New antisemitism

New antisemitism is the concept of a new 21st-century form of antisemitism emanating simultaneously from the left, the right, and fundamentalist Islam, and tending to manifest itself as opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel.[1] The term has entered common usage to refer to what some writers describe as a wave of antisemitism that escalated, particularly in Western Europe, after the Second Intifada in 2000, the failure of the Oslo accords, and the September 11, 2001 attacks. [2][3][4] The concept generally posits that much of what purports to be criticism of Israel by various individuals and world bodies is in fact tantamount to demonization, and that together with an international resurgence of attacks on Jewish symbols and an increased acceptance of antisemitic beliefs in public discourse, such demonization represents an evolution in the appearance of antisemitic beliefs.
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Photographed at an anti-war rally in San Francisco on February 16, 2003, this placard mixes anti-imperialist, anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist and anti-globalization imagery with some classic antisemitic motifs. Photograph taken by zombie of [5]
Proponents of the concept argue that anti-Zionism, anti-Americanism, anti-globalization, third worldism, and demonization of Israel or double standards applied to its conduct may be linked to antisemitism, or constitute disguised antisemitism.[2][3] Critics of the concept argue that it conflates anti-Zionism with antisemitism, defines legitimate criticism of Israel too narrowly and demonization too broadly, trivializes the meaning of antisemitism, and exploits antisemitism in order to silence debate. [6][7]


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A Nazi German cartoon circa 1938 depicts Churchill as a Jewish octopus encircling the globe; see article Anti-globalization and anti-Semitism [8]
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The same imagery revived on the cover of the 2001 Egyptian edition of The International Jew by Henry Ford. [9]

The concept of a "new antisemitism" rooted in anti-Zionism was discussed in France during the aftermath of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. French academic Pierre-André Taguieff cites a number of works written on the subject in his La Nouvelle Judéophobie (2002, trans. 2004), including 1968 and 1969 publications from Jacques Givet and Léon Poliakov.[10] Taguieff's own position is that what he calls the "nouvelle judéophobie" of this period was centred in the Arab-Muslim world and the Soviet empire, and was marked by anti-Jewish themes centred on "demonical figures of Israel" and the idea of a "fantasy-world 'Zionism'": that Jews plot together, seek to conquer the world, and are imperialistic and bloodthirsty.[2]

Arnold Forster and Benjamin Epstein, officials of the Anti-Defamation League, published a book entitled The New anti-Semitism in 1974, expressing concern about what they described as new manifestations of antisemitism coming from radical left, radical right, and "pro-Arab" figures in the United States of America.[12] Forster and Epstein argued that "the heart of the new anti-Semitism" was "indifference to the most profound apprehensions of the Jewish people", "a blandness and apathy in dealing with anti-Jewish behavior", and "a widespread incapacity or unwillingness to comprehend the necessity of the existence of Israel to Jewish safety and survival throughout the world".[13] Reviewing Forster and Epstein's work in Commentary, Earl Raab argued that a "new anti-Semitism" was indeed emerging in the America, in the form of opposition to the collective rights of the Jewish people. However, Raab criticized Forster and Epstein for conflating "anti-Israel bias in general" with antisemitism, and for "sometimes interpret[ing] the failure to be pro-Israel as anti-Semitism".[14] New York Post columnist James Wechsler described the book's authors as "grievously flavored by an intolerance of their own in equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism." Wechsler wrote that Forster and Epstein included criticisms of contemporary figures such as J. William Fulbright and columnists Evans and Novak alongside the 1930s-era anti-Semitic figure Gerald L.K. Smith. Wechsler argued that Forster and Epstein "do not explicitly apply the label 'anti-Semitic' to [Fulbright, Evans and Novak]. But the context in which the attack appears, indeed their inclusion in the volume, carries, to borrow their words, 'an unmistakable message' and an inescapable 'innuendo.'"[15]

Radical left-wing movements voiced increasing opposition to Israel after the 1967 war, controversially claiming that Zionism was a racist and colonialist movement. The historian Robert Wistrich addressed this subject in a 1984 lecture delivered in the home of Israeli President Chaim Herzog. Wistrich argued that a "new anti-Semitic anti-Zionism" was emerging, distinguishing features of which were the equation of Zionism with Nazism and the belief that Zionists had actively collaborated with Nazis during World War II. He argued that such claims were prevalent in Soviet Union, but added that "grotesque Soviet blood-libels" of this sort had been taken up more recently by a part of the radical Left, particularly Trotskyist groups in Western Europe and America.[16] During the same period, former Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban argued that "the New Left is the author and progenitor of the new anti-Semitism."[17] The radical left generally rejected this assessment. In 2004, former Trotskyist Tariq Ali wrote that most pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist groups that emerged after 1967 war "were careful to distinguish between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism".[18]

Reports of a left/right convergence

Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, an American research group that tracks the far right, writes that, during the early 1980s, isolationists on the far right made overtures to anti-war activists on the left to join forces against government policies in areas where they shared concerns,[19] mainly civil liberties, opposition to U.S. military intervention overseas, and opposition to U.S. support for Israel.[20] [21]

Berlet argues that as they interacted, some of the classic right-wing anti-Semitic scapegoating conspiracy theories began to seep into progressive circles, [20] including stories about how a "New World Order", also called the "Shadow Government" or "The Octopus," [19] was manipulating world governments. Berlet writes that antisemitic conspiracism [22] was "peddled aggressively" by right-wing groups, and that the left adopted the rhetoric, which Berlet argues was made possible by the left's lack of knowledge of the history of fascism and its use of "scapegoating, reductionist and simplistic solutions, demagoguery, and a conspiracy theory of history." [20]

Toward the end of 1990, as the movement against the Gulf War began to build, Berlet writes that a number of far-right and antisemitic groups sought out alliances with left-wing anti-war coalitions, who began to speak openly about a "Jewish lobby" that was encouraging the United States to invade the Middle East. This idea morphed into conspiracy theories about a "Zionist-occupied government" (ZOG), which Berlet writes is the modern incarnation of the antisemitic hoax, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. [19] Berlet adds: "It is important to recognize that as a whole the antiwar movement overwhelmingly rejected these overtures by the political right, while recognizing that the attempt reflected a larger ongoing problem." He cites the example of Wisconsin anti-war activist Alan Ruff, who appeared on a panel in Verona to discuss the Gulf War. Also on the panel on the anti-war side was another local activist, Emmanuel Branch. "Suddenly I heard Branch saying the war was the result of a Zionist banking conspiracy," said Ruff. "I found myself squeezed between pro-war hawks and this anti-Jewish nut, it destroyed the ability of those of us who opposed the war to make our point." [20]

Berlet writes that "promotion of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories by the Christic Institute, the Pacifica Radio network, and scores of alternative radio stations, has created a large audience, especially on the West Coast, that gullibly accepts undocumented anti-government assertions alongside scrupulous documented research, with little ability to tell the two apart," and warns his fellow activists on the left to "be very careful to examine the backgrounds and ideologies of those groups with which we seek to build coalitions." [20]

