Monday, April 6, 2020

Today’s anti-Semitism has three origins

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Solidarity against hatred of Jews: Israeli flag at a Berlin synagogue
Picture: dpa

Research on anti-Semitism is controversial, says Stefanie Schüler-Springorum. But that’s not true when you consider all of its forms. A reply.

In her essay “Anti-Semitism: a politically heated field” Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, head of the Center for Anti-Semitism Research at the TU Berlin, claims that anti-Semitism research is torn apart by political disputes. It rightly reminds of the now familiar dimensions of anti-Semitism. These include Christian, European, secular-right-wing and conspiracy theory. She also rightly points out that anti-Semitism research sensitizes people to hatred, regardless of whether that hatred is based on belief, race or gender.

All anti-Semitism researchers should agree on these points. However, leading historians and analysts in the United States, Europe, Israel, and elsewhere have also long written that anti-Semitism in the past seventy years has had more than three roots. In addition to the anti-Jewish elements of Christian tradition and twentieth-century Nazism and its successors, there are two other sources: communism and the radical left, and Islamist ideology.

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