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 Draft November 22, 2020 (Not for Publication)
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
Tablet Magazine senior writer Yair Rosenberg responds to criticism and discussion surrounding his op-ed in the Washington Post: “Trump keeps pushing anti-Semitic stereotypes. But he thinks he’s praising Jews.” Rosenberg restates and refines his argument that even ignorance-rooted philosemitism is better than the negative alternative of antisemitism.
When antisemitism goes hand-in-hand with philosemitism, February 16, 2011 (Article/Essay), by Keith Kahn-Harris
Sociologist and lecturer Keith Kahn-Harris describes the relationship between antisemitism and philosemitism, and points to the promotion of “good Jews” and “bad Jews” in both left and right-wing politics. Kahn-Harris argues that Jews need to understand and identify philosemitic antisemitism and refuse to play along.
Rebecca J. Epstein-Levi, Mellon assistant professor of Jewish studies and women’s and gender studies at Vanderbilt University, explains why philosemitism is not good for the Jews, or for anyone else. She argues that philosemitism and antisemitism assume that Jews are intrinsically different from other people in ways that make Jews fundamentally, unalterably “other.”
Trump keeps pushing anti-Semitic stereotypes. But he thinks he’s praising Jews, Aug. 21, 2019 (Article/Essay), by Yair Rosenberg
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 Trump 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.”
Tablet Magazine senior writer Yair Rosenberg argues that to fight antisemitism, we have to understand it. He breaks down and debunks five common misconceptions about antisemitism.
Trump and Guiliani’s Crude, Corrosive, and Conditional ‘Love’ for Jews, Jan. 26, 2020 (Article/Essay), by April Rosenblum
Rosenblum explains the historical events that contributed to the American view of who Jews are and who is a “real” Jew. Rosenblum explores perception of Jews in social, religious, and political contexts from pre-World War II to the Trump presidency to make the case that politicians, right-wing influencers, and other leaders who proclaim their love for the Jewish people, actually love Jews’ usefulness as symbols in a political game for personal gain.
Why Evangelical Christians are Obsessed With Israel, Aug. 16, 2019 (Article/Essay) by Shannon Ashley
Writer and “ex-vangelical,” Shannon Ashley breaks down Messianic Judaism and why and how evangelical Christians support the State of Israel without actually caring about the Jewish people or human rights. She argues that evangelical Christians who are pro-Israel are self-serving and using Israel for political gain.
American Jews know anti-Semitism is a problem on the right. Why are Jewish organizations increasingly letting it slide? Dec. 11, 2019 (Article/Essay), by David Schraub
A research fellow and lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, David Schraub critiques the American Jewish Committee’s response to antisemitic remarks made by President Trump. Schraub compares the AJC’s response to remarks made by Ilhan Omar, and examines the lack of accountability for Republican antisemitism to make the argument that being pro-Israel is a “get-out-of-anti-Semitism-free” card.
Antisemitism is rising worldwide — so why is Trump’s special envoy targeting the president’s American Jewish critics?, July 22, 2020 (Article/Essay), by Hannah Rosenthal
A former U.S. Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal argues that her successor, Elan Carr, is using his role to score political points for the Trump Administration, effectively undermining the fight against antisemitism.
End Times Antisemitism: Christian Zionism, Christian Nationalism, and the Threat to Democracy, July 9, 2020 (Article/Essay), by Steven Gardiner
Steven Gardiner, assistant research director for Political Research Associates, breaks down Christian Zionism, its role in antisemitism and anti-Muslim bigotry, and the challenge it poses to democracy. Gardiner argues that Christian Zionism is much more than a set of beliefs about the role of Israel and the Jews in the Second Coming, and highlights the danger of Christian Zionism in the Trump White House.
The false comfort of Trump’s condemnation of anti-Semitism, Feb. 8, 2019 (Article/Essay), by Jill Jacobs
Rabbi Jill Jacobs examines the dangers of the Trump Administration’s symbolic support of the Jewish community, warning that Jews should be suspicious when Trump condemns antisemitism in a speech laced with xenophobia. She explains that while Trump boasts of his support of Israel and the Jewish community, he dog-whistles to antisemitic white nationalists.
Trump still appears to believe all Jews are really Israelis, Dec. 12, 2019 (Article/Essay), by Jill Jacobs
Rabbi Jill Jacobs, director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, criticizes the Trump Administration for adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism and signing the 2019 executive order regarding criticism of Israel on college campuses. She discusses the danger of conflating Jews and the State of Israel and its policies, and argues that the administration’s actions do not protect human rights or university students from being harassed; instead they threaten freedom of speech.