Arguments for and against the concept

A new phenomenon

Poster at San Francisco State University resurrects the blood libel: "Palestinian Children Meat", "Made in Israel" and "slaughtered according to Jewish Rites under American license."
Jack Fischel, chair of history at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, writes that the new anti-Semitism is a new phenomenon stemming from what he calls an "unprecedented coalition" of enemies: "leftists, vociferously opposed to the policies of Israel, and right-wing antisemites, committed to the destruction of Israel, [who] were joined by millions of Muslims, including Arabs, who immigrated to Europe ... and who brought with them their hatred of Israel in particular and of Jews in general." It is this new political alignment, he argues, that makes new antisemitism unique. [23] Mark Strauss of the political magazine Foreign Policy links it to anti-globalism, describing it as "the medieval image of the 'Christ-killing' Jew resurrected on the editorial pages of cosmopolitan European newspapers. It is the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement refusing to put the Star of David on their ambulances ... It is neo-Nazis donning checkered Palestinian kaffiyehs and Palestinians lining up to buy copies of Mein Kampf." [24]

The French philosopher Pierre-André Taguieff argues that Judenhass based on racism and nationalism has been replaced by a new form based on anti-racism and anti-nationalism. He identifies some of its main features as the use of anti-racism for anti-Jewish purposes, identifying Zionism as racism; the use of material related to Holocaust denial becomes an ordinary feature of discourse e.g. doubts about the number of victims, allegations of a Holocaust industry; discourse is borrowed from third worldism, anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, anti-Americanism, and anti-globalization; there is widespread dissemination of what he calls the "myth" of the "intrinsically good Palestinian — the innocent victim par excellence. [25]

In part because the concept of new antisemitism is a recent one, and because of the nature of it, there are no indices of measurement, according to Irwin Cotler, Professor of Law at McGill University, and Canada's former Justice Minister. [26] Cotler defines classical antisemitism as "the discrimination against, or denial of, the right of Jews to live as equal members of a free society," the focus of which is discrimination against Jews as individuals. He argues that the new antisemitism, by contrast, "involves the discrimination against the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations"; that is, discrimination against Jews as a people. He argues that antisemitism has expanded from hatred of Jews (classical antisemitism) to hatred of Jewish national aspirations (new antisemitism). [26] The latter is hard to measure because the usual indices used by governments to detect discrimination — standard of living, housing, health, and employment — are useful only in measuring discrimination against individuals. Because it is difficult to measure, Cotler argues, it is difficult to show convincingly that the concept is a valid one.

Swedish writer and former Deputy Prime Minister Per Ahlmark has written, "Anti-Zionism today is very similar to antisemitism. Anti-Zionists agree that other peoples have the right for national aspirations and defensible states. But they reject the right of the Jewish people for its own national awareness, manifested in the state of Israel and in its security. Therefore, they do not judge Israel with the same values that other states are being judged with. This discrimination against the Jews is called antisemitism."[27]

A new phenomenon, but not antisemitism

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Dr. Brian Klug argues that the new prejudice is not antisemitism, new or old; not a mutation of an existing virus, but "a brand new 'bug'." [28]
That there has been a resurgence of antisemitic attacks and attitudes is accepted by most opponents of the concept of new antisemitism. [29] What is not accepted is that this constitutes a different kind of antisemitism.

Brian Klug, senior research fellow in philosophy at St Benet's Hall, Oxford — who gave expert testimony in February 2006 to a British parliamentary inquiry into antisemitism in the UK, and in November 2004 to the Hearing on Anti-Semitism at the German Bundestag — argues against the idea that there is a "single, unified phenomenon" that could be called "new" antisemitism. He accepts that there is reason for the Jewish community to be concerned, citing the truck-bombing of two synagogues in Istanbul, an arson attack on an Orthodox Jewish school in Paris, the reappearance of anti-Semitic slogans during demonstrations opposing the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the increase in conspiracy theories involving Jews. He writes that some researchers report a 60 percent increase worldwide of assaults on Jews in 2002 compared to the previous year. [30]

Klug argues that the antisemitism involved in such incidents is not a new phenomenon but "classical" antisemitism, and that "it is closer to the truth to say that anti-Zionism today takes the form of anti-Semitism rather than the other way round." Proponents of the new antisemitism concept, he writes, see an "organizing principle" that allows them to formulate a new concept, but it is only in terms of this concept that many of the examples cited in evidence of it count as examples in the first place. [30] That is, the creation of the concept may be based on a circular argument or tautology. He argues that it is an unhelpful concept, because it devalues the term "anti-Semitism," leading to widespread cynicism about the use of it, which undermines the credibility of those who fight it. People of goodwill who support the Palestinians resent being falsely accused of being anti-Semites. [28]

Klug defines classical antisemitism as "an ingrained European fantasy about Jews as Jews," arguing that whether Jews are seen as a race, religion, or ethnicity, and whether antisemitism comes from the right or the left, the antisemite's image of the Jew is always as "a people set apart, not merely by their customs but by their collective character. They are arrogant, secretive, cunning, always looking to turn a profit. Loyal only to their own, wherever they go they form a state within a state, preying upon the societies in whose midst they dwell. Mysteriously powerful, their hidden hand controls the banks and the media. They will even drag governments into war if this suits their purposes. Such is the figure of 'the Jew,' transmitted from generation to generation." [32]
[W]hen anti-Semitism is everywhere, it is nowhere. And when every anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, we no longer know how to recognize the real thing--the concept of anti-Semitism loses its significanceBrian Klug [33]
He argues that, although it is true that the new antisemitism incorporates the idea that anti-Semitism is hostility to Jews as Jews, the source of the hostility has changed; therefore, to continue using the same expression for it — antisemitism — causes confusion. Today's hostility to Jews as Jews is based on the Arab-Israeli conflict, not on ancient European fantasies. Israel proclaims itself as the state of the Jewish people, and many Jews align themselves with Israel for that very reason. It is out of this alignment that the hostility to Jews as Jews arises, rather than hostility to Israelis or to Zionists. Klug agrees that it is a prejudice, because it is a generalization about individuals; nevertheless, he argues, it is "not rooted in the ideology of 'the Jew'," and is therefore a different phenomenon from antisemitism. [28]

According to Klug, the problem with calling this new prejudice "new antisemitism" is that it gives the impression of an ideological continuum from religious to racial to "new" antisemitism. Klug writes that religious antisemitism mutated into racial antisemitism, and that the latter was clearly a variation on a pre-existing theme. Not so with the new phenomenon, he argues, which has entirely different origins and content. It is not a mutation of an existing virus, but "a brand new 'bug'." [28]

That is, Klug argues that there are three distinct components of what some scholars are calling "new antisemitism":
  • Antisemitism, a prejudice that is based on the stereotypical construction of 'the Jew';
  • Anti-Zionism and antagonism to Israel, based on a political cause or moral code, and not anti-Jewish per se;
  • Prejudice against all Jews that is derived from the latter. [28]
The discourse of the new antisemitism conflates these, he argues, leading not only to the branding as anti-Semitic of legitimate political views about Israel, but to inflated estimates of the scale of antisemitic incidents. The line between "fair and foul" criticism of Israel tends to be drawn in such a way that it rules out criticism "that goes much beyond a gentle rap across the [Israeli] government's knuckles or finger-wagging at the laws of the land." If most anti-Zionist arguments do cross the line, and if crossing the line is antisemitic, it follows that most attacks on Israel are antisemitic, as is any attack on a Jewish target that is inspired by the line that has been crossed. This is compelling logic, writes Klug, but the effect of it is "to produce, at a stroke, a quantum leap in the amount of antisemitism worldwide, if not a veritable 'war against the Jews'," given how much controversy Israel currently inspires. [34] He argues that crossing the line from fair to foul is a normal part of political debate. Pro-Israelis aren't necessarily racists when they do it; pro-Palestinians are not necessarily anti-Semites when they do. Jumping to conclusions about people's prejudices is itself a form of prejudice. [28]

