Confirmation Bias and Antisemitism

| February 9, 2020

Antisemitism has fragmented into many subcategories in the postmodern era, which has made it ever more confusing and opaque. One concept that can shed new light on contemporary antisemitism is confirmation bias: the idea that people are often receptive to information, even if dubious, that confirms their existing opinions.

Arabs and the Holocaust

| February 5, 2020

Leaders from around the world recently visited Israel to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Concurrently with that visit, another important historical visit took place: for the first time, a delegation of leading Arabs visited the Nazi extermination camp.

The Hazards of Holocaust Remembrance in Europe

| February 5, 2020

The received wisdom that greater Holocaust awareness automatically translates into policies and attitudes favorable to European Jews and the Jewish state is dubious at best. As assimilation and antisemitism hollow out Jewish communities on the Continent, Holocaust remembrance in Europe may well cease to help Jews altogether.

How Labour’s Antisemitism Changed the Attitudes of British Jewry

| January 27, 2020

Jeremy Corbyn was elected Chairman of the British Labour Party in September 2015. Ever since then, elected representatives of the party have expressed a steady stream of antisemitic invective, a problem that has never seemed to concern Corbyn or his associates to any great or genuine extent. Labour’s antisemitism eventually prompted public expressions of dismay from Jewish organizations, rabbis, parliamentarians, and individuals—a radical departure from the previous behavior of British Jewry, which has long preferred to keep a low profile.

Fighting Antisemitism: Three Strategic Priorities

| December 25, 2019

If antisemitism is to be fought effectively, three priorities have to be set.  First, the Israeli government should establish an anti-propaganda agency. Second, an effort must be made to achieve a broad recognition that antisemitism is an ancient and integral element of Western culture. Third, there should be a consistent exposure of Jewish masochists who claim that Israel alone has to be perfect while others do not.

The Failed Halle Synagogue Massacre Reveals the Dysfunction of German Law

| November 7, 2019

The failed attack on the synagogue in the German town of Halle on the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, once again exposed the dysfunction of the law in the German liberal democracy. Efforts were made to draw attention away from the shortcomings of the police and authorities by blaming the German right-wing party, AfD. This backfired when an AfD parliamentarian exposed huge government shortcomings in the battle against extremists as well as anti-Israelism in mainstream German society.

Antisemitism Is Woven into Western Culture

| October 24, 2019

It is not difficult to prove that antisemitism is an integral part of Western culture. To be clear: this is radically different from saying that all Europeans are antisemites. Yet Western politicians and leaders almost never admit this evident reality about their societies’ cultures.

Lithuania’s Past, Antisemitism, and Israel

| October 17, 2019

Lithuanians generally prefer to approach their own history by honoring their fighters for resisting Soviet rule – and ignoring their active collaboration with the Nazis. The “victimization” approach largely precludes discussion about Lithuanian participation in Holocaust crimes and sparks chauvinistic sentiments. Recent threats to the Lithuanian Jewish community and signs of antisemitism highlight the problem. Lithuania accuses Russia of sowing domestic discord via fake news on this issue, but the problem is real and needs to be addressed.

BDS, Antisemitism, and Class

| October 15, 2019

Contemporary antisemitism has the ability to graft itself onto a variety of causes and movements. But the social and information environment in the US and Europe is strongly conditioned by virtue-signaling among elites and increasingly among portions of the middle class. Antisemitism, in part through BDS-fueled antipathy toward Israel, is becoming a signal of middle class respectability. At the same time, though left-wing Western elites remain strongly anti-national, the working classes and other parts of the middle class are becoming renationalized. These and other class conflicts will shape antisemitism in the next decades.

Berlin: Capital of European Antisemitism

| October 3, 2019

Berlin has surpassed Malmö as Europe’s antisemitism capital, with a wide variety of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes on display. They include dozens of cases of physical aggression against Jews, including rabbis. Jewish pupils have had to leave public schools. Thirty-five percent of Berliners view Israelis as analogous to Nazis. An Al-Quds Day march takes place annually that calls for the destruction of Israel. Both the municipality and the federal government are two-faced  about the problem of antisemitism.