What anti-semitic slur did Rashida Tlaib use?


On the front page of foxnews.com, there's the article titled:
FOX News: "Rashida Tlaib accused of anti-Semitic slur, days after profane anti-Trump tirade"

However, reading the article, I can't actually find an anti-semitic slur anywhere, and the author of the article does not mention it either.

I suspect she may have said it in a tweet that was since deleted.

Basically, my question is, what slur did she use?


Posted 2019-01-08T02:07:57.177

Reputation: 101



The exact language that is accused of being anti-Semitic is:

"They [Senators pushing a bill to deter US companies from boycotting Israel] forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away."

This tweet was in response to a tweet by Bernie Sanders about a bipartisan bill in the Senate to attempt to make boycotting Israel more difficult. The particular aspect of this that is challenged as anti-Semitic is "they forgot what country they represent", which can be seen at playing in to dog-whistles and stereotypes of Jewish people having two loyalties.

Whether this is antisemitic or not is a difficult question, compounded by most of these senators supporting the bill not being Jewish (that is her line, that it was about the Senators, not Jewish people). In general, distaste for the Israeli government and antisemitism are somewhat difficult to disentangle, and the matter is especially sensitive for someone of Palestinian descent such as Representative Tlaib. Her critics see it as anti-Semitism, her supporters see it as standing up for human rights.

Note that an insinuation or implication can be a slur, although it may not be as obvious as pejorative language.


Posted 2019-01-08T02:07:57.177

Reputation: 2 453

5Wait what!? That's not how the word "slur" is commonly used at all! – Tanosh – 2019-01-08T02:55:50.083

3"an insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo" "words intended to insult someone or injure someone's reputation" "An insinuation or allegation about someone that is likely to insult them or damage their reputation." Not necessarily common usage, but it technically counts as a slur (especially consider: "slurring someone's reputation"). – Eremi – 2019-01-08T03:13:05.237

@Eremi perhaps, but these days slur is almost always used in the context of racial slur or ethnic slur. – corsiKa – 2019-01-08T05:23:28.600

2@corsiKa But it is still sometimes used differently. The Simon Wiesenthal Center eg releases a yearly list of antisemitic incidents which they used to call "Top 10 Anti-Israel/Anti-Semitic Slurs", even though it didn't necessarily contain "slurs" as you understand it. The linked Fox News article also makes it pretty clear that the antisemitic dual loyalty accusations are what the headline is referring to, so I don't think that there are any other "slurs" that the article alludes to but failed to include. – tim – 2019-01-08T07:25:51.437

@tim I'm sorry, are you suggesting that things that are anti-semetic or anti-isreal are somehow not ethnic slurs? – corsiKa – 2019-01-08T07:44:46.730

1@corsiKa No, definitely not. But I think the question in the comments was basically "Is it still a slur if it's not a 'dirty' word?" And the answer to that is yes, while less commonly used that way, slurs can be phrases, sentences, etc which do not necessarily contain any 'dirty' words, but which are intended to insult someone (eg based on race or ethnicity). – tim – 2019-01-08T07:58:16.390

1@corsiKa Are you suggesting that anything anti-Israel is an ethnic slur? – IllusiveBrian – 2019-01-08T13:53:51.113

2@IllusiveBrian - no. But incidentally; anything anti-Israel that is couched in "well i have a good reason because Israel X" that isn't matched by "I'm anti all other countries that X, with equal intensity"; is a strong evidence of likely underlying antisemitic reason (and not being anti X). – user4012 – 2019-01-08T14:29:42.293

@user4012 For US citizens, billions of tax dollars are sent to Israel. Do you not think they have an interest in passing stricter scrutiny on Israel's actions over other nations? – IllusiveBrian – 2019-01-08T15:30:46.667

@IllusiveBrian - have you checked if any other countries get billions of tax dollars? Do you demand equal scrutiny? – user4012 – 2019-01-08T15:50:24.357

2@user4012 Personally, sure. But let's extrapolate this to the person you're talking about. Having a negative opinion about one foreign relationship your country has without being perfectly educated on all of them doesn't make you racist. "Country A does bad things and I don't think we get enough out of the relationship to justify looking the other way, we should stop supporting them" is only racist if Country A is Israel. It's certainly also valid to argue that the US does get it's money's worth out of the relationship, but the discussion should be practical, not dependent on the country. – IllusiveBrian – 2019-01-08T16:41:23.540

2It's also a stretch from "The advocates for this law have dual loyalty to Israel" to "The Joooz have dual loyalty to Israel". The former may be inaccurate or tendentious, but isn't clearly an ethnic slur. The latter most certainly is. I don't think anyone would disagree that spy Jonathan Pollard (an American Jew who spied for Israel, and was tried and sentenced to a long prison term) had dual loyalties; if indeed he had any loyalty towards the USA at all. – Andrew Lazarus – 2019-01-09T03:09:25.413

2@IllusiveBrian there's a substantial propaganda industry devoted to pushing the argument that anything that criticizes the policy or actions of the Israeli government is anti-semitic, yes. – pjc50 – 2019-07-28T15:48:11.977

@user4012 but someone who is against Israel because it does X, who is not also against other countries that do X, might just be unaware of the other countries doing X. So it might not be strong evidence of antisemitism at all. – phoog – 2019-07-28T16:09:56.530

1@corsiKa an antisemitic statement is one thing, but an anti-Israel statement is another. If someone criticizes an action of Greece or Senegal does that imply that the person is racist towards or otherwise prejudiced against Greeks or Senegalese? No. Does a statement that Brexit is a huge mistake, imply prejudice against British people? No. – phoog – 2019-07-28T16:18:39.120