Topic:

antisemitism

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.

“Smokescreening” – Anti-Israel Sentiment Expressed Through False Friendship

| September 24, 2019

Smokescreening, the false pretense of friendship toward Israel, is a common practice. Practitioners include US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, former US president Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and German FM Heiko Maas. There is also a mirror phenomenon in which Israeli leaders identify smokescreeners as friends, as when Israeli president Reuven Rivlin called German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier a “true friend of Israel.”

Omar, Tlaib, and Israel’s Nonexistent Anti-Propaganda Agency

| September 9, 2019

The clumsy manner in which the Israeli government handled the non-visit to Israel of US Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar was not a mere mishap. It resulted from a structural problem. The government’s refusal to establish an anti-propaganda agency has led to repeated public relations failures against vile verbal aggression.

Was Israel’s Entry Refusal a Boon or a Bust for Tlaib and Omar?

| September 9, 2019

The dual abilities of Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to arouse the ire of President Trump and spout antisemitic, anti-Israel messages with impunity has raised their profile well beyond that of other junior representatives and significantly boosted their popularity. Supporters of Israel, as well as those who care about the interests of the US, will have to strive to defeat them in the next congressional elections.

Israel Must Remain Vigilant in Its Relations with Poland

| September 1, 2019

In view of Poland’s historical treatment of Jews, Israel must remain ever-vigilant that there be no falsification of history as Polish-Israeli relations develop. There is a strong desire in Poland to whitewash or otherwise minimize horrible events. Provided the Israeli authorities calibrate their statements and stick to the facts, they will maintain the moral high ground in the relationship.  

The Social Geography of the BDS Movement and Antisemitism

| August 8, 2019

An original analysis of the global distribution of BDS Internet searches revealed disproportionate interest in countries such as New Zealand, Ireland, and Sweden, as well as in coastal US states with large academic institutions. In the former regions there are few Jews and little contact with Israel, while in the latter, there are many Jews but proportionately fewer Christian supporters of Israel. A simple explanation for these patterns is that BDS interest correlates with post-Christian contexts in which Jews are relatively absent, or with “white” class anxiety emanating from academia. In the US, growing negativity about Israel in liberal Western communities is likely a class-based transfer of anxiety regarding ”white privilege” onto Israel and Jews.