JK Rowling tells victims of anti-Semitism: ‘You aren’t alone’
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JK Rowling tells victims of anti-Semitism: ‘You aren’t alone’

In series of tweets calling for fellow non-Jews to take a stand, Harry Potter author asks, ‘Would response to any other form of racism or bigotry be to squirm, deflect or justify?’

In this July 30, 2016, photo, writer J.K. Rowling poses for photographers upon arrival at gala performance of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' in central London. (Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
In this July 30, 2016, photo, writer J.K. Rowling poses for photographers upon arrival at gala performance of 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,' in central London. (Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling said on Wednesday that it was time for non-Jews to start standing up to anti-Semitism.

In a series of tweets, Rowling expressed solidarity with British Jews, rejecting semantic arguments of anti-Semites.

“Most UK Jews in my timeline are currently having to field this kind of crap, so perhaps some of us non-Jews should start shouldering the burden,” she wrote in response to a tweet saying, “Because Judaism is a religion and not a race.”

Rowling continued, saying, “Antisemites thinks this is a clever argument, so tell us, do: were atheist Jews exempted from wearing the yellow star?”

The best-selling author, who has over 14 million followers on Twitter, said she was “so sorry” to hear examples of anti-Semitism and replied to a Jewish mother who wrote that her children experience it at school, “Know that you aren’t alone and that a lot of us stand with you.”

She rejected all defenses of anti-Semitism, saying the response to anti-Jewish sentiment had to be the same as against any other racism or bigotry.

“Split hairs. Debate etymology. Gloss over the abuse of your fellow citizens by attacking the actions of another country’s government,” she tweeted. “Would your response to any other form of racism or bigotry be to squirm, deflect or justify?”

She also pointed out how illogical some people were who defended their anti-Semitism by saying they were pro-Muslim.

“When you only understand bigotry in terms of “pick a team” and get a mind- boggling response,” she wrote.

Several years ago, Rowling said that one of the wizards at Hogwarts, Anthony Goldstein, was Jewish.

Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain are at an all-time high, with 1,382 incidents recorded in 2017.

The UK Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn have been accused, by its own MPs and others, of failing to properly tackle anti-Semitism within the party.

Luciana Berger, the Jewish Labour MP, said in a Parliament debate on Tuesday, “Anti-racism is one our essential values and there was a time not long ago when the left actively confronted anti-Semitism,” Berger said. “It pains me to say this in 2018 that within the Labour Party anti-Semitism is now more commonplace, is more conspicuous and is more corrosive.”

Fellow Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth also said she had “been the target of a campaign of abuse, attempted bullying and intimidation from people who would dare to tell me that people like me have no place in the party I have been a member of for over 20 years.”

Allegations of Labour anti-Semitism have grown since Corbyn, a pro-Palestinian socialist, was elected leader of Britain’s main opposition party in 2015.

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