by Roy Bard
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
In one of the debating taboos events, Ralph Nader led the discussion which explored whether there is a double standard in the response to anti-Semitism against Arab-Americans compared with the response to anti-Semitism against Jewish-Americans.
As James Zogby noted:
Some who had been invited to participate in the discussion declined. They acknowledged that “anti-Arabism” and Islamophobia are a problem but dismissed Nader’s formulation of the topic as “utterly misconceived,” “misleading and even tendentious.” They argued that the word “anti-Semitism” can refer only to Jews.
He goes on to argue that “In reality, however, Nader has a point since historically the animus that has inspired bigotry directed against Arabs and Muslims, on the one side, and Jews, on the other, has been cut out of the same cloth.”
The question is a reflection by many Arab-Americans and others that the variety of bigotry against them is treated too lightly by society – from Hollywood to Washington, D.C.
Jack Shaheen, author of “Reel Bad Arabs” and Professor Emeritus of Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
James Zogby, founder and president, Arab American Institute and author of “Arab Voices.”
Kenneth Marcus, Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and former Staff Director at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Josef Olmert, Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina and author of the book “Unraveling the Knot: Between Arab and Jew.”