Anti-Judaism, Antisemitism, and Delegitimizing Israel

University of Nebraska Press  2016

 

The essays contained in this volume edited by the late Robert S. Wistrich, are representative of the discussions that were part of an international conference on antisemitism held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in May 2014. They focus primarily on the resurgence of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric and violence in Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Contributors include prominent academics, journalists, independent researchers and representatives of Jewish organizations. They all express deep concern that, less than a century after the Holocaust, Jews should once again be facing violence and widespread rhetorical attacks reminiscent of those Jews experienced prior to 1945. They document and analyze the current surge of antisemitism as an international phenomenon, appearing in countries as culturally diverse as the United States, Venezuela and Iran, yet incorporating similar thematic obsessions wherever it manifests.

The authors, including notable experts on the subject such as Ben Cohen, Robert Wistrich, Melanie Phillips, Alvin Rosenfeld, Bat Ye’or, Lesley Klaff and Stephen Norwood, examine the phenomenon from the perspectives of history, religion, politics, identity and gender. Offering a variety of viewpoints and insights into this disturbing trend worldwide, the reader is provided with a framework to evaluate what is actually occurring and why this “longest hatred” is once again becoming increasingly vocal and violent. They all agree that antisemitism exists, it is back with a vengeance, making new connections and has begun to strike and to kill—to growing indifference—in many parts of the world.

The authors identify six contemporary sources for today’s antisemitism; the persistence of this ancient prejudice that never really went away; globalization and world economic pressures; anti-Zionism that has led to a demonization of Israel and vilification of Israeli leaders; Holocaust denial; the spread of radical Islamism with its anti-Jewish and anti-Israel agendas; and State sponsored antisemitism emanating from Iran, Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

This is a valuable book that provides much useful information and perspectives on a problem that is not likely to disappear soon and some valuable suggestions on how to counter it.

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