Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Is it Racist to Point out Ethnic Favoritism?

The major Israeli newspaper excerpted below thinks not:

"The news that a British law firm is reviewing newspaper coverage of Avraham Grant's appointment as Chelsea manager for racist content should set alarm bells ringing in the United Kingdom. If such a case were to go to court, newspapers could be tried under the Religious and Racial Hatred Act 2006, which prevents incitement to racial hatred.

If it is shown that a newspaper has printed articles that are genuinely racist - that is that they have claimed that Avraham Grant is an unsuitable manager because he is Jewish - then one could understand that a case should be brought against it.

However, the law firm, Teacher Stern Selby, has stated that it is looking into "what may appear to be racist overtones." The gist of this seems to be that some journalists and commentators have suggested that Grant got the job because of his Israeli-Russian heritage.

Since Avraham Grant's arrival in Britain, after a career in the backwaters of football management, he has worked under a Russian Jewish owner at Portsmouth, Alexandre Gaydamak, the son of Betar Jersualem owner Arkady Gaydamak, and then with a Russian Jew at Chelsea, Roman Abramovich.

In the 13 months he has worked in the UK up until last week, he had no experience managing either club. Given the history of fraternalization that exists in both Israel and in Russia, it seems logical to at least question Grant's spectacular rise to power.... However, it seems to be stretching the meaning of the law to claim that journalists who draw this connection are inciting racial hatred.

If Teacher Stern Selby takes this case to court on what has so far been published in the British press, it will indicate that, far from protecting Britain from racial discrimination, the new law could be used in such a way that journalists are afraid to point out discrimination when it is carried out by a minority group, a clear perversion of its original intent.


That Jews "stick together" is of course a stock accusation from antisemites. The Israeli newspaper above is saying "So what if they do?" and denies that it is antisemitic to say so. Given that tribalism is very common in human cultures, that is a reasonable comment.