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back to article Jew or not Jew app withdrawn from iTunes

Apple has pulled an app that asked users to judge how Jewish they were after a lawsuit was brought against it in Paris. The app 'Jew or not Jew' has been taken out of all of Apple's app stores globally, after French anti-racism campaigners complained. Apple took the app out of the French app store on 14 September, out of the …

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>"this is not a discrimination case". Muyl added that when Johann Levy conceived his application, he was worried that it would be perceived as too "pro-Jewish".

Someone needs to check the meaning of the word "discrimination" then.

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Anonymous Coward

So was the conclusion that the racism is "anti-gentile" rather than "anti-semitic"?

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Anonymous Coward

Well, Pierre

discrimination is by "using", rather than by "noticing" or by "informing".

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"using" vs "noticing"

So, when exactly did you notice the personnality difference incurred by being "genetically" "fully jewish" (jewish mother) as opposed to "genetically""half jewish" (jewish father)? And where do converts fit in this? "False jews"? Not to mention gentiles*

How is that "noticing" or "informing"? That's schoolbook zionist drivel. It is discrimination. It is certainly not anti-semitism, though.

*(because they are not worth mentionning)

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FAIL

Racist??

I thought a basic tenet of 'being racist' is that you're putting down someone because of their racial background. Surely simply judging someone as more or less Jewish, as long as there's no implied of either state being better in some way, isn't racist?

It's similar to the common idea that pointing out that someone is black (or asian, or 'foreign' in some form) is racist. Of course it's not, it's just stating a clearly visible characteristic. Now if you then go on to make some disparaging comment about that person, BASED ON THEIR RACE, well...

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah, but...

... sadly we abandoned common sense for lowest common denominator prejudice of another kind quite some time ago. Roughly, if you can see any difference between people, at all, ever, you must logically be about to break out into a xenophobic rant. Tedious.

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Pint

Yes racist!!

Why would you 'point out' (nice euphemism) that someone is black or Asian at all? What is the added value? Oh wait! it's exactly that what makes it racist.

You probably meant to say that it would be a nice conversation starter... That I can see.

I grew up in Holland in a multicultural environment with a diversity of people around me and it has helped me understand 'racism' in China when I moved here 8 years ago.

I too met with racism (I'm Caucasian). I've been pointed at, pointed out, shouted at, treated different and even had food thrown at me all because I look different.

These encounters I would treasure because it allowed me to tell my point of view to my middle-school and high-school students in class. We did role playing and I asked situational questions and what would they do if they were in that situation.

What I am trying to say here is that 'understanding' is the key word. Can't we all just get along?

Next beer at the bar is for the person next to me... Whoever he/she is. I don't care.

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Anonymous Coward

re: Can't we all just get along?

Why not? But (perhaps luckily for you) you're not british, so you won't appreciate quite how uncomfortable acknowledging difference in any form has become here. We tried the "joys of multiculturalism" thing, where we supposedly celebrated our differences, but we buggered that up a bit. Then we were encouraged to revel in the "delights of diversity", for a while, but that didn't work out too well either as a few people didn't get with the programme and kept mentioning, rather embarrassingly, that some from "in foreign" were different, so our purse-lipped classes decided enough was enough and we just couldn't be trusted to think at all. So these days we're encouraged to think we're all precisely the same and always have been forever, amen, and never, ever mention difference. Give us a couple more years of re-education and you'll probably be able to stun the entire nation into shocked silence if you innocently ask the bloke next to you in the pub if he's from north of Watford - no-one is from north of anything anymore!

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DN4
WTF?

@Martin Huizing

Nice rant and now please explain how this all is related to an app that, essentially, is a quiz.

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Coat

If you have frequented this pub in the past, you would know that posts have a tendency to divert from the original topic. Scroll up and you will find most posts have nothing to do with the original item.

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Anonymous Coward

@DN4

The quiz, from what I've heard is "How to spot a Jew", does that sound ok to you?

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"Someone needs to check the meaning of the word "discrimination" then."

Yes, they do. Because according to wikipedia, "Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups...". There's no prejudicial treatment here, or actual behaviors towards groups.

Now, I have not seen the app, it could have been in very poor taste, I can't really say.

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Wikipedia (2)

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/citogenesis.png

Almost forgot the obligatory xkcd reference... sorry

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Wikipedia

Can kiss my hairy ass. Propagation of racist predjudices is discrimination, no need to beat up your neighbour contrarily to what The Poor Man's Encyclopedia of American Culture seems to think.

Being "too pro-jewish" (as the app dev admit it is) is not better than being anti-jewish. Why would it be? It's exactly the same thing!

You'll also note that the app is about being jewish, full, half or convert. That's a religious criterion, not an ethnic one, so it's not racism. But it is still discrimination. In fact, the way I see it, it has been fought by the jewish associations because it actually introduces discrimination between jews (full, half, convert). That's hard-line zionism, or at least that what the hard-line zionists use to classify jews by degree of "pureness". Does that vocabulary ring any bell?

