This document endeavors to define antisemitism so that it is relevant to the current context worldwide — especially with regard to the relationship between antisemitism, and Israel and Zionism. It is not meant as a legal document but rather as a guide for policymakers and community leaders as they grapple with the complexities at the nexus of these issues. Draft November 22, 2020 (Not for Publication)
View video of this virtual event held on January 26, 2021. The topics include: What does antisemitism mean in the U.S. today How does Israel fit in? What is the impact of Trump's enabling of white nationalism? And what strategies should the Biden administration employ eo counter antisemitism?
This video is part of the Antisemitism Education Initiative on the Berkeley campus. This video charts the history of antisemitism from its origins until today. It tackles the hard questions about different and changing forms of antisemitism, persistent anti-Jewish stereotypes, the complex racial position of Jews in contemporary America, and the precise line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism.
Civil rights strategist Erik K. Ward explains his thesis that antisemitism forms the theoretical core of White nationalism. He argues that we must come to terms with the centrality of antisemitism to White nationalist ideology so that we can identify the fuel that White nationalist ideology uses to power its anti-Black racism, contempt of people of color, and its xenophobia.
Trump accepts anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews (they’re greedy, good with money, control lots of stuff, only look out for their own, etc.), but that he views these things as positive. This sort of outlook can unfortunately be easily manipulated and used to turn people against Jews
Since at least the 1930s, American conservatives have tried to police Jewish identity, by attacking the Jewish credentials of anti-fascist, ‘subversive’ and ‘disloyal’ Jews – all the while declaring they ‘love Jews’. When politicians or right-wing influencers declare their love for Jews while deliberating exploiting divisions that affect Jews – singling out Jews who don’t deserve protection, capitalizing on conflict between Jews and other groups, and casually spinning out anti-Semitic tropes – we should ask ourselves whether what they really love is not Jews per se, but our usefulness to them as symbols.
Activists should respect Israel’s rights as a sovereign state. But Israel should respect Palestinians’ rights under universal human rights and humanitarian law. Israel is the most important of all the states in the Palestinian crisis.
Tablet Magazine senior writer Yair Rosenberg explains why President Trump can be seen as both a philosemite and an antisemite. Rosenberg uses examples from Trump's pre-presidential past, as well as the rhetoric he currently uses to address American Jews. As Rosenberg sees it, “Trump believes all the anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews. But he sees those traits as admirable.”
British Labor Party politician, Peter Hain, and policy analyst, Daniel Levy, call on the UK Labor Party to rid itself of antisemitism, be sensitive and informed about the broader Jewish community and its relationship to Israel, and simultaneously support critical conversation and debate about the treatment of Palestinians and Middle East peace processes. Hain and Levy offer critique, analysis, and calls to action for their party.
President Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitism and nod to the Holocaust in his 2019 State of the Union address drew rapid praise from some corners of the Jewish community. But Jewish history offers a cautionary tale to those who take Trump’s rhetoric at face value.
Kenneth S. Stern, in his capacity as executive director of the Justus & Karin Rosenberg Foundation, testifies before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives on how to approach antisemitism on college campuses. Stern is the director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate and was a key drafter of a Working Definition of Antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
The issues that arise at the nexus of issues related to antisemitism and Israel are complex. Israel and Antisemitism provides resources and readings for understanding those issues. In the months ahead, more resources and specific policy recommendations will be added. For additional information, click here.