Monday, March 17, 2008

Lee Won-bok's Book: No Antisemitic Passages?

Map of South Korea
A close inspection of this map gives no evidence
of widespread antisemitism in South Korea
(Image from Wikipedia)

The issue of antisemitism in Korea has again surfaced . . . but only here at Gypsy Scholar.

An anonymous Korean has recently read my post of about one year ago on a number of antisemitic remarks by Lee Won-bok and has posted mild disagreement:
Lee's book is very famous book in Korea such as Harry Potter. I am Korean and I read that book. Lee's books are large scale series. japan, german, france, england italia, holand, ..... the book about U.S.A. is only a small part of that book. and to critisie jewsh is only a very small part.

As a whole perspective Lee's book is not anti-semitism book

it is outragous to this book is regarded as antisemitism.

there is no jews and no islam in korea. unlike U.S.A. Jews has no economical political powers in Korea. unlike U.S.A. Europe Russia there is not exist wide spread antisemitism.
I replied, also mildly:
The fame of Lee's book in Korea has no logical connection to the question of whether or not it contains antisemitic statements.

The book does express some antisemitic statements, as has been documented.

As for your following remarks:

"there is no jews and no islam in korea. unlike U.S.A. Jews has no economical political powers in Korea. unlike U.S.A. Europe Russia there is not exist wide spread antisemitism."

No Jews? There are some Jews in Korea, though very few. Anyway, the absence of Jews does not stop people from being antisemitic. Japan also has few Jews but antisemitic books have sold well there. I hope that you are correct about the lack of widespread antisemitism in Korea, but I have seen some antisemitism here, and the political left in Korea tends to express it more than other sectors, in my experience, although some Christians do so as well.

No Islam in Korea? There is a small community of Korean Muslims here in Korea, and there has been since the Korean War due to the influence of the Turkish troops who were part of the UN forces. There are also the foreign workers, many of them Muslim. But what's the connection to the issue of antisemtism? The term "antisemitism" is used to refer to prejudice against Jews.
I haven't yet heard a reply, for I've only just posted my comment at that blog entry, but in case people are interested in recalling this old issue concerning Lee Won-bok or in learning about it for the first time, please visit the following blog entries:
Lee Won-bok: Far Countries and Close Countries (February 17, 2007)
Antisemitism in Korea: Follow-Up (February 18, 2007)
Antisemitism in Korea: Second Follow-Up (February 20, 2007)
Gypsy Scholar Receives a Threat... (February 27, 2007)
"Korean comic author: Jews rule U.S." (February 28, 2007))
These two posts might also have relevance:
'Foreigners' in Korea (April 4, 2007)
Dong-A Ilbo: "America: 2% Jewish, but Manipulated by Jews" (December 17, 2007)
Judge for yourself if Lee Won-bok's statements were antisemitic and if antisemitism is present or absent in South Korea.

UPDATE: Just after posting this entry, I came across two relevant online sites: Sonagi at Marmot's Hole on Rhie (Lee) Won-Bok and an article on an Islamic school in Korea.

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At 1:45 PM, Blogger Malcolm Pollack said...

No Jews? You must be kidding. Just look at that map: Won-ju, Yeo-ju, Sang-ju, Gong-ju, Gwang-ju, Jin-ju, Jeon-ju...

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good Lord, Malcolm! You're absolutely right! How could I have missed that so completely?

And there's even the alcoholic drink known as "soju" that Koreans love like crazy because its so Korean!

Obviously, this place is philosemitic.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:19 PM, Blogger Malcolm Pollack said...

Well, speak o' the divvil! I just saw Phil O'Semitic over on Fifth Avenue, getting ready for today's parade.

At 12:36 AM, Blogger jeanie oliver said...

I actually just now found your web site! I first saw your name on the maverick philosopher's blog and got mixed up. He has to accept you as a comment-or not. I am new to all of this. Please excuse my ignorance. I will check out your stuff. A sound engineer, wow.

At 12:43 AM, Blogger Malcolm Pollack said...

HI Jeanie,

I used to comment frequently at Bill V's place, but my obstinate refusal to drink the dualist Kool-aid began to get on his nerves.

I do more software engineering than sound engineering these days, but yes, I still make a couple of albums a year. Have to keep my hand in.

My apologies, Jeffery, for the stream of non-sequiturs appended to your perfectly serious post.

At 5:45 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Well, Malcolm, what can I expect of a fellow who would leave sound engineering for something as unsound as software engineering?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of something a Chinese student told a reporter a while back, "There is no racism in China because there are no black people."

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That student forgot that the Chinese call even Chinese with darker skin "Blackie," and they prefer lighter-toned people.

Jeffery Hodges

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