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Accepting apologies for antisemitism must be judged on actions as well as words

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The growing number of stories about people and institutions in public life making antisemitic comments, or having to account for anti-Jewish social media posts from their past, poses a new challenge for the Jewish community: how should we respond to the people at the centre of these stories when they try to apologise?

Two examples of this have been in the news recently. The Royal Court Theatre apologised for giving an obviously Jewish name – Hershel Fink – to a rapacious, exploitative billionaire character in a new play, and their initial apology was deemed unsatisfactory by many. The theatre said this was an error caused by “unconscious bias”, which sounded to a lot of people like a sophisticated way of dodging responsibility for actually thinking up an antisemitic character.

In contrast, the cricketer Azeem Rafiq took full responsibility for antisemitic comments he made on Facebook a decade ago when they were revealed in The Times,........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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