A new declaration aims to fight antisemitism without curtailing free speech (2021 Essay) – The Forward
Scholars Elissa Bemporad, Alon Confino, and Derek Penslar introduce the Jerusalem Declaration of Independence as a guide for combatting antisemitism and, simultaneously, protecting space for an open debate around all possibilities for the future for Israelis and Palestinians.
Guide by rabbinic human rights group providing context, language, and tools to help navigate the difficult terrain around antisemitism and help fight antisemitism, along with all other forms of racial, cultural, religious, and gender oppression.
Summary of April 2023 report from Tel Aviv University and the ADL. The full report can be found here.
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.
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.
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.
Kenneth Stern cautions against drawing lines between anti-Zionism and antisemitism because the two often intersect and overlap in various ways. His essay recognizes that while disapproval of Israeli policies can sometimes manifest as antisemitism, legitimate criticisms of Zionism can exist without being inherently antisemitic.
Antisemitic comments from public figures spark concern over real-world implications 2022 Video – PBS
Dov Waxman discusses growing worry surrounding the impact of antisemitic remarks by influential individuals Kanye West and Donald Trump. The article discusses how such comments contribute to normalizing antisemitic attitudes, which may fuel discrimination, hatred, and even violence against Jewish communities.
Antisemitic Zionists such as Donald Trump support Israel while harboring antisemitic white nationalist beliefs in their own country. This article highlights the complexity and nuances within the Zionist movement, emphasizing the need to address instances of antisemitism within it.
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.
An exploration of the politics of definitions from an interdisciplinary perspective that urges reconsideration of the value and limits of definitions in confronting antisemitism and Islamophobia.
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.
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?”
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.
As Trump and the GOP weaponize charges of anti-Semitism, media has covered anti-Semitic rhetoric more than actions, Oct. 23, 2019 (Article/Essay/Research), by Rob Savillo with research contributions from Tyler Monroe.
Rob Savillo and Tyler Monroe’s 2019 Media Matters research study finds that “following the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, media outlets have mentioned perceived antisemitic rhetoric from the political left more than antisemitic actions by the right-wing.”
A summary of antisemitic harassment, vandalism, and assault in the United States during 2022. Data is organized by geographic location, month, themes/trends, and methodology; the report concludes with recommendations for how government officials and technology platforms can combat antisemitism.
Battle of Antisemitism Definitions Is Actually a Proxy War for Criticism of Israel (2021 Essay) – Religion Dispatches
The ongoing debate over defining antisemitism is driven by underlying political motivations related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The author suggests that different definitions of antisemitism are being used as tools to legitimize or delegitimize criticism of Israel, while they should focus solely on combating hatred against Jews.
Dana Milbank argues that the “Mapping Project” created by the Boston arm of the BDS movement promotes violence against Jewish institutions that recognize Israel.
Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy (Book), edited by Beth Kissileff and Eric S. Lidji
A collection of personal reflections and essays from writers in Pittsburgh following the devastating Tree of Life synagogue tragedy. These writings offer a space for healing and remembrance while providing a testament to the community’s resilience in tragedy.
Bret Stephens asserts that anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism because it denies self-determination specifically for the Jewish people. He argues that anti-Zionism is “fashionable” antisemitism which hones in on Jewish statehood as an avenue for expressing hatred for Jews in general.
A social activist and sociology lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, David Hirsh discusses the kind of antisemitism that is tolerated in social spaces that think of themselves as antiracist and democratic. Hirsch addresses and analyzes how criticism of Israel can provide an avenue for antisemitism, the struggle to define antisemitism, and more.
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.
Decoding the extremist symbols and groups at the Capitol Hill insurrection 2021 (Article and Video) – CNN
Analysis of the racist and antisemitic symbols worn by representatives from various white supremacist groups in the January 6th insurrection.
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.
Drawing the line between anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel, October 2019 (Survey), The Economist
A poll by the Economist looks at opinions on Jews and Israel in the United States and Britain, and shows that antisemitism and criticism of Israel are correlated, but the strength of the link depends on political ideology.
