Friday (September 16), Apple announced it was removing the “Jew or Not Jew” iPhone/iPad app from the French market, in adherence to French law. According to this article it remains available outside of France, including in the United States, though my own search of Apple apps failed to find it.
(There is by the way Jew or Not Jew website not affiliated with the app. which existed well before the first iPhone was ever sold)
Last week’s post:
[September 15, 2011] SOS Racisme, a French anti-racism group, is threatening to sue Apple if they don’t remove an app called Juif ou pas juif — “Jewish or Not Jewish” — from French iPhones, calling it anti-Semitic. The app, a searchable database of famous figures from around the world that simply answers the obvious question about each of them, also runs afoul of the French criminal law against compiling and distributing personal information about people.
CRIF, the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions — similar to America’s Anti-Defamation League — is also calling for Apple Store France to bar the app.
Most Americans would probably find this app more a waste of time than anything else — but remember, Frenchmen are going to be a bit more sensitive about this sort of thing: it wasn’t all that long ago that France helped round up 76,000 Jews who were then shipped off to almost certain death.
The closest American equivalent to “Jewish or Not Jewish” would probably be a “Gay or Not Gay” app: I have to imagine many gay men and women, even if not strictly hiding their orientations, would feel uncomfortable about finding themselves on a public list.
Of course, I can only speak at a lone, heterosexual Jews; so let’s see what everybody else has to say.
Speaking of naming Jews…