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'Liberté' my ass.

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Anonymous Coward

Special case

If it was "Brit or not Brit" involving "do you know hot to cook a toast", or "Scott or not Scott" involving wearing a squirt, everyone would take it light heartedly or wouldn't care, and noone would complain.

But as soon as the J word is mentioned, governments jump to the political correctness guns, and a storm emerges from a teapot.

I've got nothing against jews, but they seriously need to reevaluate their paranoia level. "Oh wait, but remember what happened 60 years ago". Well, I don't hear Ukrainian being systematically outraged despite being starved to death by Stalin at about the same time, or by Cambodians who got decimated too more than 20 years after that.

They should get a blooming sense of humour instead of using the "anti-semitism" trump card every other week.

Now excuse me while I go in hiding, a MOSSAD squad of paratroopers just landed on my roof.

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Anonymous Coward

Err?

You are aware that the Jewish people are on of the most persecuted throughout history? It's not just what happened 60 years ago, but a long time before that and after that. The fact that some people who are Jewish pull the "Anti Semitism" card at the drop of a hat no more proves this than it does disprove it. Some people in any group always have persecution complexes.

The British and the Scottish on the other hand have rarely, if ever, been the victims of oppression except from each other.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF!

So because some (unnamed) French do-gooders complained about an app written by a Jew, all Jews are paranoid?

This is just like liberal-left middle-class white idiots who invent "Wintermas" and other such nonsense so as not to "offend" other religions. No-one asks us (I mean, people of other religions) if we are offended, because they might be offended at being laughed at for being a bunch of sanctimonious busybodies.

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@cricri

It sounds to me like you do indeed have something against Jews.

Oh, and why is 'what happened 60 years ago' such a big deal? Here's thenlong form essay. You didn't ask for it, but you're gonna get it.

Sure, other populations have been subject to terrible things. But relatively speaking, per population, the holocaust was multiples more devastating than any of he others - Stalin's purges, Mao's plans, Pol Pot, fighting in WWII itself even. You could have taken a stroll along the beach during the Normandy invasion and had a far better chance of surviving than you would have being a European Jew in 1939.

It's been a while since I did the numbers so I'm not sure of them (just ask and I'll retrieve them; the PlayBook is not conducive to such things) but a European Jew starting from 1939 had about a 30% chance of surviving the war.

The rates during Stalin's purges and other such horrors were up around 80 to 95%.

The holocaust isn't a big deal because of the number six million, it's a big deal because of the proportions, the way it happened and the specific goal.

The holocaust was not a means to an end - it -was- the end. A government was built, a wondrous technical organization was invented, a whole nation motivated (and consciously so) to achieve it. Other governments killed their citizens because they were political enemies, as collateral in grand endeavors, as cannon fodder. Holocaust victims were killed because they -were-.

Perhaps an internet full of (sometimes quite funny) Nazi humor has made it hard to remember just how bad things were, has made it easy to push all various genocides to the same badness level - rather ironic form of political correctness.

But forgetting the sheer moral horror of an entire country bending together toward the national goal of killing every last Jew, like it was some kind of massive project to clean the highways, is folly.

People often think, 'We've learned our lessons, the Jews aren't attacked anymore, they're totally integrated into society! Usually you don't even know if someone Jewish. And now communications are so good and so fast that this kind of thing is impossible. Maybe there are a couple of right wing politicians who are scary, but they could never gain power. It's not a problem.'

That's all great, but it's almost precisely what Europeans thought in the late '20s.

The warnings have become cliches, but that doesn't mean they're not valid. Once enough people think it was just a bad bit 60 years ago, like any other, once they "don't have a problem with the Jews", it's not a far reach for a eurozone economic collapse and a more talented Jorg Haider to -give- them a problem with the Jews.

In 1935, people didn't say, "Jeez, something could come demolish our ultramodern continent in five years". People in government lost their jobs for thinking it - in 1938.

So, yeah, remembering the Holocaust and WWII as a work apart is important. And getting pissy with "the Jews" for bitching about it is both self-defeating and flat out stupid.

And yeah, an awful lot of this stuff happens to us - no matter what your history-rewriting politically correct, all ethnicities equal in disaster textbook says.

And if the blood libel, pogroms, holocaust, arab wars, and terrorists weren't enough, now we've got you. Seriously, can't we catch a break?!

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Anonymous Coward

Persecuted through history

Well, christians have been persecuted since Roman times. Protestants have been prosecuted in mainland Europe in the middle age. Muslims were slaughtered during the crusades. That goes quite a bit in time as well. But I guess that doesn't count, because we make sure that we describe some rules that only match the group we want to focus on.

"you are anti semite": exactly the paranoia I'm talking about. I don't favour any religion, I'm not religious myself. I don't care if someone believes Jesus/Mohammed/Ron Hubbard is a messiah or not (although with the latter I'm sorry for them)

But hey, labelling someone racist or anti-semitist is great: it automatically makes you win a point.

