Monitoring Report April 2017

The Israelization of anti-Semitism
Growing anti-Semitism in Europe and Germany’s special responsibility

Anti-Semitism in Europe is growing. In a working meeting in the German Parliament organized by the “Initiative 27 Januar” i, the EU Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Katharina von Schnurbein, pointed out that, in some countries, such as France and Great Britain, for example, incidents carried out against Jews increased by as much as 36% last year. And yet, parallel to this shocking phenomenon, efforts on the part of state and civil organizations to better study  and understand modern anti-Semitism with the goal of limiting and even reversing it are on the increase. A clear definition of anti-Semitism is indispensable to achieving this goal.

What exactly do we understand when we hear the term Anti-Semitism?

The article by Andrew Baker ii of the American Jewish Committee, a globally active Jewish organization, gives a good historical overview of the efforts to establish a working definition of modern anti-Semitism that is recognized on government levels and practically implemented. The Committee’s efforts in this regard have been commendable. After working out and partially implementing a definition at the EU-level – and the subsequent revocation of the same – 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) agreed on a working definition of anti-Semitism at their conference in May 2016 in Bucharest. The definition includes illustrations of how modern anti-Semitism is, or might be, manifested. It is worthy of note iii  that 7 of the 11 illustrations relate directly to the Jewish state of Israel - experts speak of the anti-Zionist form of anti-Semitism or of the Israelization of anti-Semitism iv.

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