antisemitism,  Mehdi Hasan,  Stateside,  The Left

Mehdi Hasan Stop Dragging Jews into your Arguments!

Note this tweet from Mehdi Hasan where he takes an argument about Muslims in the media and drags the Jews into it:

Note this back and forth response pointing out that he’s wrong while he argues Jews still have it better:

But why drag Jews into this in the first place? And why derail a perfectly valid argument about representation of Muslims in the media and turning it into a Jew v Muslim one?

The Jew Muslim comparison is something of a theme with Hasan’s discourse:

Mehdi explains why he does this:

He should note that as well as often being factually incorrect (as Yair Rosenberg showed above) this tactic has the effect of pitting minorities against one another. The implication that Jews have it easier is offensive, it’s also not true. In future he might want to use the more intellectually rigorous tactic of explaining to people why he thinks something is islamophobic rather than just replacing the word Muslim with Jew.


Contentious Centrist makes an excellent point BTL that I’d like to add here:

The article does not confront Mehdi Hasan’s main premise in making the analogy. He compares Israel “occupation” of West Bank with Islamist terrorism. This is a slander that must be vigorously rejected. To ignore this premise is to grant it validity and place in the market of legitimate ideas.

When he writes that Jews are being treated differently in the media, he means to draw out denials exactly like those furnished by Yair Rosenberg. Because to deny Hasan’s comparison is to accept Hasan’s implicit proposition that Israel’s occupation is the moral equivalent of Islamist terrorism.

Hasan’s analogies should be condemned not only because they are “factually incorrect” (this is relatively a more minor infraction of good faith) or for “pitting minorities against one another.” but for the much greater and glaring motivation that underlines its very logic: that Jews vs. Israel is analogous to Muslims vs. Islamism. This is nothing less than demonization of Israel and is an anti-Semitic slur in and of itself.

As Oliver Kamm once said: “Historical analogies are never exact but sometimes useful. If they are to be useful, then the precedent needs at a minimum to be stated accurately.”

In this case, the very assumption underlying Hasan’s analogy is not exact or useful but a scurrilous lie.