Klug writes that contemporary antisemitism can be identified by looking for the use of the antisemitic figure of 'the Jew'. Whenever a text or image projects this figure (a) onto Israel because Israel is a Jewish state; (b) onto Zionism because Zionism is a Jewish movement; or (c) onto Jews as individuals or a group in association with Israel or Zionism, then it is antisemitic. [28]

In his conclusion to "The Myth of the New anti-Semitism" Klug argues that the tendency to elevate anti-Zionism into a "new" anti-semitism trivalizes the concept of anti-Semitism and threatens to make it meaningless. "[W]hen anti-Semitism is everywhere, it is nowhere. And when every anti-Zionist is an anti-Semite, we no longer know how to recognize the real thing--the concept of anti-Semitism loses its significance".[35]

Rabbi Michael Lerner, a spiritual leader and liberal activist, also says that there is no new antisemitism. He claims that he and like-minded activists have been termed "self-hating Jews" by those who charge that new antisemitism exists, and fears that "[w]hen this bubble of repression of dialogue explodes into open resentment at the way Jewish Political correctness has been imposed, it may really yield a 'new' anti-Semitism."[7]

The Klug/Wistrich correspondence

In correspondence with Klug, Robert Wistrich, Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of its International Center for the Study of Antisemitism — who also testified in February 2006 to the British parliamentary inquiry — responds that his own litmus test of when criticism of Israel becomes antisemitism is when the critic wishes to dismantle the Jewish state without calling for the dismantling of other states; demonizes Israel; brands it "Nazi" or "racist"; or relies on classic antisemitic stereotypes: for example, the "Jewish Lobby." He notes that Britain's Association of University Teachers voted to boycott Israeli universities, but not Russian academics for the Chechen atrocities, China for its occupation of Tibet, Saudi Arabian universities for "gender apartheid," or Palestinian universities for "glorifying jihadi terrorism." These decisions are "inexplicable without taking anti-Semitism into account," he writes. Wistrich also takes issue with the notion that Israelis are European interlopers in the Middle East; they are an "aboriginal people returning to their historic homeland and source of national identity." He argues that half the Israeli population is not European anyway, but was "uprooted from the Arab Middle East by exclusivist pan-Arabism, Islamic fanaticism, and the pressures of decolonization." [36] He writes:

[S]ixty years ago, there were more than a million Jews in Arab lands. Their exodus says it all. Israel integrated them, providing a haven, pride, dignity and freedom as it did for the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. Palestinian refugees, on the other hand, were left to rot in UN refugee camps by their Arab brethren, fed with revanchist delusions about their inalienable "right of return" to Israel. If the Middle East tragedy is to be resolved, it is these camps – the seedbed of terrorism and an entire culture of hatred – which have to be dismantled and not the thriving Jewish state. [36]

Klug agrees that it is "simplistic" to regard Israel as an interloper in the Middle East, but that nevertheless it is how the Jewish state has "looked through Arab eyes." The view that Jews are "an aboriginal people returning to their historic homeland" is equally one-sided, he argues, and is just one version of the Zionist point of view. Both sides must grasp what he calls this "clash of perspectives" and stop relying on one-sided accounts. Klug sums up his own view of when criticism of Israel becomes antisemitism:

Seen through the eyes of an anti-semite, Jews are essentially alien, powerful, cohesive, cunning, parasitic, and so on. Opposition to Israel or its government is anti-Semitic when it employs some variation or other of this fantasy – just as criticism of Arabs is racist when it is based on the stock figure of the Arab as cunning, lying and degenerate, or as a hateful terrorist who attaches no value to human life. [36]

Wistrich argues there is a "continuum of prejudice" against Jews that can lead from social discrimination to ghettoization and worse, and that Klug "radically underestimates" the effects of the liberal-left delegitimization of Zionism. "What we have seen in recent years is indeed a new form of anti-Semitism operating under a humanist façade which (falsely) pillories Israel and Jews as being inherently 'racist'." Wistrich writes that anti-Semitism is now driven by "Islamists who set the tone" by demonizing America, Israel, and the Jews, while "the media, the academic, artistic, religious and political elites in the European Union meekly follow suit." [36]

Klug agrees that the "continuum of prejudice" exists, but argues that it is part of European history, not Middle Eastern; and that Zionism was the response to it, the empowerment of the powerless. He writes that the Zionist movement succeeded, and Israel is now a major power. For that very reason, he argues, when people object to the way it exercises its power, it should not be regarded as antisemitism. [36]

Criticism of Israel is not necessarily antisemitism

Earl Raab, founding director of the Nathan Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy at Brandeis University writes that "[t]here is a new surge of antisemitism in the world, and much prejudice against Israel is driven by such antisemitism," but argues that "charges of antisemitism based on anti-Israel remarks alone have proven to lack credibility in most circles". He adds that "a grave educational misdirection is imbedded in formulations suggesting that if we somehow get rid of antisemitism, we will get rid of anti-Israelism. This reduces the problems of prejudice against Israel to cartoon proportions." Raab describes prejudice against Israel as a "serious breach of morality and good sense," and argues that it is often a bridge to antisemitism, but distinguishes it from antisemitism as such. [37]

Steven Zipperstein, professor of Jewish Culture and History at Stanford University, argues that a belief in the State of Israel's responsibility for the Arab-Israeli conflict is considered "part of what a reasonably informed, progressive, decent person thinks," [38] and a disproportionate criticism of Israel is not the result of new anti-Semitism, or even classical anti-Semitism, but is simply a "by-product of the wildly disproportionate responses that mark the post-September 11 world." [39] Zipperstein writes that "anti-Israelism" is shaped by "a much distorted, simplistic, but this-worldly political analysis devoid of anti-Jewish bias." [39]

He argues that Jews have a tendency to see the State of Israel as "more vulnerable, less powerful, and less culpable, as victim and not as an actor" because they were very recently themselves "the quintessential victims." [39] He writes that: "We were mostly undefended and overwhelmingly friendless, and this trauma continues to haunt and perhaps at times to distort our sense of the world around us now. When we encounter antagonism — especially outsized, disproportionate antagonism — the memories of horrible times, whether personally experienced or imbibed secondhand, elicit reactions that are often sincere, acute, and disorienting." [40]

The third wave

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Professor Bernard Lewis argues that the new anti-Semitism — what he calls "ideological anti-Semitism" — has mutated out of religious and racial anti-Semitism.
Bernard Lewis, Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, argues that the new antisemitism represents the third or "ideological" wave of antisemitism, the first two waves being religious antisemitism and racial antisemitism, respectively. [41]

Lewis defines antisemitism as a special case of prejudice, hatred, or persecution directed against people who are in some way different from the rest. According to Lewis, antisemitism is marked by two distinct features: Jews are judged according to a standard different from that applied to others, and they are accused of "cosmic evil." Thus, "it is perfectly possible to hate and even to persecute Jews without necessarily being anti-Semitic" unless this hatred or persecution displays one of the two features specific to antisemitism. [41]

