Sim Kern - THE FREE PEOPLE’S VILLAGE Profile picture
May 3 26 tweets 6 min read Read on X
Jewish author here, and for years I've used my social media to teach folks about the history of "antisemitism," but I will not be using that term anymore. And to fully explain why, we need to get clear on the history of the word. 1/🧵
Jews facing hate and violence in Europe is as old as the Roman adoption of Christianity, but the term "antisemitism is far more recent. It was first popularized in the 1860’s by Wilhelm Marr, the original redpilled, alt-right racistbro. 2/🧵 Image
In his youth, he fought for minority rights. But after life kicked him in the teeth a bit—a failed revolution, a failed business in Costa Rica, two divorces, one from a Jewish woman, and another Jewish wife who died on him, he decides his WHOLE THING is going to be hating J's. 3/
At the time, regular-ol' J Hate was called just that--“Judenhass." Wilhelm Marr turned this hate into politics. In 1871, German Jews were legally emancipated. And In 1879 Wilhelm Marr establishes the “League of Antisemites,” whose main goal was reversing Jewish emancipation. 4/
Always has to be a backlash to anti-racist progress, doesn’t there? Same shit as Neo-NZ's rebranding themselves as “alt right” following the Obama presidency. Marr coined a new term to legitimize an old hate, establishing the political framework that would become the N-Z party.5/
The “Semite” in anti-semitism came from 18th c. linguistics, which divided languages with so-called “Aryan” roots from those with “Semitic” roots such as Hebrew. Proof, according to galaxy-brained racial scientists, that Jews and Christian Germans were different races. 6/
-Pause to remember that race science is not real, & race is always a social construct-
Now, traditionally us J's had been hated since the middle ages because Christians thought we were 🧙‍♂️'s who worshipped the 👿and drank 🩸, and if we’d just convert to Christianity, fine! 7/
But self-proclaimed Antisemites were modern, secular men, who hated us because of “science.” This meant no matter what Jews did, how much we assimilated, secularized, or even converted, we would always be a threat to Germany. Because our “badness” was racial, was in our blood. 8/
In the early twentieth century, Jewish writers such as Lucien Wolf, were careful to distinguish between this new antisemitism thing happening in German versus "traditional" J-Hate in Russia, which was that old superstition that was sure to die out in the modern world. 9/🧵 Image
In the 1880's Zionism starts gaining popularity alongside “antisemitism.” Wolf was fiercely antizionist, because he saw Z'a enacting all the antisemites' worst fantasies. Antisemites claimed Jews could never be truly German and…Zionist Jews were saying the same thing. 10/
Wolf fought for minority rights at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I and secured the “minority treaties” from the League of Nations, which were SUPPOSED to protect Jews and other ethnic and religious minorities across Europe. But that…obviously did not work out. 11/
Because following WWI, half of Europe is desperately impoverished, and desperately impoverished people are easy to manipulate into hateful mobs, and self-proclaimed “antisemitic” politicians took full advantage of that to get elected. 12/
So there's this explosion of anti-Jewish hate, violence, and discriminatory laws, and by the 1930’s, Wolf and other Jewish writers have dropped this distinction between “Judenhass,” and “antisemitism," and the terms are used synonymously. 13/
But the word transforms again with the violent, colonial creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Because Zionists, at this point, start claiming that any criticism of their Jewish state, is antisemitism. (A conflation that's always been contested by antizionist Jews). 14/ Image
In "In the article “Towards a History of the Term Antisemitism,” (free to read!) David Feldman sums up the absurdity of this conflation. “the creation of the state of Israel transformed the relationship of Jews to state power" and to minorities. 15/…
Jews in 1930s Germany had far more in common with Palestinians today than w/Israeli Jews, in terms of oppression.
Because antisemitism in Germany THEN was white supremacy. And anti-Palestinian hate NOW is white supremacy. All that’s changed is who gets to define whiteness. 16/
So when the US Congress says, “anti-zionism is antisemitism,” that’s like saying a thing is its opposite. It’s as absurd as saying, “anti-racism is racism.” Now I don’t think we should let Congress decide…much of anything, including the meanings of words... 17/
But the term is also confusing. Every time I use it lately, I get a flood of comments saying, “Arabs are semites too, so being anti-Palestinian IS anti-semitic.” And I used to respond, well, words don’t always mean exactly the sum of their parts... 18/
Antisemitism was coined to mean J-hate, and has always been used to mean J-hate. And besides the whole category of "semite" is this relic of bogus race science. But regardless, Palestinians and Arabs more broadly feel erased by the term, and we should take that seriously. 19/
More and more, I don’t see the point in “fighting” for this term that was coined by H*tler’s idol, is based on 18th-century race science, and that Zionists use so often, in such fatuous, bad-faith, obfuscating ways that I’m starting to flinch at the sound of it. 20/
So I’m going back to the OG term “Judenhass,” specifically, I’m gonna say “anti-Jewish hate.” That’s actually one syllable fewer than antisemitism. And it’s clearer, and doesn’t carry all this racist baggage. 21/
And I'm also fundraising this week for a family in Gaza. If you appreciated/ learned something from this thread, please donate what you can spare to Alaa, who's 8 months pregnant. She needs to evacuate so she can deliver her baby in a hospital. 22/…
If you donate at least $6, you can enter a giveaway for a signed, first-edition copy of my book THE FREE PEOPLE'S VILLAGE by sending a screenshot of your receipt to T4Gaza[at]gmail[dot]com. I'll choose the winner on Monday! /end
If you want to watch rather than read this thread, I’ve shot it here:…
The fundraising site was temporarily down, but is working again! Please try to make your donation if you were unable to earlier!
The @GoGetFunding site keeps going down, so I've created a backup GoFundMe site for Alaa's family. I'm working with @/AmongTheRubble on Instagram, and we will ensure all the GoFundMe funds get to Alaa's family!…

