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Other titles in the Studies in Antisemitism series:
From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel (Studies in Antisemitism)by Robert S. Wistrich
Synopses & Reviews
Copublished with the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, this study asks if the European Union (EU) has the capacity or the will to counter antisemitism. The desire to counter antisemitism was a significant impetus toward the formation of the EU in the twentieth century and now prejudice against Jews threatens to subvert that goal in the twenty-first. The European Union, Antisemitism, and the Politics of Denial offers an overview of the circumstances that obliged European political institutions to take action against antisemitism and considers the effectiveness of these interventions by considering two seemingly dissimilar EU states, Austria and Sweden.
This examination of the European Unionand#8217;s strategy for countering antisemitism discloses escalating prejudice within the EU in the aftermath of 9/11. The author contends that Europeand#8217;s political actors have responded to the challenge and provocation of antisemitism with only sporadic rhetoric and inconsistent commitment, a halfhearted strategy for countering antisemitism that exacerbates skepticism toward EU institutions and their commitments to equality and justice. This exposition of the insipid character of the EUand#8217;s response simultaneously suggests alternatives that might mitigate the subtle and potentially devastating creep of antisemitism in Europe.
This study offers a new approach insofar as scholarly considerations of the EUand#8217;s attempts to combat racism rarely focus on antisemitism, while scholarship on antisemitism rarely considers the political context of the European Union.
Toward an Anthropology of Nation Building and Unbuilding in Israel presents twenty-two original essays offering a critical survey of the anthropology of Israel inspired by Alex Weingrod, emeritus professor and pioneering scholar of Israeli anthropology. In the late 1950s Weingrodand#8217;s groundbreaking ethnographic research of Israeland#8217;s underpopulated south complicated the dominant social science discourse and government policy of the day by focusing on the ironies inherent in the project of Israeli nation building and on the process of migration prompted by social change.
Drawing from Weingrodand#8217;s perspective, this collection considers the gaps, ruptures, and juxtapositions in Israeli society and the cultural categories undergirding and subverting these divisions. Organized into four parts, the volume examines our understanding of Israel as a place of difference, the disruptions and integrations of diaspora, the various permutations of Judaism, and the role of symbol in the national landscape and in Middle Eastern studies considered from a comparative perspective. These essays illuminate the key issues pervading, motivating, and frustrating Israeland#8217;s complex ethnoscape.
From Ambivalence to Betrayal is the first study to explore the transformation in attitudes on the Left toward the Jews, Zionism, and Israel since the origins of European socialism in the 1840s until the present. This pathbreaking synthesis reveals a striking continuity in negative stereotypes of Jews, contempt for Judaism, and negation of Jewish national self-determination from the days of Karl Marx to the current left-wing intellectual assault on Israel. World-renowned expert on the history of antisemitism Robert S. Wistrich provides not only a powerful analysis of how and why the Left emerged as a spearhead of anti-Israel sentiment but also new insights into the wider involvement of Jews in radical movements.
There are fascinating portraits of Marx, Moses Hess, Bernard Lazare, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, and other Jewish intellectuals, alongside analyses of the darker face of socialist and Communist antisemitism. The closing section eloquently exposes the degeneration of leftist anti-Zionist critiques into a novel form of “anti-racist” racism.
About the Author
Robert S. Wistrich is the Neuburger Professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism. He is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad (2010) and Laboratory for World Destruction: Germans and Jews in Central Europe (Nebraska, 2007).
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