He writes that what he calls the first wave of antisemitism arose with the advent of Christianity because of the Jews' rejection of Jesus as Messiah. The second wave, racial anti-Semitism, emerged in Spain when large numbers of Jews were forcibly converted, and doubts about the sincerity of the converts led to ideas about the importance of "la limpieza de sangre", purity of blood. [42]

Lewis associates the third wave with the Arabs, and writes that it arose only in part because of the establishment of the State of Israel. Until the 19th century, Muslims had regarded Jews with what Lewis calls "amused, tolerant superiority" — they were seen as physically weak, cowardly, and unmilitary — and although Jews living in Muslim countries were not treated as equals, they were shown a certain amount of respect. The Western form of anti-Semitism — what Lewis calls "the cosmic, satanic version of Jew hatred" — arrived in the Middle East in several stages, beginning with Christian missionaries in the 19th century, and continued to grow slowly into the 20th century, up to the establishment of the Third Reich. He writes that it increased because of the humiliation of the Israeli military victories of 1948 and 1967. (See 1948 Arab-Israeli War and Six Day War.) [42]

Into this mix entered the United Nations. Lewis argues that the United Nations' handling of the 1948 refugee situation convinced the Arab world that discrimination against Jews was acceptable. When the ancient Jewish community in East Jerusalem was evicted and its monuments desecrated or destroyed, they were offered no help. Similarly, when Jewish refugees fled or were driven out of Arab countries, no help was offered, but elaborate arrangements were made for Arabs who fled or were driven out of the area that became Israel. All the Arab governments involved in the conflict announced that they would not admit Israelis of any religion into their territories, but the United Nations did not protest; and furthermore announced that they would not give visas to Jews, no matter which country they were citizens of. Again, the United Nations did not protest. All of this has sent what Lewis calls a "clear message" to the Arab world. Lewis writes that this third wave of antisemitism has in common with the first wave that Jews are able to be part of it. With religious antisemitism, Jews were able to distance themselves from Judaism and convert, and Lewis writes that some even reached high rank within the church and the Inquisition. With racial antisemitism, this was not possible, but with the new, ideological antisemitism, Jews are once again able to join the critics. The new antisemitism also allows non-Jews, he argues, to criticize or attack Jews without feeling overshadowed by the crimes of the Nazis. [42]

The fourth wave since 1945

Yehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writes that there have been three waves of anti-Semitism since 1945 — 1958-60; 1968-1972; and 1987-1992 — and that we are now experiencing the fourth, which he estimates started in 1999 or 2000. [43] Each wave has had different causes, some of them to do with economic downturns, though the common ground has been "an underlying latency of anti-Semitism that waits to explode when aroused by some outside crisis." [44] He describes the fourth wave as an upper-middle class, intellectual phenomenon, "widespread in the media, in universities, and in well-manicured circles.

Bauer notes that the two crises that led to the post-1945 waves of antisemitism are the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. The Holocaust created an unease about Jews, he writes, especially in Europe, where people "have to live with six million ghosts, created by a deadly mutation of European culture." [44] Although a feeling of relief accompanied the creation of Israel, because Europeans no longer had to deal with the Jews, at the same time, he argues, it turned the Jews from victims into perpetrators. He argues that the Arab-Israeli conflict "provide[s] ample material for an antisemitism that sees itself as anti-Zionist." Anti-Zionism need not be deemed antisemitic, "but only if one says that all national movements are evil, and all national states should be abolished. But if one says that the Fijians have the right to independence, and so do the Malays or the Bolivians, but the Jews have no such right, then one is anti-Jewish, and as one singles out the Jews for nationalistic reasons, one is anti-Semitic, with an attendant strong suspicion of being racist." Citing Irwin Cotler, Bauer writes that "the status of the collective Jew, that is Israel, is akin to the status of the individual Jew in the Middle Ages." [45]

Although the Arab-Israeli conflict has produced real tragedy for Palestinians, Bauer suggests that Western latent antisemitism has fastened onto that tragedy in order to brand the Jews as mass murderers and Nazis as a way of solving the West's own psychological problems caused by the Holocaust. "Facts do not matter there," he writes, arguing that the number of Palestinians killed between the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000 and 2003 (when he was writing) was around 2,000, which is one sixth of the daily number of Jews shipped to Auschwitz from Hungary in the spring of 1944. Bearing these figures in mind, "[a]ny kind of simplistic comparison becomes totally ridiculous," he argues. [46]

Bauer regards this wave of antisemitism as dangerous because of Islamism. He identifies Islamism as one of three major ideologies to have emerged during the 20th century, alongside Soviet Communism and National Socialism, [47] and argues that all three saw or see the Jews as a main enemy. [48] The language used about Jews by the Muslim media is, he says, "clearly and unmistakably genocidal," the ideology of Nazism "in a different dress."[49] He cites a television program broadcast on May 2, 2002 on the Egyptian television station IQRAA, during which a three-year-old girl was asked whether she knew who the Jews were and whether she liked them. She replied that she did not like them, because "they are monkeys and swine ... and also because they tried to poison the wife of our prophet." [49] Bauer writes that 1.2 billion Muslims are being exposed to these teachings, making this fourth wave of antisemitism a "genocidal threat to the Jewish people." [50]

A contradictory political ploy

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Dr. Norman Finkelstein argues that Israel's supporters deny a causal relationship between Israeli policies and hostility toward Jews, because "if Israeli policies, and widespread Jewish support for them, evoke hostility toward Jews, it means that Israel and its Jewish supporters might themselves be causing anti-Semitism; and it might be doing so because Israel and its Jewish supporters are in the wrong". [51]
Norman Finkelstein, a political scientist at DePaul University, has criticized the concept of new antisemitism. He argues that organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League have brought forward charges of "new antisemitism" at varied intervals since the 1970s, "not to fight antisemitism but rather to exploit the historical suffering of Jews in order to immunize Israel against criticism". [52] He has criticized much of the recent literature on the subject, including works by Phyllis Chesler, Gabriel Schoenfeld and Ron Rosenbaum. [53]

Finkelstein writes that what is currently called the new antisemitism consists of three components: (i) "exaggeration and fabrication", (ii) "mislabeling legitimate criticism of Israeli policy," and (iii) "the unjustified yet predictable spillover from criticism of Israel to Jews generally". [54] Finkelstein argues that most evidence purporting to show a new anti-Semitism has been taken from "organizations directly or indirectly linked to Israel or having a material stake in inflating the findings of anti-Semitism" and that some anti-Semitic incidents reported in recent years either did not occur or were misidentified. [55] He draws attention to the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia's 2003 report on antisemitism, which included displays of the Palestinian flag, support for the PLO, and allegations of Israeli apartheid in its list of antisemitic activities and beliefs. [56]

Finkelstein argues that much recent hostility toward Israel and its "vocal Jewish supporters abroad" has been misinterpreted as resulting from "an irrational, inexplicable, and ineluctable" hatred of Jews, rather than from opposition to Israel's actions against the Palestinians. He writes that "Israel's apologists" have denied a causal relationship between Israeli policies and hostility toward Jews, since "if Israeli policies, and widespread Jewish support for them, evoke hostility toward Jews, it means that Israel and its Jewish supporters might themselves be causing anti-Semitism; and it might be doing so because Israel and its Jewish supporters are in the wrong". [51] Finkelstein notes that Jewish figures such as George Soros and Avraham Burg, who have argued that such a causal relationship exists, have been criticized by groups such as the ADL and the World Jewish Congress. [51]

