One of the worst aspects of antisemitism surging on the left and right is that each side only speaks out against it to deflect from their own hateHen Mazzig, July 22, 2021
I took this photograph last year, in Washington, DC during the protests following the murder of George Floyd. The photo was recently used by a so-called “progressive” website in a blog post promoting Critical Race Theory, amongst articles that are Anti-Jewish racist (by the United States State Department standard, see below). Accordingly, I terminated the license to use the image, and it was taken down from the site and all related social media assets. Love always wins.
About the photograph and use of my photographs
The photo is part of a series taken on May 31, 2020, showing the deep emotions felt by our communities around racism and the perpetuation of racism by societal institutions.
I allow my photos to be used all over the world to promote pro-human causes
You can see a partial list (the last 100 or so) of the places my photographs have been used. The photograph above has been viewed over 1,300 times, and used appropriately in a respected publication (See: Thank you for publishing my photo, in How to research policing? Talk to people who have been arrested. 4 insights from 150 arrested individuals on the role and reform of the police. | LSE: Impact of Social Sciences)
I review the use of my photographs on a regular basis and in the handful of cases where I deem the use of the photo anti-human (homophobic, transphobic, racist) I’ll terminate the license to use, which is a feature of the Creative Commons license structure. 99.9% of my photographs are used appropriately.
I have taken this action infrequently. This is the first termination based on anti-Jewish racist / antisemitic content.
I am choosing not to link to the actual blog post here since its exact content isn’t relevant to my decision to terminate the license & it doesn’t deserve the traffic.
When using antisemitism as an example is antisemitic
Always be wary of pieces that attempt to compare racism across ethnicities, or really, any human tragedy to another. The author of the post in question went to some length to state they are not trying to make a comparison. My recommendation: don’t make comparisons – some things can’t be compared. If you feel the need to state that you’re not making a comparison, you’re likely making a comparison. Don’t do it.
In the review of the website hosting my photo, more than one article was present that included hateful jargon, word-salad type explanations, and invented-history regarding Jewish and Arab coexistence in the Middle East. I’m not going to link to that piece either. Instead, I’ll share what makes a piece like the ones I saw antisemitic. A great reference is Defining Antisemitism, from the United States Department of State.
Defining antisemitism – United States Department of State
Many of these criteria are met on the publication formerly using my image.
The Department of State has used a working definition, along with examples, of anti-Semitism since 2010. On May 26, 2016, the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding “working definition” of anti-Semitism at its plenary in Bucharest. This definition is consistent with and builds upon the information contained in the 2010 State Department definition. As a member of IHRA, the United States now uses this working definition and has encouraged other governments and international organizations to use it as well.Defining Antisemitism, United States Department of State
- Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
- Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
- Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust
- Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
- Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
- Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
- Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
Anti-Jewish racism is not a part of being progressive and it never will be
For a small number of individuals / organizations, “progressiveness” seems to end when it comes to people who are Jewish. A high profile version of this was the recent “reassignment” of a senior executive in Google’s diversity organization over antisemitic remarks made on a personal blog. A large LGBTQ publication in the UK recently posted an article that supported tolerance of homophobia / transphobia in disputed territories, because, Jewish people. This type of hypocrisy betrays everything we are working for, including everything the people in the photograph above are working for.
A majority of Jewish people in the United States identify with the Democratic party, and as liberal politically. Excluding this population as a group only weakens the cause of all true progressive people everywhere.
As an LGBTQ, humanist physician who is also Jewish, descended from refugee parents, I know anti-Jewish racism is not a part of our movements and it never will be.
At a recent rally in Washington, DC, I was able to capture images of true progressives. Nothing is more beautiful than the human spirit.
True progressives are pro-peace, pro-human. They are not selectively anti-human.
The response to my demand was so courteous (they always are)
As with the handful of license terminations I have served on publications for anti-human use of my images, I received the most courteous reply followed by removal of my image.
Dear Dr. Eytan, The person who maintains the ___ site is out today. We will remove your picture as soon as we possibly can, possibly tonight but definitely by tomorrow. (___ Editorial Board)Courteous message received from publication after demand letter served
These situations seem to reinforce that the offender in each case knows what they are doing is wrong. Maybe I’m relieving them of a burden they don’t want to carry. Either way, I don’t have to tolerate images of the fight for peace and equality being used to promote a fight for genocide and inhumanity.
It’s not what you preach it’s what you tolerate.
If my pro-human images are used to promote anti-Jewish racism, your license to use them will be terminated, too.
Did I mention that love always wins? 🙂