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 Draft November 22, 2020 (Not for Publication)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.
Antisemitism scholar Robert Solomon Wistrich explores the history of antisemitism from pagan hostility toward Jews to Christian anti-Judaism, and the latter’s overwhelming influence on contemporary antisemitism. Wistrich examines the ideologies of Karl Marx and Hitler, the experience of Jews in Islamic countries, Jewish stereotypes, and more, to give a full portrait of antisemitism’s historical roots and contemporary significance.
Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering to Our Movement, 2017 (Booklet), by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
An informational document authored by a multiracial, multiethnic, intergenerational team breaks down and addresses major questions surrounding antisemitism. The resource from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice is divided into three main sections, with many sub-sections, to give readers a thorough understanding of antisemitism and its complexities.
The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Making Resistance to Antisemitism Part of All of Our Movements April 2007 (Booklet), by April Rosenblum
In her 2007 pamphlet, April Rosenblum demonstrates the very present threat of institutionalized anti-Jewish opression, or antisemitism, around the world, and calls primarily on the activist left to acknowledge that action must be taken. Rosenblum deconstructs myths and examples of antisemitism relating to Zionism, Israel and Palestine, and ultimately offers suggestions for activists on how to proceed.
In his book, scholar and author Steven Beller examines and untangles the various strands of antisemitism seen through history, revealing why hatred of the Jews appears to be so persistent through time in the social, political, and cultural contexts. Beller explores “Aryan” supremacy, “Muslim antisemitism,” Holocaust denial, and European xenaphobia, and other topics to demonstrate how antisemitism persists around the world.
“Why is prejudice against Jewish people so often expressed in sudden waves of virulent, even exterminatory attacks?” Social psychologist Amy Cuddy uses her new theory on prejudice to explain the answer.
Dismantling the Big Lie: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, 2003 (Book), by Steven Leonard Jacobs and Mark Weitzman
Steven Leonard Jacobs and Mark Weitzman debunk the major propaganda source for justifying antisemitism from tsarist Russia, titled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.The authors examine the book’s history and legacy, and refute the 24 protocols item by item.
Anti-Semitic Attitudes in the U.S.: A Guide to the ADL’s Latest Poll, 2019 (Survey), by the Anti-Defamation League
The most recent Anti-Defamation League Survey of American Attitudes Toward Jews, conducted in 2019, found that about 28 million Americans harbor antisemitic attitudes. Although this number is lower than it was half a century ago, the recent uptick in antisemitic hate crimes and incidents is cause for alarm. This guide breaks down the survey’s methodology and key issues, and offers policy suggestions based on its results.
With the increase of antisemitic incidents over the last decade, Deborah Lipstadt, a historian and professor of Holocaust history at Emory University, seeks to answer the following questions: “Is there any significant difference between left-wing and right-wing antisemitism? What role has the anti-Zionist movement played? And what can be done to combat the latest manifestations of an ancient hatred?”
The Issue is Power: Essays on Women, Jews, Violence, and Resistance, 1992 (Book), by Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz
This collection of essays and speeches address contemporary American issues such as race, class, antisemitism, identity politics, Israel, Palestine and the Middle East, violence against women, and more.
Gary Rosenblatt, Editor at large of the Jewish Week, argues that as society has grown more polarized, classic forms of hatred have increased dramatically. Rosenblatt provides an in-depth exploration of the history of antisemitism in the United States, including the relationship between Jewish and Black communities over time, President Donald Trump’s influence, the debate on college campuses, increased security at Jewish institutions, and more to address the central question.
QAnon, the KKK, and the Exploitation of Antisemitism for Political Power Oct. 6, 2020 (Article/Essay) by Sara Kamali
Sara Kamali, a scholar of systemic inequities and White nationalism, unpacks the history of antisemitism in the United States through the lens of the KKK and now, QAnon. Kamali compares the two groups’ rise to power by demonstrating their influence over prominent politicians and fueling a white nationalist movement and ideology. Kamali argues that we must look to history for solutions for present-day problems, and that history teaches that the trajectory of the quintessential American experiment is at stake in the 2020 Presidential election.
A study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League looks at online attempts to sow divisiveness and misinformation, in tandem with antisemitism, in order to examine how antisemitism is used to attack incumbent Jewish members of U.S. Congress running for re-election. The study finds that antisemitic tropes are being used, especially by the conspiracy theory group, QAnon, to target Jewish incumbents, and provides recommendations for social media companies, lawmakers, and candidates to address the problem.
What Constitutes Fair and Unfair Criticism of Israel? Dec. 5, 2019 (Article/Essay), by Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann
A professor emeritus at Wilfrid Laurier University, Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, makes an argument for what constitutes legitimate and illegitimate criticism of Israel. Howard-Hassmann’s examination of the issues surrounding Israel, Palestine, and foreign involvement comes after the 2019 Canadian vote at the United Nations for establishment of a Palestinian state.
Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism: A Debate between Michael Walzer and Joshua Leifer, Fall 2019 (Article/Essay), by Michael Walzer and Joshua Leifer
Michael Walzer, editor emeritus of Dissent magazine, states his concerns about left-wing anti-Zionism in the United States and Europe, and argues that criticizing the governments and policies of Israel should not involve opposition to the existence of the state itself. Walzer believes that the issue with anti-Zionism is anti-Zionism itself. Walzer is challenged by the associate editor of Dissent, Joshua Leifer, who presents a much different view. He argues that what Zionism has actually come to mean and symbolize is much different than the version Walzer describes, and defends those on the left who are committed to human rights for all. Leifer believes the on-the-ground political reality faced by Palestinians and the continuity of the Israeil government’s policies over time, paint a much different picture of Zionism.
Debate: Is anti-Zionism anti-Semitic? April 19, 2020 (Article/Essay), By Ari Hoffman and Joel Swanson
Contributing columnists at the Forward, Ari Hoffman and Joel Swanson, debate whether anti-Zionism is antisemitism. The writers exchange responses to each other’s perspective on issues surrounding Zionism, antisemitism, Israel, politics, and more, in both the historical and modern contexts.
Anti-Zionism Isn’t Anti-Semitism. Except When It Is., Jan. 22, 2020, (Article/Essay), by Andrew Silow-Carroll
The editor in chief of the NY Jewish Week, Andrew Silow-Carroll, challenges the argument that anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic by pointing to the emotional toll anti-Zionism takes on the Jewish population, the historical complexities of Jews and Israel, and the way in which anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiments are embraced in progressive politics.