Finkelstein acknowledges that "[i]n some quarters anger at Israel's brutal occupation has undoubtedly slipped over to an animus against Jews generally", a phenomenon that he describes as "lamentable" but "hardly cause for wonder." [58] The wars in Vietnam and Iraq contributed to anti-Americanism, and the aggression of Nazi Germany gave rise to anti-Teutonic sentiment. Why does it surprise us, he asks, that an occupation by a self-declared Jewish state should cause antipathy towards Jews? The only surprise, he argues, is that the antipathy does not run deeper, given that mainstream Jewish organizations offer uncritical support to Israel, that Israel defines itself juridically as the sovereign state of the Jewish people, and that Jews themselves sometimes argue that to distinguish between Israel and world Jewry is itself an example of antisemitism.[59]

Political directions

The far right and Islamism

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This 2005 Syrian edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion repeats the blood libel that Jews use the blood of gentile children to bake matzos on Passover." [60]

The September 2006 British "All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism" heard evidence from Searchlight, the anti-fascist magazine, that: "the far right have started to use 'Zionists' as a euphemism for 'Jews,' to disguise their anti-Semitism, a phenomenon that also occurs on the left and among Islamist extremists." [61] The British National Party's Voice of Freedom wrote of the war in Iraq that "Tony Blair swapped British blood for donations from a clique of filthy-rich Zionist businessmen." [61] The Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) has cited the Talmud as a "Zionist holy book," [62] and describes Zionism as an "octopus that now penetrates every western nation and pushes it to start world war three against Muslims," [62] an antisemitic motif used by the Nazis.

The report describes a "symbiotic relationship" between Islamists and the far right,[62] united in their hatred of Jews, Zionism, and Israel. [63] The inquiry saw evidence of the shared use of materials, such as the same newspaper articles appearing on the MPACUK and white nationalist websites. MPACUK published a photograph of George Bush standing next to the Israeli flag, adding the caption: "Some say Lobbying the Government doesn't make a difference. We humbly disagree," while the National Front used the same photograph, with the caption: "There is no Zionist conspiracy." Islamist and far right groups also share Holocaust denial literature, and the organizations' websites publish each other's authors. [63]

Edward Said, the late Palestinian-American literary theorist, warned of a "nasty, creeping wave of antisemitism" insinuating itself into Palestinian politics, writing that the "notion that the Jews never suffered and that the Holocaust is an obfuscatory confection ... is one that is acquiring too much, far too much, currency". [64] Hamas, the majority party of the Palestinian Legislative Council, has called the Holocaust "an alleged and invented story with no basis." [65] Political scientist George Michael writes that the statements by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Holocaust is a "myth" and that Israel should be "wiped off the map" were met with public approval from Hamas, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, American white supremacist David Duke, and the Institute for Historical Review, a leading Holocaust-denial group. [66]

Michael cites as an example of the new Islamist/far right alliance the March 2001 conference in Beirut, Lebanon on "Revisionism and Zionism," organized by the Institute for Historical Review, where there was a plan to present lectures in English, French, and Arabic. The Lebanese government cancelled the conference after protests from Jewish groups and the American government, but a smaller meeting was held in May 2001 in Amman, Jordan. [67]

Michael writes that Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, has been at the forefront of efforts to foster cooperation between the far right and the Islamic world, in what Michael calls a "cross-fertilization of rhetoric" against Zionism, Jews, and Israel. [66] Duke presented two lectures in Bahrain in 2002 entitled "The Global Struggle against Zionism," and "Israeli Involvement in September 11," after being invited by the Discover Islam Center, an Islamist group who admired the anti-Semitic rhetoric on Duke's website. Duke told Michael: "The ADL issued a protest to Bahrain [saying] 'How can they have a white supremacist in Bahrain?' But the people in Bahrain understand very well that I am not a white supremacist and that I am a European American who wants to preserve my heritage ... but the real danger to all heritages is Jewish supremacism ..." [68]

In November 2005, Duke addressed a rally in Syria, saying "It saddens my heart to tell you that part of my country is occupied by Zionists, just as part of your country, the Golan Heights, is occupied by Zionists. [They] occupy most of the American media and now control much of the American government ... It is not just the West Bank of Palestine, it is not just the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists, but Washington D.C. and New York and London and many other capitals of the world. Your fight for freedom is the same as our fight for freedom." [69] In an interview with Syrian television, Duke said that "Jewish supremacists" are in control of the U.S. government and that "Israel makes the Nazi state look very, very moderate." [70]

The left and anti-Zionism

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Alan Johnson, Eve Garrard, Nick Cohen, Shalom Lappin, and Norman Geras at the launch of the Euston Manifesto in 2006. They wrote that anti-Zionism has "developed to a point where supposed organizations of the Left are willing to entertain openly anti-Semitic speakers and to form alliances with anti-Semitic groups."[71]
Those who argue in favor of the centrality of the left to the new anti-Semitism say that anti-Zionism may function as a proxy for anti-Semitism, allowing a socially acceptable opposition to the Israeli state to be espoused, rather than a socially unacceptable religious or ethnic hatred. At the same time, genuine grievances against Israel stemming from the Arab-Israeli conflict may become anti-Semitic in character and may manifest themselves as hostility toward Jews in general. [72][73]

Historian Robert Wistrich argues that "left-leaning Judeophobes ... never call themselves 'anti-Semitic.' Indeed, they are usually indignant at the very suggestion that they have anything against Jews. Such denials notwithstanding, they are usually obsessed with stigmatizing Israel ..." [74] Wistrich adds that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic — his checklist to identify the "anti-Semitic wolf in anti-Israeli sheep's clothing" includes the singling-out by writers of the "Jewish lobby" or the "Jewish vote"; complaining about Jewish solidarity with Israel; gratuitous emphasis on Jewish wealth or alleged Jewish control of the media; calls for economic boycotts directed exclusively against Israeli products and academic institutions; and the assertion that Jews reject all criticism as anti-Semitic. [74]

The 2006 British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism [75] (see below) heard evidence that "contemporary antisemitism in Britain is now more commonly found on the left of the political spectrum than on the right." [76] The chairman, former Europe Minister Denis McShane, referred in a radio interview to what he called "a 'witch's brew' of anti-semitism including the far left and 'ultra-Islamist' extremists", who use criticism of Israel as a "pretext" for "spreading hatred against British Jews." [77] The report notes that "[a]lliances between extremist and fundamentalist groups have created links between groups on the far left and radical Islamists." [78] Professor David Cesarani of Royal Holloway, University of London gave evidence that anti-Semitism "no longer has any resemblance to classical Nazi-style Jew hatred, because it is masked by or blended inadvertently into anti-Zionism, and because it is often articulated in the language of human rights." [76] The report states that ignorance of the history of anti-Semitism means that some may not even realize that the language and imagery they use are part of the tradition of anti-Semitic discourse. [78]
Enlarge picture
Emanuele Ottolenghi of St Antony's College, Oxford, told the British all-parliamentary inquiry that the New Statesman's January 14, 2002 cover, illustrating a story about the "Zionist lobby," [79] evoked "classical anti-Jewish stereotypes" implying "conspiracy" and "dishonesty" on the part of British Jews. [80] The editor apologized for the image, but said the magazine remained opposed to Israeli government policies. [81]

