Anti-Zion­ism and Anti­semitism: The Dynam­ics of Delegitimization

  • Review
By – October 9, 2019

This time­ly vol­ume is a com­pi­la­tion of sev­en­teen papers pre­sent­ed by schol­ars from all over the world at a 2016 con­fer­ence, orga­nized by Indi­ana University’s Insti­tute for the Study of Con­tem­po­rary Anti­semitism (ISCA) to exam­ine the links between anti-Zion­ism and antisemitism.”

In his intro­duc­tion, edi­tor Alvin H. Rosen­feld quotes Stephen Harp­er, a for­mer Cana­di­an prime min­is­ter, who called anti-Zion­ism the face of the new anti­semitism. It tar­gets the Jew­ish peo­ple by tar­get­ing Israel and attempts to make the old big­otry accept­able for a new generation.”

The book is divid­ed into four sec­tions, each devot­ed to a dif­fer­ent aspect of the afore­men­tioned new” anti­semitism. The first sec­tion deals with ide­o­log­i­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal sources, and dis­cuss­es issues such as the Denial of His­to­ry,” the Jew­ish Prob­lem,” and fem­i­nism. Part Two exam­ines the Role of legal and Jus­tice Dis­cours­es in Pro­mot­ing the New Anti­semitism,” Anti-Israel Atti­tudes on Per­cep­tions of the Holo­caust,” and oth­er uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus issues.

A third sec­tion, Israeli Voic­es” con­tains three papers deal­ing with Israeli domes­tic issues, such as col­lec­tiviza­tion, cor­rup­tion, and Jew­ish-Arab rela­tions; the final sec­tion exam­ines rela­tion­ships and issues with oth­er coun­tries, includ­ing Poland, Ger­many, South Africa, the Czech Repub­lic, Rus­sia, Ukraine, India, and South Asia.

While the style and approach of each of the authors of the papers is dif­fer­ent they all help to illu­mi­nate the vir­tu­al­ly dai­ly fea­tures one finds in The New York Times and oth­er lead­ing news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines. There are also a num­ber of sur­pris­ing rev­e­la­tions” obvi­ous­ly designed to stoke latent or exist­ing anti-Israel sen­ti­ments, espe­cial­ly in Rus­sia and the for­mer Sovi­et Union. For exam­ple, Zbynek Tarant reports that the Czech anti­se­mit­ic move­ment cir­cu­lat­ed rumors that the miss­ing Malaysian Air­lines Boe­ing 777 lost in 2014 is now in a hangar at Ben Guri­on Air­port and that Israel is respon­si­ble for the shoot­ing fown of anoth­er Malaysian plane near Donet­sk. And final­ly, that there is a move­ment afoot to estab­lish a new Jew­ish state in Ukraine.

Peter L. Roth­holz head­ed his own Man­hat­tan-based pub­lic rela­tions agency and taught at the Busi­ness and Lib­er­al Arts (BALA) pro­gram at Queens Col­lege. He lives in East Hamp­ton, NY and San­ta Mon­i­ca, CA and is a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to Jew­ish publications.

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