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More from @sim_kern

Apr 26
I’m a Jewish parent of a rising college Freshman, and our family has been proudly antizionist for GENERATIONS. I know my kid will be joining her campus SJP on day one. Do we decide where she should go based on which college arrests and beats peaceful protestors least brutally? 🧵
Standing with Palestine is an inherent part OF our Jewishness. The two are inseparable. And several of the colleges that have accepted her have made it clear they’ll beat her, arrest her, point a sniper rifle at her for her Jewishness, & fulfilling the requirement of Tikkun Olam
And to other parents of rising freshman, even if your family as a whole isn’t activated on Palestine, there’s a very good chance your kids will be when they get on campus. Are you calling these schools and expressing your outrage at the violence they are meeting on our kids?!
Read 7 tweets
Mar 31, 2023
On this #TransDayOfVisibility I have some happy news:

Over the past week, 2,659 content creators from 43 countries participated in the #TransRightsReadathon. We read & made content about trans books, fundraising for >250 different trans-supporting funds & individuals.🧵
Together, we read >7,800 trans books and raised >$234,000 for trans rights!

At least 2 trans authors who had book releases around the readathon saw their books hit bestseller lists. And many, many trans authors reported their best week of sales since their book releases. 2/
The impact of 400+ anti-trans bills goes much farther than the direct harm they do to trans individuals in those states. This climate of hate has a chilling effect across all culture, where every institution & industry may be less likely to support & uplift trans ppl 3/
Read 9 tweets
Mar 20, 2023
I encourage leftists to pay attention to the #TransRightsReadathon campaign, even if you’re not a book person. Decentralized organizing, which empowers people to do something that matches their skills & interests in service of a public good, is catching like wildfire 1/
People everywhere are actually pretty desperate to DO something, anything, that makes the world a better place. When we create a way that they can, whilst tapping into what they’re already good at & interested in? That’s clearly powerful. 2/
And I know some leftists will sneer because we’re just reading books & making tiktoks, not marching in the streets, but hey we’re also raising $10,000s if not $100,000s in mutual aid & legal defense funds for trans folk. That’s TANGIBLE AF mutual aid, friends.
Read 5 tweets
Mar 19, 2023
🔥important🔥 since authors who’ve written books w/trans MCs, but who’ve not disclosed their gender, are being included on lists of trans authors in the #TransRightsReadathon, and this could lead to forced outing, I suggest opening the guidelines to “trans books” generally 1/
So previously my messaging was “let’s read books by trans authors,” but many lists are including books by authors who don’t self-identify as trans, but write trans characters. So if you’re doing that, just say you’re reading “trans books” or “books with trans rep.” 2/
Again, I’m not in charge of this Readathon. I threw out the idea to begin with, but each person is running their own campaign. But for whatever my voice is worth, I’d like to use it to ensure we’re not pressuring anyone to out themselves!
Read 4 tweets
Mar 18, 2023
Just throwing out that I would love to see more authors participating in the #TransRightsReadathon! Idk if you’re waiting on an invite? Here it is!!! Trans or cis? slow reader? Can’t afford to donate much? It doesn’t matter! All are welcome to join however they’re able!
Because I’m seeing some authors interacting with the hashtag but not throwing their hat in the ring. Maybe you think you’re not allowed bc you’re an author? You’re totally allowed & welcomed!!!
And if you’re a trans author, please feel free to use the hashtag to do book promotion! We are trying to boost your books! Make it easier for us! Make some content and tag it so we can find it!
Read 4 tweets
Nov 22, 2022
Last week I made a video thread called “Why do they hate us?”, a brief history of anti-Semitism that went viral on ⏰, and I was overwhelmed by the sheer # of people who commented they had no idea that anti-Semitism goes back millennia or had never heard about Blood Libel🧵
I almost didn’t post the videos because the info seems so obvious to me, but of course that’s because I’m Jewish, and many of us are taught our history through our family. Meanwhile Christians have no clue their history has always been inextricably intertwined w/our genocide. 2/
This erasure is extremely relevant, because Christians justified genociding us for at least the last millennia by accusing us of abducting and harming children—blood libel. They accused Romanies of the same. This has been Christians’ genocidal playbook for 1,000+ years. 3/
Read 13 tweets

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