Gerry Gable, publisher of the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine, agrees that "a lot of anti-semitism is driven by the left. There are elements who take up a position on Israel and Palestine which in reality puts them in league with anti-Semites."[82] The Sunday Times political columnist Sarah Baxter wrote that in August 2006 that "[w]omen pushing their children in buggies bearing the familiar symbol of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament marched last weekend alongside banners proclaiming 'We are all Hezbollah now' and Muslim extremists chanting 'Oh Jew, the army of Muhammad will return'." [83]

Radu Ioanid, director of the Meed Registry of Jewish Holocaust Survivors at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, writes in his foreword to Rising from the Muck, Pierre-André Taguieff's book about the new anti-Semitism in Europe, that during the student uprising in France in 1968, protesters could be heard shouting: "Nous sommes tous des Juifs Allemands" ("We are all German Jews") in support of Daniel Cohn-Bendit, one of their expelled leaders. In 2002, in contrast, the slogans heard at rallies in Paris were "Death to the Jews" and "Jews to the ovens." [84]

Mortimer Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report wrote in 2003 that Americans would be "amazed by what now appears in the sophisticated European press," citing the British New Statesman's January 14, 2002 cover story alleging a "kosher conspiracy" in the UK, a cover widely cited as an example of the crossroads between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. [85] Zuckerman also cites the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, which he says alleged that Israeli soldiers raped Palestinian women so that their relatives would kill them to preserve family honor; the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano reference to Israeli "aggression that's turning into extermination"; and La Stampa's page one cartoon of a tank bearing the Star of David pointing its gun at the baby Jesus, who cries: "Surely they don't want to kill me again." [86]
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Tariq Ali argues that the "supposed new 'anti-Semitism'" is a "cynical ploy." [87]

A group of left-wing British academics, journalists, and activists founded the Euston Manifesto in April 2006, a new declaration of principles for the democratic left. It declares that: "'Anti-Zionism' has now developed to a point where supposed organizations of the Left are willing to entertain openly anti-Semitic speakers and to form alliances with anti-Semitic groups. Amongst educated and affluent people are to be found individuals unembarrassed to claim that the Iraq war was fought on behalf of Jewish interests, or to make other 'polite' and subtle allusions to the harmful effect of Jewish influence in international or national politics — remarks of a kind that for more than fifty years after the Holocaust no one would have been able to make without publicly disgracing themselves." [71]


The association of anti-Zionism with the concept of "new antisemitism" is controversial, and has been vigorously rejected by many. British writer Tariq Ali has argued that the campaign against "the supposed new 'anti-semitism'" in modern Europe is in effect a "cynical ploy on the part of the Israeli Government to seal off the Zionist state from any criticism of its regular and consistent brutality against the Palestinians."[87] Ali argues that the new anti-Semitism is, in fact, "Zionist blackmail," and that Israel, far from being a victim, is "the strongest state in the region. It possesses real, not imaginary, weapons of mass destruction. It possesses more tanks and bomber jets and pilots than the rest of the Arab world put together. To say that the Zionist state is threatened by any Arab country is pure demagogy." [87][88]
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Professor Noam Chomsky argues that traditional anti-Semitism is ignored while criticism of Israel is vilified. [89]

Peter Beaumont, writing in The Observer, has argued that some proponents of the concept of "new antisemitism" have attempted to co-opt "the phenomenon of anti-Jewish sentiment and attacks in some quarters of the Islamic community in Europe" as a means of silencing opposition to the policies of the Israeli government. He argues that "Israel's brutal response to the often equally reprehensible anti-Israeli Palestinian violence of the intifada has produced one of the most vigorous media critiques of Israel's policies in the European media in a generation. The reply to this criticism, say those most vocal in reporting the existence of the new anti-Semitism, particularly in the Israeli press, is devastating in its simplicity: criticise Israel, and you are an anti-Semite just as surely as if you were throwing paint at a synagogue in Paris." Israel cannot be declared out of bounds, writes Beaumont, for fear of invoking Europe's "last great taboo — the fear of being declared an anti-Semite." [88]

Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at MIT, maintains that Jewish groups see criticism of Israeli policies as examples of new anti-Semitism while turning a blind eye to traditional anti-Semitism. He cites the allegations in 1988 that several known anti-Semites occupied senior positions in the Republican Party. [89][90]

In February 2007, 150 prominent British Jews formed the group Independent Jewish Voices, with the purpose of correcting the misconception that British Jews "speak with one voice and that this voice supports the Israeli government's policies". Tony Lerman has argued that the organization was founded, in part, to counter the efforts of pro-Israel and Zionist groups to describe "intensified criticism of Israel and anti-Zionism" as representative of "new antisemitism". The IJV, he argues, believes this charge is "far too often used in an attempt to stifle strong criticism of Israeli policies".[91]

International perspectives

European Union

The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) (superseded in 2007 by the European Fundamental Rights Agency) noted an upswing in antisemitic incidents in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and The Netherlands. [92]

The EUMC established the Racism and Xenophobia Network (RAXEN) composed of organisations "(NFPs)" in each Member State which collect publicly available data and information at the local, regional and national level. In 2002 the EUMC conducted a project on antisemitism. It reported to the European Parliament in March 2004 with statistics on antisemitic incidents across the EU. Its report of December 2006 found an increase in antisemitic activity between 2001 and 2002 and again between 2003 and 2004. There was insufficient data to calculate the overall trend in the number of incidents between 2001 and 2005 but there had been increases in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and decreases only in the Netherlands and Sweden. Since 2004, there had been decreases in the Netherlands and the UK. The report drew the “speculative conclusion” that developments in the Middle East may have affected the Arab and Muslim communities in Europe, the far right and far left. Referring to the view that antisemitism since 2000 constituted new antisemitism, defined as "the vilification of Israel as 'the Jewish collective' and perpetrated primarily by members of Europe’s Muslim population," it found little evidence of a change in anti-Semitic stereotypes, although it said that public manifestations of antisemitism had indeed changed since 2000. [93]

In September 2004, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, a part of the Council of Europe, called on its member nations to ensure that anti-racist criminal law covers antisemitism. In 2005, the EUMC offered a definition of antisemitism to enable a standard definition to be used for data collection by RAXEN, [94] one that the British government was urged to adopt by a 2006 all-party parliamentary inquiry.

The working definition was developed in consultation with Jewish organisations like the European Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee , other major Jewish NGO's and prominent academics. The data collection instructions circulated to RAXEN defines antisemitism as:

"Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed towards Jews and non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

The instruction attached some contemporary examples which "could, taking into account the overall context, include but are not limited to":

* Denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, e.g. by claiming that the existence of a state of Israel is a racist endeavor;
* Applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation;
* Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism (e.g. claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis;
* Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis;
* Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel. [95][93]

The EUMC added that criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as antisemitism so long as it is "similar to that leveled against any other country." [95]

In 2006, the European Jewish Congress released a report detailing a new wave of antisemitic incidents in most of Western Europe in the wake of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, in contrast to neutral or pro-Israel sentiment in the former Eastern bloc as well as Denmark. [97]

The report cited:
  • the first instances of antisemitism in Turkey since the change of regime in 2002;
  • 83 instances of antisemitism in Austria from April through August 2006, compared to 50 in the same period of 2005;
  • 61 instances of antisemitism in France from April through August 2006, compared to 34 in the same period of 2005;
  • normalization of antisemitic political and media rhetoric in Greece after the conflict.


