Intro Knight Program in Media and Religion
USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism

Nexus Task Force
Examining the issues at the nexus of antisemitism and Israel in American Politics
Weaponizing Antisemitism What can we do to de-weaponize antisemitism in American politics . . . so that the President can provide leadership and devote resources to resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict and to fighting antisemitism?
Weaponizing antisemitism
Antisemitism is being used effectively as a political weapon to demonize and polarize Democrats and to empower the American right-wing.

The next President will have the monumental task of reversing Trump’s pro-annexation policies, which have been facilitated by this weaponization, and of re-assuming the American role of leader and broker.

He will also face the challenge of uniting the party against antisemitism as part of a broad crusade against racism, hate, and white supremacy.
Changing the Conversation Changing the conversation
The nature of the conversation about antisemitism and America’s relationship with Israel will, to a large extent, be shaped by the next President of the United States.

Will weaponized antisemitism inhibit or disrupt the debate about American policy on Israel?

Will hostility towards Israel disrupt the battle against antisemitism?

Will the President have the tools he needs to disentangle issues related to Israel and antisemitism and clearly delineate where these issues diverge and where they overlap?
Confusion Confusion and anxiety at the nexus of two complex issues Antisemitism Concern for
and Criticism
of Israel
Complexity and Anxiety Complexity & anxiety Create dysfunction
Kills nuance
Generate urgency
Toxify communication
Lead to black & white answers
Demonize and polarize
What is at Stake Antisemitism is on the rise, as part of an increase in hate crimes, xenophobia, and a resurgence of white supremacy.

The important Jewish role in progressive politics and civil society.
For American Jews: Israel’s future as a democratic, secure homeland for the Jewish people. What is at Stake? For Israel:
What is at Stake 2 Objectives A robust and open policy debate about issues related to Israel and antisemitism, unfettered by the weaponization and toxification of antisemitism.

Political space for Presidential leadership and for devoting the resources needed to address the Israel-Palestine conflict and to confront antisemitism, racism, hate, and white supremacy.

Space for American Jews to be valuable and valued participants in developing and building support for these policies, working in our own community and in coalition with other minorities and progressive Americans.
Final Page President Donald Trump, August 21, 2019 “In my opinion, the Democrats have gone very far away from Israel. I cannot understand how they can do that. They don’t want to fund Israel. They want to take away foreign aid to Israel. They want to do a lot of bad things to Israel. In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel.”