Thursday, April 18, 2024

  • Thursday, April 18, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

 The New York Times writes:

Many donors, politicians and Jewish students have pressured their colleges to confront antisemitism more forcefully.But one challenge can make the whole exercise feel like quicksilver.

There’s no consensus about what, precisely, constitutes antisemitism.

University administrators and federal bureaucrats alike have considered one contentious definition that has gained traction in recent years, put forward by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

A new book, Hate Speech and Academic Freedom: The Antisemitic Assault on Basic Principles (Critical Contemporary Antisemitism by Cary Nelson, was released last week by Academic Studies Press. I have not read it yet, but he discusses the IHRA definition and then goes on to consider others, including mine:

In truth, there is probably no way to define antisemitism adequately in a few  sentences. Historically, no other hatred has been so adaptable and shifting. I recommend considering several different short definitions so we can see what  is  at stake. A good place to start is with Helen Fein’s well-regarded definition of antisemitism as

a persisting latent structure of hostile beliefs towards Jews as a collectivity manifested in individuals as attitudes, and in culture as myth, ideology, folklore, and imagery, and in actions—social or legal discrimination, political mobilization against Jews, and collective or state violence—which results in and/or is designed to distance, displace, or destroy Jews as Jews (Fein 1987, 67). 

In August, 2022, the well-known pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon presented an alternative definition of antisemitism at a conference organized by the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP). He offered it as a kind of algorithm, a definition one could reliably use to determine whether a statement is antisemitic. It is less helpful in understanding complex bodies of antisemitic theory. He offers it as an elaboration of Natan Sharansky’s “3D” definition of the forms that antisemitism takes—delegitimization, demonization, and double standards. It has two columns. On the left are four types of antisemitism; on the right are their multiple targets: 

Each of the four categories of aggression on the left can be combined with any of the five Jewish targets on the right, so there are a total of twenty possible combinations. It’s a pretty good test, which is one of the things a definition can be. The IHRA Definition itself, however, doesn’t seek to be a test. It seeks to be a guide to analysis. Its authors also chose not to use the eleven examples to list all the malicious lies you can tell about Jews or Israel. 
While my definition is not a guide to analysis, it could be used as a springboard for a more focused analysis. For example, once an incident is defined as either antisemitic or not using my algorithm, the details can then be elaborated on as to why it is or isn't, as I do in my article that tests the definition against specific examples of incidents that some have called antisemitic. 

I'm happy that my definition is getting some recognition. And I still claim that for the purposes of defining antisemitism in places like campuses or governments, it is a far more useful and practical tool. When a specific event happens, it is more important to make a determination instead of endless arguments on whether it is or not, which only makes it easier for haters to try to cloud the issue. 

I hope more people consider the benefits of using my definition. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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