This one was Aaron’s idea, and he will give a brief opening and lead us. Of course, the question here isn’t whether antisemitism has been conmpletely extinguished in the West. No prejudice ever truly dies. Rather, I think the question is whether antisemitism has ceased to be a driving force in Western (especially European) societies, as it was for so many centuries.
Aaron told me he will briefly cover the following only, since the group doesn’t need the full PolySci 101 on antisemitism:
- Brief history
- Why Jews are an easy target
- The 4 types of anti-Semitism that exist
- How Jews themselves have helped inadvertently to victimize themselves
- How/why it has subsided in the West since WWII
For my part, I read a fascinating book a year ago on the historic evolution of antisemitism and the many similarities between modern antisemitism and anti-black racism. I will share this during discussion.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS –
- What are the historic sources (reasons for) antisemitism? Which ones persist? Why do they persist?
- So, can we say that antisemitism has run its historic courtse in these countries?
- What about in the United States, where both the extreme Left and Right have dabbled in antisemitism? How solid is the Christian Right’s love affair with Jews and Israel? If American conservatives keep moving to the right, will they reach a point where antisemitism comes alive again?
- How can we discern how much of the opposition to Israeli policies is rooted in antisemitism versus other factors, like legitimate opposition to itsactions or Europeans’ anti-colonial guilt?
- Wiki’s Antisemitism entry. Notice its typology of reasons for antisemitism. Aaron’s will be a little simpler – and better, IMO.
- Anti-Defamation League survey of antisemitism in 10 European countries shows a lot of it.
- For much more detail, see this 2011 State Department report on global antisemitism.