- Well this guy says this washing machine works great.

- This guy? He's a racist!

- Oh. Then I'll get this other model.

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Anonymous Coward

Also...

It's funny that when I told a Palestinian complaining about Israeli airstrikes that "maybe some fundamentalist palestinians should stop sending some qassam rockets at them" I was called a zionist.

The problem when you see the world and its people in grayscale is that when you discuss with people that only see the world in black and white (like the people above), you'd be called either black or white. E.g. in the case of "Israel bombed some palestinian civilians, which is bad, but then some fundamentalists used their village to launch rockets", palestinians will call you zionists, and Jewish people will call you anti-semite, both at the same time.

It seems that the only way to be respected by everyone is to be dishonest, and just tell the white stuff to the right people at any time. Generally, telling people what they want to hear, even if (especially?) it's only half the truth, will get you far.

And we came all this way because of a dang humorous app!

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Anonymous Coward

@cricri

You should re-read my post. I did not say the things you think I said, and in fact, specifically accounted for and explained several, eg. 'I guess that doesn't count...'.

Hell, the whole point of my post was that while other forms of persecution have been horrible, there are many unique qualities to the holocaust that set it apart - by any objective measure - from other terrible events.

A good example of that is the stomach-turning behavior of SS Officers in the concentration camps - the officers would, just for grins, take womens' babies from them, and force them to watch as they tossed the babies in the air and impaled them on bayonets on the way down. Rinse and repeat until the baby's no fun any more. Then shoot the mother in the head.

Have equally horrible things been done to people before? Sure. But in more brutal times, in poorer and more brutal countries, and most particularly, not sanctioned and organized by a highly advanced society. These types of things were committed by rogue groups, by the semi-independent armies of loosely-organized states.

Until the Nazis, that level of brutality did -not- occur as part of a polished, deliberate campaign, organized at the top level of a government that controlled a modern nation of millions of people.

Imagine David Cameron giving police standing orders to execute anyone they saw on sight and leave the body in the gutter, or officers in the NYPD torturing children in the lobby for the hell of it. Just regular ol' state employees, guys who a few years before had been completely normal people. Three years ago the regular employee had dinner with Jack down the block; now he slices Jack's neck open in front of his family.

That's what makes the Holocaust different. This is not a matter of being sensitive, or saying you or anyone else anti-semitic. It's a reminder that the event should not fade into memory as just another bad bit in the history of the world, because it wasn't, whoever you are. It's a lesson about how easily men can be turned into monsters - and, therefore, how it can easily happen again.

If you doubt my words, read about it. Watch Schindler's List (which portrays the more pleasant side of things). Read more. It will be a horrible experience, but you shouldn't judge as you have without understanding what happened.

I've read things so awful that one page left my stomach in knots for days, things that would prevent this post from going up for sure (if what's here hasn't already). I dread the time when I have to tell my son about it.

But I *must*. And you *must*, as everyone *must*; it's not about what Christians did to Jews, it's about what people did to other people. Fail to understand why, or consider it deprecated and no longer an issue, and you join the world of 1936, gazing at the big, beautiful steel trap as you stroll straight in.

I'd rather not do that. Continue to ignore, and spin, forget, and minimize out of false even-handedness, and not even Merkozy and the ECB can save us from the beautiful steel trap.

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Anonymous Coward

Unsurprisingly, Anglo-saxon audience with no Republican background still doesn't get what the concepts of Citizenship, Equality of Rights and 'Laïcité' are, and how it is important in France to be considered as a citizen rather than being defined as being part of a community. British people are a juxtaposition of communities by history, they are Welsh, Scots, English, Irish and not 'United-Kingdomians' when in France people are French citizen whatever their ethnic origins, and think that making distinction between groups of people is the first step towards discrimination.

What the article also forgets to say is that the Itunes app was giving list of peoples and celebrities based on 'are they jewish or not', and that giving list of people based on their ethnic and/or religious beliefs is a dangerous path that should not be followed.

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My 2 shekels

(IMHO !) Jewish culture has caused Jewish people to always define themselves as separate to, and different from, everyone else.

Sadly, history has shown that this is a double-edged sword : a large number of people over many centuries have reacted by seeing Jewish people as separate to, and different from, 'the rest of us', and we all know about the appalling consequences.

This app seems to be a modern manifestation of that "we're not like you" mentality, so I definitely support its removal, cos it does nothing but promote racism in both directions.

Now let's all get drunk and play ping-pong.

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Does anyone have to be reminded, that, for this app to be banned, it would have had to pass the super-strict apple application vetting process in the first place?

My kindom for an anti-apple logo.

A pear seems to fit the bill.

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Anonymous Coward

So, an identical app with rating by how they are conservative, nerdy, old, tall, atheistic, bad drivers, ... would also have to be pulled?

If you say yes, well, you are mad but at least consistently mad.

If you say no then explain which groups people are permitted to be identified and why.

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