Five-part series that delves into the ideologies of various extremist groups in the United States. Through interviews, analysis, and firsthand accounts, it provides a comprehensive understanding of the rise of far-right movements, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups.
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.
Peter Beinart asserts that antisemitism has been wielded as a weapon against the world’s most respected human rights organizations and a shield for some of the world’s most repressive regimes, arguing for a different struggle against antisemitism that embeds the cause of Jewish rights in a movement for the human rights of all.
House Democrats seek to censure Marjorie Taylor Greene over Biden is Hitler comment (2022 Article) – Washington Post.
House Democrats seek to censure Marjorie Taylor Greene for her comment comparing Biden to Hitler, the latest in a series of antisemitic social media posts from the Republican representative.
Steve Sheffey discusses the challenges of defining antisemitism accurately and comprehensively. He cautions against government use of the IHRA definition, which was not originally intended to be used for legal purposes.
How to Fight Antisemitism 2020 (Website), A collaborative project of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action and Jews Against White Nationalism.
How to Fight Antisemitism is dedicated to spreading awareness about the issue of antisemitism in the Republican Party and right-wing politics. The site offers resources and information.
I drafted the definition of antisemitism. Rightwing Jews are weaponizing it (2019 Essay) – The Guardian
Kenneth Stern, the lead drafter of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism, expresses concerns over its weaponization by right-wing Jews to suppress legitimate criticism of Israel and their policies. He raises the need for a balanced approach that addresses both antisemitism and the rights of Palestinians without allowing the definition to be misused for political agendas.
IHRA is the non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in 2016. It holds that: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” IHRA also includes a number of examples that “taking into account the overall context” could serve as illustrations of antisemitism
Is B.D.S. Anti-Semitic? A Closer Look at the Boycott Israel Campaign, July 27, 2019 (Article/ Essay), By David M. Halbfinger, Michael Wines, and Steven Erlanger
In their article for the New York Times, Halbfinger, Wines, and Erlanger unpack some of the most difficult questions and issues surrounding the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement against Israel, focusing on U.S. and European involvement.
A personal perspective on whether criticizing Zionism is antisemitic, highlighting the distinction between legitimate criticism of Israeli policies and expressions of prejudice against Jewish people.
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.
Overused accusations of antisemitism are preventing open and nuanced debates about Israeli policies and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
How Kevin McCarthy exploits antisemitism for his political agenda. McCarthy instrumentalizes antisemitism by selectively denouncing it when politically advantageous while turning a blind eye to instances within his own party; this is a disservice to genuine efforts to combat antisemitism within American politics.
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.
Mastriano’s Attacks on Jewish School Set Off Outcry Over Antisemitic Signaling (2022 Article) – The New York Times
Republican candidate for PA governor Doug Mastriano draws criticism for his attacks on the Jewish school his opponent’s children attend.
Michigan threats deepen America’s dangerous nexus between antisemitism and political violence (2023 Article) – CNN
Threats targeting Jewish government leaders in Michigan deepen concerns about a convergence of conspiracy-driven antisemitism and political violence, underscoring the dangers of extremist ideologies intersecting with hatred for the Jewish community.
New antisemitism definition does not include most criticism of Israel or Zionism (2021 Article) – The Forward.
A new definition of antisemitism, drafted by the Nexus Task Force, outlines a distinction between fair criticism of Israeli policy and antisemitic arguments denying a Jewish right to self-determination.
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.
White Christian nationalists and a broader authoritarian movement are mounting a visionary, well-resourced, and strategically coordinated effort to ensure white Christians maintain their ongoing dominance in all sectors of U.S. society, including government, culture, media, entertainment, family, religion, and business. This report is part of a growing pro-democracy effort seeking to sound the alarm and support immediate collective action.
Outrage over far-right Israeli government has American Jewish leaders stewing (2023 Article) – Religion News Service.
American Jewish leaders’ condemnation of the new Israeli administration’s far-right ideologies and policies has led to internal turmoil within the American Jewish community.