In France, Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin commissioned a report on racism and anti-Semitism from Jean-Christophe Rufin, president of Action Against Hunger and former vice-president of Médecins Sans Frontières, in which Rufin challenges the perception that the new anti-Semitism in France comes exclusively from North African immigrant communities and the far right. [98][99] Reporting in October 2004, Rufin writes that "[t]he new anti-Semitism appears more heterogeneous," and identifies what he calls a new and "subtle" form of anti-Semitism in "radical anti-Zionism" as expressed by far-left and anti-globalization groups, in which criticism of Jews and Israel is used as a pretext to "legitimize the armed Palestinian conflict." [100][101] Rufin recommended that French law be changed to "make it possible to punish those who would make unfounded charges of racism against groups, institutions or States, or would make unjustified comparisons with apartheid or Nazism about them."[100][102][103] Norman Finkelstein described Rufin's recommendation as "truly terrifying", the "stigmatizing of dissent as a disease that must be wiped out by the state."[104]

United Kingdom

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A 2006 British parliamentary inquiry states that "anti-Jewish themes and remarks are gaining acceptability in some quarters in public and private discourse in Britain ..." [105]

The British All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism in the UK published its report in September 2006. [106] Those who gave evidence included then-Home Secretary Charles Clarke; the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith; chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks; chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips; the former head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Sir Iqbal Sacranie; Prof Robert Wistrich of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Brian Klug of St Benet's Hall, Oxford; and Prof Gert Weisskirchen of the German Bundestag. [106]

The inquiry adopted the view of racism expressed by the MacPherson report after the murder of Stephen Lawrence, namely that a racist act is defined by its victim, and that it is the Jewish community that is in the best position to determine what is antisemitic. [107] The report states that left-wing activists and Muslim extremists are using criticism of Israel as a "pretext" for antisemitism, [77] and that the "most worrying discovery" is that antisemitism appears to be entering the mainstream. [108] The inquiry calls for the adoption of a clearer definition of antisemitism that reflects its "complex and multi-faceted" nature. [108] It argues that anti-Zionism may become antisemitic when it adopts a view of Zionism as a "global force of unlimited power and malevolence throughout history," a definition that "bears no relation to the understanding that most Jews have of the concept: that is, a movement of Jewish national liberation ..." Having re-defined Zionism, the report states, traditional antisemitic motifs of Jewish "conspiratorial power, manipulation and subversion" are often transferred from Jews onto Zionism. The report notes that this is "at the core of the 'New Antisemitism', on which so much has been written," adding that many of those who gave evidence called anti-Zionism "the lingua franca of antisemitic movements," but also clarifying that "It is not the role of this inquiry to take sides in this major debate, but we cannot avoid raising it. In doing so, we would wish to emphasise that our concern lies with the effects of anti-Jewish prejudice and hostility.."[109]

Lord Janner of Braunstone gave evidence regarding antisemitic remarks made to him in Parliament. After the arrest of Saddam Hussein, for example, another peer approached him and said: "We've got rid of Saddam Hussein now. Your lot are next." When asked what she meant by "your lot," she replied: "Yes, you cannot go on killing Palestinians forever, you know." [110] Oona King, former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, gave evidence that many of her former constituents told her they could not vote for her because she was funded by the Israeli Secret Service.[110]

Labour MP Denis MacShane, who chaired the commission said: "The most worrying discovery of this inquiry is that anti-Jewish sentiment is entering the mainstream, appearing in the everyday conversations of people who consider themselves neither racist nor prejudiced."[111]


In November 2001, in response to an Abu-Dhabi television broadcast showing Ariel Sharon drinking blood of Palestinian children, the Israeli government set up the "Coordinating Forum for Countering Antisemitism," headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Rabbi Michael Melchior. According to Melchior, "in each and every generation antisemitism tries to hide its ugly face behind various disguises - and hatred of the State of Israel is its current disguise." He also noted that "... hate against Israel has crossed the red line, having gone from criticism to unbridled antisemitic venom, which is a precise translation of classical antisemitism whose past results are all too familiar to the entire world." [112] The multilingual forum regularly issues reports, articles and press releases. [113]

United Nations

History Timeline Resources
Racial Religious New AS
Antisemitism around the world
Arabs and antisemitism
Christianity and antisemitism
Islam and antisemitism
Nation of Islam and antisemitism
Universities and antisemitism
Anti-globalization and antisemitism
Deicide Blood libel Ritual murder
Well poisoning Host desecration
Jewish lobby Jewish Bolshevism
Usury Dreyfus affair
Zionist Occupation Government
Holocaust denial

On the Jews and their Lies
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The International Jew
Expulsions Ghetto Pogroms
Judenhut Judensau Yellow badge
Inquisition Segregation
Holocaust Nazism Neo-Nazism
Organizations fighting AS
Anti-Defamation League
Community Security Trust
EUMC Stephen Roth Institute
Wiener Library SPLC SWC UCSJ

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General-Secretary Kofi Annan told a June 2004 seminar on anti-Semitism that "[i]t is hard to believe that 60 years after the tragedy of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is once again rearing its head. But it is clear that we are witnessing an alarming resurgence of these phenomena in new forms and manifestations." [114] He has called the 1975 General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism, repealed in 1991, "lamentable," saying that "its negative resonance even today is difficult to overestimate," [115]

A number of commentators argue that the United Nations has condoned anti-Semitism.[116] Lawrence Summers, then-president of Harvard University, wrote that the UN's World Conference on Racism failed to condemn human rights abuses in China, Rwanda, or anywhere in the Arab world, while raising Israel's alleged "ethnic cleansing" and "crimes against humanity." [117]

David Matas, senior counsel to B'nai Brith Canada, has written that the UN is a forum for anti-Semitism. [115] He argues that statements are made within the UN that would not be tolerated within any democratic parliament, citing the example of the Palestinian representative to the UN Human Rights Commission who, in an echo of the traditional blood libel, claimed in 1997 that Israeli doctors had injected Palestinian children with the AIDS virus. [115] Congressman Steve Chabot told the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005 that the commission took "several months to correct in its record a statement by the Syrian ambassador that Jews allegedly had killed non-Jewish children to make unleavened bread for Passover. [118]

Anne Bayefsky, a Canadian legal scholar who addressed the UN about its treatment of Israel, argues that the UN hijacks the language of human rights to discriminate and demonize Jews. She writes that over one quarter of the resolutions condemning a state's human rights violations have been directed at Israel. "But there has never been a single resolution about the decades-long repression of the civil and political rights of 1.3 billion people in China, or the million female migrant workers in Saudi Arabia kept as virtual slaves, or the virulent racism which has brought 600,000 people to the brink of starvation in Zimbabwe." [119] In the early years of its existence, she writes, the Human Rights Commission focused only on themes. When it shifted its focus to countries, it targeted only South Africa and Israel, and for six years, from 1969 until 1975, those two countries were the only two the Commission would consider. For the last 40 years, almost 30 percent of country-specific resolutions and 15 percent of the Commission's time has been directed against Israel. [120] David Matas writes: "Each year matters get worse ... [A]t its annual six-week session in 2002, [the Commission] spent a good half of its time on Israel, far more than the time it spent on all other countries of the world combined." [121]

