particular region of the world, there are others who can convert to Judaism and anyone of any race or ethnicity is able to do so. Because of this, there is no distinguishing visual factor to Jewish identity. If someone is a practicing Jew, then they are Jewish, regardless of their skin color. Jews, whether by birth or by conversion, are of every race and ethnicity. The deciding factor in Jewish identity is participation in the Jewish faith or by whatever familial cultural practices exist within an individual’s life. This can mean that technically, anyone can be Jewish and so whether or not Jews are white is a moot point.[1]

Counter arguments

While skin color may not be the deciding factor in someone’s Jewish identity, anti-Semitism is widely considered to be a form of racism since it targets people of an ethnic and religious minority. To ignore the discrimination that Jews face specifically due to their ethnoreligious identity is to ignore thousands of years of racial persecution. Jews are not considered fully white because they have not been allowed all of the advantages that white privilege gives to white non-Jews. [2]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.beingjewish.com/conversion/becomingjewish.html
  2. https://forward.com/opinion/417274/are-jews-white-american-history-says-its-complicated/

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 6 Oct 2020 at 12:12 UTC

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