An open letter from 122 Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists, and intellectuals argues that the IHRA working definition, although intended to combat antisemitism, can be misused to stifle comprehensive evaluation of Israeli policies. They believe that there must be room for criticism of Israeli actions to ensure the struggle for Palestinian rights is not unjustly suppressed.
The dilemma faced by the US envoy to combat antisemitism, Deborah Lipstadt, who is tasked with promoting tolerance internationally, while the rise of hate incidents within the United States affects the credibility and effectiveness of her diplomacy.
Prominent Jewish leaders add to drumbeat of criticism of Israel’s new government (2023 Article) – The Forward.
Prominent Jewish leaders express their concerns to the U.S. Congress regarding the policies and actions of the current Israeli government and caution against using false accusations of antisemitism to prevent legitimate criticism of Israel.
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.
Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism, June 29, 2017 (Article/Essay), by Erik K. Ward
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.
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?
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 Conflict Over the Conflict: The Israel/Palestine Campus Debate (New Jewish Press, an imprint of the University of Toronto) 2020 (Book), by Kenneth S. Stern
In this book, attorney, author, and director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, Kenneth Stern breaks down and chronicles one of the most divisive and toxic issues on today’s college and university campuses: Israel/Palestine. Stern examines the discourse and its function on college campuses to address the questions of how we got here and what can be done.
New York Times Columnist Michelle Goldberg looks at the alarming rise of antisemitic violence in the U.S. and the urgency needed to address the issue.
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.
The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and why people are fighting over it, explained (2021 Article) – Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
This article explains how the IHRA working definition of antisemitism went from a helpful guide to an instrument of division. It highlights how concerns regarding free speech, criticism of Israeli policies, and the impact on Palestinian rights contribute to ongoing contentious debates.
A tool to identify, confront and raise awareness about antisemitism as it manifests in countries around the world today, developed by a group of scholars in the fields of Holocaust history, Jewish studies, and Middle East studies to meet what has become a growing challenge: providing clear guidance to identify and fight antisemitism.
The British head of policy at Community Security Trust, Dave Rich, examines the antisemitism plaguing left-wing British politics. The book focuses on academic research into the origins of left-wing antisemitism, observations of political extremism and contemporary hostility to Israel, Jeremy Corbyn’s election, and political activism.
Right-wing and left-wing antisemitism manifest differently in their motivations, targets, and ideologies. By oversimplifying the issue, one risks undermining efforts to understand and respond effectively to the distinct challenges posed by each side.
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.
“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.
The Real Purpose of Trump’s Executive Order on Anti-Semitism, Dec. 12, 2019 (Article/Essay), by Masha Gessen
Author and writer for the New Yorker, Masha Gessen, examines President Trump’s signing of the 2019 executive order regarding antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and government funding of colleges, and argues that Trump has positioned himself as a pro-Zionist antisemite. She argues that the order will not protect against antisemitism, and that its sole aim is to quash the discussion about and defense of Palestinian rights.
A national survey of American Jews and the general public about the impact of rising hatred for Jews in the United States.
Thirty-nine words about antisemitism are splitting the Jewish community (2021 Article) – The Forward.
Differing interpretations of the IHRA’s working definition of antisemitism lead to disagreements within the Jewish community surrounding free speech, the criticism of Israel, and the consideration of Palestinian rights.
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.
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.
Greater clarity and accuracy are needed for defining and addressing antisemitism. Codifying IHRA would be a step in the wrong direction.
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.
Exploration of high-profile antisemitic events from public figures, including rapper Kanye West and former president Donald Trump. Also noted is the response from Jewish and non-Jewish celebrities and investors in West’s brand. The article factors in social media, political polarization, and conspiracy theories, highlighting the complex and multifaceted nature of the issue.
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.
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.
This article explores the phenomenon of accusing Jews of genocide in light of recent allegations by high-profile political donors and commentators.
President Joe Biden emphasizes the importance of combating antisemitism, expressing throughout his campaign that the 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville motivated him to run for president. He stresses the need to remember past atrocities such as the Holocaust and calls for unity in taking concrete actions to protect Jewish communities.