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It's Only Words
Salomon Says

It's Only Words

Should anti-Semitic comments be illegal?

by

Published: March 5, 2011


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Visitor Comments: 85

(85) jean spencer, March 26, 2011 7:40 PM

Words carry ideas; ideas lead to action

Has our system made comedians, sportscasters, right wing commentators or Mel Gibson accountable for anti-Semitic remarks or use of the N word? If the media makes a fuss it is accused of being controlled by Jews. If the NAACP objects it is accused of being too sensitive to racist leanings. When and how will be learn to give up the hate and acknowledge the common humanity and its present day challenges?

(84) Shmuel, March 20, 2011 3:30 PM

C'EST INTERDIT DE DIRE LES MOTS DE HAINE!

YES I AGREE. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT IT IS ALRIGHT TO SAY HATEFUL THINGS ABOUT OTHERS. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH FRANCE OR OTHER COUNTRY WHO SAW FIRST THE HORRORS OF THE THRID RIECH TO HAVE AND EXCUTE SUCH LAWS AGAINST ANTI-SEMITIC COMMENTS. GOOD FOR FRANCE. VIVE LA FRANCE!

(83) Don, March 20, 2011 3:04 AM

Free speech..

Free speech shouldn't be a under question under no sircumstances. Free democratic society can't exist without it. Sadly in this case it showed a hidden reality. Just like Italians say: In vino veritas. italian society has never distanced itselve from their fashist past. Their PM berlusconi even won the ellections after stating that italian concentration camps were "wacation resorts" and people there were "on wacation". Well my granfather said he didn't particularly like the food there (when actually thrown at them). Just imagin german prime misister say something like that. I personally like to know what people think. And in cases of clear threats to my body I usually report those threats. Speech is just one of our freedoms. And as with every right there comes obligations and limitations. But at the end of the day everyone should take care of their own presentation to the world. That person may have made great designs or huge advancement in design etc. But will go into history as an eccentric idiot. As for antisemitism. I call it Jew hatred. I have tried to make rational debate with some of those haters. With very little succes. Then I started to report direct threats. And now I just don't care any more. If someone doesn't like me that's their right. And as long as they don't step on my toes I'll accept it with no problem. If someone doesn't like me for my ancestors then sorry; I have nothing more to tell them.

(82) Ilbert Phillips, March 17, 2011 6:12 AM

It is not possible to define hate speech

Europe has hate speech laws, and individuals are being prosecuted because they point out that the Koran encourges discrimination against non-Jews and supports Jihad, the killing of non-Jews. It is not possible to avoid abuse of such legislation or to draft a law that passes the First Amendement smell test. It sounds good, but is is not. It is too dangerous and will be used against Jews.

(81) Steve Skeete, March 16, 2011 5:49 PM

Hurtful words vs. freedom of speech

I must respectfully disagree with Rabbi Salomon. Free speech is something I have always supported and will always support. By free speech I mean the right to speak one's mind as long as one does not intend, promote, instigate or actually cause harm to another. I am against hate speech legislation, because I have observed how this trend shifts from speech to thought with devastating consequences for people's right to free expression. Example, in some places today certain parts of the Jewish Bible when read publicly are regarded as hateful. A Christian pastor in Australia was actually charged with a "hate-crime" for reading that "one should not lie with a man as one does with a woman" and using this as a basis for saying homosexuality is wrong. Tell me Rabbi, what is hateful about that reading or the interpretation? Should someone have to face prison for that? Once we allow the law to limit what we can say (or read publicly)in one area where will it end?. So yesterday it was the "N" word, today it is the "J" word, tomorrow the "H" word, and on and on. We are encouraging individuals and groups to see themselves as helpless victims, when what we are really doing is allowing the tyranny of some over others. My greatest fear is that once we succeed in stifling opinion and speech (and we are heading there), we end up producing intimidated, cowed and bullied societies. Like Hitler's was? I am not denying that some words hurt, and I am most certainly not supporting persons like Galliano. I am saying, that the hurt words cause, is part of the price we must accept in order to live in a truly free society.

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