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< Back to question Are Jews white? Show more Show less

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?

No, Jews are not white Show more Show less

When "white" is used to categorise people within our society, it includes social, political, and historical dimensions that Jews are disconnected from.
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White non-Jews do not see Jews as white

White people do not consider Jews to be "one of them". From anti-Semitic depictions of the "beady eyed" Jew to the European pogroms that plagued much of the twentieth century, Jews have been violently othered throughout white history.
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Proponents


The Argument

Modern definitions of racism focus on the oppression of one racial or ethnic group by another on the belief that one is superior. Using this definition, Jews would not be considered white, even if they visually appear to be. There is a long history of anti-Semitic and oppressive racist actions against the Jewish community around the world. [1] Those who define themselves as the ultimate deciders of whiteness, white supremacists, often exclude Jews from that group due to both their religious and ethnic identity.[2] White non-Jews do not consider Jews to be white, and they are not afforded all of the advantages that white privilege affords white people in Western society. While Jews may be closer to whiteness than other racial and ethnic minorities, they are still excluded.

Counter arguments

Racism is considered a social construct that is based on visual representation. While being Jewish is an ethnoreligious identity, it is not the same as saying one is Chinese or Sri Lankan. There is no distinguishing skin color or other visual factors that distinguish Jewishness or Jewish identity, and by nature of this, there are many light-skinned Jewish people that would be considered white by virtue of their skin color alone. [3]

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.history.com/topics/russia/pogroms
  2. https://www.jta.org/2020/04/23/united-states/with-white-supremacists-driven-online-by-the-pandemic-anti-semitism-trackers-watch-for-new-threats
  3. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/are-jews-white/509453/

This page was last edited on Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 03:53 UTC

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