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Behind the Aegis

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UK anti-Semitic incidents soar in first half of year – report

The number of recorded anti-Semitic incidents in Britain soared in the first six months of this year compared with 2014, probably due to a surge in reporting among fearful Jews, a report by a Jewish community body said on Thursday.

There were 473 recorded incidents between January and June this year including two classified as “extreme violence”, said the Community Security Trust (CST), which advises Britain’s estimated 260,000 Jews on security.

That represented a 53 percent rise compared to the same period last year, said the CST which has recorded anti-Semitic incidents since 1984.

Across Europe, Jews have warned of a growing undercurrent of anti-Semitism, fuelled by anger at Israeli policy in the Middle East and social tensions over immigration and increasing economic hardship under austerity policies that have helped far-right movements gain popularity.

Those fears were exacerbated in January when an Islamist militant gunman killed four people in a Jewish supermarket in Paris, followed a month later by an attack on Copenhagen’s main synagogue.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jul 31, 2015, 01:10 PM (18 replies)

A brief history of homophobia in Dewey decimal classification

Libraries in more than 138 countries organise their resources according to Dewey decimal classification, or DDC for short. This proprietary system is the most widely used in the world. The DDC number reflects specific subject areas. Browsing shelves for books on similar topics, grouped together to make them easy to find, is both the beauty of and the frustration with the Dewey decimal system.

Once upon a time and yet not so long ago, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) topics have variously been assigned to DDC categories such as Abnormal Psychology, Perversion, Derangement, as a Social Problem and even as Medical Disorders. Is it any wonder that someone browsing ‘similar’ library items in this area could feel alienated?

Addressing inclusion and alienation, in June 2015 Linda Rudell-Betts of the Los Angeles Public Libraries wrote a post on making sure its LGBTI Collection was assigned DDC call numbers from the twenty-second edition, so that its users are not confronted with earlier, demeaning classifications:

Dewey decimal classification (DDC) itself would assign lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and transgender people (LGBTI people) to a call number, 301.4157, as a kind of ‘abnormal sexual relations’ (modified fourteenth edition of the DDC).

Admittedly the fourteenth edition of DDC was published in 1942, but nonetheless, the spectre of earlier hurtful classifications can linger even when improved numbers have been assigned.

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Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jul 25, 2015, 02:42 AM (4 replies)

WATCH: Cardin rips C-SPAN caller who questions his Jewish faith, loyalty to US

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) ripped a caller to C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” on Wednesday who suggested Cardin's Jewish faith poses a conflict of interest with his duties as a U.S. senator.

“I'm normally pretty tolerant to people who ask questions, but I'm not to your assumption,” said Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"I take great offense to that. Our loyalty is to America, our concerns are with America, our religion is our personal business and should have nothing to do with an evaluation from anyone as to our objectivity on issues concerning America,” he said.

---snip---

“Mr. Cardin looks like a regular white guy, nice guy, but in actuality he's a Jewish white guy,” said the caller, identified as Eric from Georgia. “If the public was informed of that by C-SPAN, I think they would take his comments differently.”

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Some things never go out of style.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Jul 19, 2015, 11:11 PM (9 replies)

The international war on LGBT people

As Americans gathered in cities across the country to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage, several thousand Turks also tried to march in support of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Police in Istanbul attacked them with water cannons and rubber pellets. The repression reflected the narrowing of freedom under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; in past years, Turkey was the site of the largest gay pride marches in the Muslim world.

But Turkey is hardly alone in vilifying, isolating and threatening LGBT people. While 25 countries and territories now allow gay marriage, 75 nations treat homosexual behavior as a crime.

In 10 countries, it is punishable by death — and even where it is not, just being gay is often fatal. A May U.N. report found “continuing, serious and widespread human rights violations perpetrated, too often with impunity, against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Since 2011, hundreds of people have been killed and thousands more injured in brutal, violent attacks,” the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reported.

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mahatmakanejeeves
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Jul 13, 2015, 11:17 PM (19 replies)
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