Created and written by Yair Rosenberg.
Why is Antisemitism Still Around?
Why is it that even post-Holocaust, Jews experience a large percentage of the world’s hate crimes, despite being less than 0.2% of the world’s population? That’s because the Holocaust wasn’t an antisemitic exception — it was the culmination of years of religious, scientific, cultural and political anti-Jewish sentiment. This foundation still exists today. Many still subscribe to anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, resulting in disproportionately high statistics of anti-Jewish sentiment and large numbers of hate crimes.
Beyond Left or Right: Whose Fault is Antisemitism?
While the Holocaust may be over, antisemitism is still very much alive. So, whose fault is it? And how do we address it? The sad truth is that antisemitism has always been spread by offenders across the ideological spectrum. That's why it is key to focus on the fighting antisemitic ideas and not get hung up on the identities of whoever is perpetuating them. When we learn to rebuke anti-Jewish bigotry no matter who spreads it, we will be one step closer to defeating it.
Is Criticising Israel Antisemitic?
Is criticising Israel anti-Jewish? Not necessarily. Israel—like all countries—is, and should be, subject to political criticism over its conduct. However, in many places where it is unacceptable to openly hate Jews, it is respectable to criticise the Jewish state, and so some bigots will say their problem is with Israel, when their real problem is with Jews. Here's how to tell the difference between the good faith critics and the bad faith bigots.
Do Jews Cause Antisemitism?
It may sound bizarre, but a shockingly large number of people believe that Jews cause themselves to be hated. For centuries, bigots have blamed racial, religious, and sexual minorities for their own persecution. If we're going to beat back antisemitism, we'll need to understand why this claim is so egregiously wrong—logically, historically, and morally.
Can Jews Be Antisemitic?
When a Jewish person expresses anti-Jewish ideas, is that antisemitism? It might sound odd, but yes. From the Middle Ages until the present day, there are plenty of examples of Jewish people perpetuating antisemitism, despite being Jews themselves. Sometimes it is what scholars call “internalised racism,” which is something that many minorities, including Jews, have experienced. Other times, Jews attempt to separate themselves from other Jews as a defence mechanism. But whatever the reason behind it, antisemitism from Jewish people is no more acceptable than antisemitism from non-Jewish people.
Is the Focus on Antisemitism Overblown?
With Jews making up a mere 0.2% of the world’s population, one might reasonably wonder, “Why should we give antisemitism so much attention?” But as professor Walter Russell Mead explains, “Societies that tolerate antisemitism...take a fateful step towards the loss of both freedom and prosperity.” History has shown that societies suffer where antisemitism is prevalent. When the focus is on blaming the Jews, the real causes of society's problems go overlooked. This makes antisemitism more than just a problem for the Jews, but actually something we all should be concerned about.