United States

The U.S. State Department's 2004 Report on Global Anti-Semitism identified four sources of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe:
  • "Traditional anti-Jewish prejudice ... This includes ultra-nationalists and others who assert that the Jewish community controls governments, the media, international business, and the financial world."
  • "Strong anti-Israel sentiment that crosses the line between objective criticism of Israeli policies and anti-Semitism."
  • "Anti-Jewish sentiment expressed by some in Europe's growing Muslim population, based on longstanding antipathy toward both Israel and Jews, as well as Muslim opposition to developments in Israel and the occupied territories, and more recently in Iraq."
  • "Criticism of both the United States and globalization that spills over to Israel, and to Jews in general who are identified with both." [92]

Yale University

Edward Kaplan and Charles Small of Yale University conducted a study based on a survey of 5,000 people: 500 citizens in each of 10 European countries. Their report, published in August 2006, concluded that anti-Israel sentiment reliably predicted the probability that an individual was an anti-Semite, with the likelihood of measured anti-Semitism increasing with the extent of anti-Israel sentiment observed. The authors write that, based on their analysis, "when an individual's criticism of Israel becomes sufficiently severe, it does become reasonable to ask whether such criticism is a mask for underlying anti-Semitism." [122]

The study found that 56 percent of those who voiced the most extreme anti-Israel opinions held anti-Semitic views. Those who believed the IDF "intentionally targets Palestinian civilians" and that Palestinian suicide bombers who target Israeli civilians are "justified" also believed that "Jews don't care what happens to anyone but their own kind," "Jews have a lot of irritating faults," "Jews stick together more" than other citizens of the respondent’s country of residence, and "Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want." [123] Of those who were the most negative about Israel, "some 60% also believed that Jews engaged in shady financial practices, and more than 70% thought that Jews had too much business power." [124] The percentage of those expressing anti-Semitic views increased with age and decreased with income level; men were more likely to be anti-Semitic than women; the degree of social interaction with Jews had no significant impact; individuals who were less tolerant of illegal immigrants were more likely to express anti-Semitic views; and Muslims were disproportionately more likely to hold anti-Semitic views than Christians, Jews, or those with no religious beliefs.[123]

Kaplan and Small draw no conclusion as to whether radical anti-Israel views are per se antisemitic, an issue that "remains bitterly contested." In describing the scope of their survey, they claim to be "interested in the fraction of individuals with anti-Israel views of differing severity who also harbor anti-Semitic views, as opposed to whether the anti-Israel views themselves are (or are not) inherently anti-Semitic."

In September 2006, Yale announced that it had established the Yale Initiative for Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism, [125] the first university-based institute in North America dedicated to the study of anti-Semitism. Charles Small, who will head the institute, said in a press release that anti-Semitism has "reemerged internationally in a manner that many leading scholars and policy makers take seriously ... Increasingly, Jewish communities around the world feel under threat. It's almost like going back into the lab. I think we need to understand the current manifestation of this disease." [126]

See also


1. ^ Sources for the first sentence are:


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Further reading


Antisemitism (alternatively spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed at Jews.
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left-wing or the left, on the left-right political spectrum, is associated with the interests of the working class. In France, where the term originated, the working class, or common people, were collectively known as the third estate, and their representatives sat to the
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right is the legal or moral entitlement to do or refrain from doing something or to obtain or refrain from obtaining an action, thing or recognition in civil society. Compare with privilege, or a thing to which one has a just claim.
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Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating literalistic interpretations of the texts of Islam and of Sharia law.[1] Definitions of the term vary.
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Zionism is an international political movement that supports a homeland for the Jewish People in the Land of Israel.[1] Although its origins are earlier, the movement was formally established by Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl in the late nineteenth century.
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The Hope

(and largest city) Jerusalem

Official languages Hebrew, Arabic
Demonym Israeli
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Western Europe is mainly a socio-political concept forged during the Cold War, which largely defined its borders. Its boundaries were effectively forged during the final stages of World War II and came to encompass all European countries which did not come under Soviet control and
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This page is protected from moves until disputes have been resolved on the .
The reason for its protection is listed on the protection policy page. The page may still be edited but cannot be moved until unprotected.
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     The West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights1
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September 11, 2001 attacks

The towers of the World Trade Center burn shortly after United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower on the right. To its left is the still smoking North Tower, struck earlier by American Airlines Flight 11.
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The Hope

(and largest city) Jerusalem

Official languages Hebrew, Arabic
Demonym Israeli
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Jewish symbolism is any form or type of symbolism in Judaism; a symbol in this sense is defined as some kind of visible representation of an object or an idea.

The Hebrew word for symbol is ot
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Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism, an international political movement that supports a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine Hertzberg, The Zionist Idea.[2]
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Anti-Americanism, often Anti-American sentiment, is defined as being "opposed or hostile to the United States of America, its people, its principles, or its policies.
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Anti-globalization is a term most commonly used to describe the political stance of people and groups who oppose Neoliberal policies of globalization.

“Anti-globalization” denotes either a single social movement or an umbrella term that encompasses a number of
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Third-worldism is a tendency within left wing political thought to regard the division between developed, classically liberal nations and developing, or "third world" ones as of primary political importance.
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The Hope

(and largest city) Jerusalem

Official languages Hebrew, Arabic
Demonym Israeli
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The Hope

(and largest city) Jerusalem

Official languages Hebrew, Arabic
Demonym Israeli
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Pierre-André Taguieff, born in 1946 in Paris, is a philosopher and political economist, and director of research at CNRS (in an Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) laboratory, the CEVIPOF).
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Léon Poliakov (Russian: Лев Поляков; 1910-1997) was a historian who wrote extensively on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.

Born into a Jewish family in St.
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Anti-Defamation League

non-profit organization
Founded 1913, New York City, U.S.
Headquarters New York, NY

Key people Abraham Foxman, Director
Industry Civil rights law
Website www.adl.
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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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Commentary is an American monthly magazine covering politics, international affairs, Judaism, and social, cultural, and literary issues.


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James Wechsler (31 October 11 September 1915—September 1983) was an American journalist.

He was a columnist and former editor of The New York Post and a prominent voice of American liberalism for 40 years.
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James William Fulbright (April 9, 1905 – February 9, 1995) was a member of the United States Senate representing Arkansas. Fulbright was a Southern Democrat and a staunch multilateralist, supported racial segregation, supported the creation of the United Nations and opposed
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Gerald Lyman Kenneth Smith (February 27, 1898–April 15, 1976) was a leader of the Share Our Wealth movement and founder of the America First Party (1944).

Smith was born in Pardeeville, Wisconsin. He grew up in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
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Colonialism is the extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory beyond its borders by the establishment of either settler colonies or administrative dependencies in which indigenous populations are directly ruled or displaced.
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? Robert Solomon Wistrich (born 1945) is the Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the head of the University's Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism.
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This article is part of the series:
Politics of Israel

  • Basic Laws
  • Jerusalem Law
  • Law of Return
  • President of Israel
  • Shimon Peres

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Chaim Herzog (Hebrew: חיים הרצוג‎, born Vivian Herzog
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