Understanding and Addressing The 'Nazi card' Intervening Against Antisemitic Discourse
Placards carrying images of swastikas superimposed on the Star of David and the Israeli flag were commonplace in street-level protests about the recent Israeli military actions and the conflict in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. Allusions between Nazi genocidal practices and the activities of the Israeli state were also drawn in some of the speeches at protest meetings and press commentary on the conflict. Although this was not the first occasion that the ‘Nazi card’ had been played against Israel and Jews, the prevalence of the phenomenon appears to indicate its growing normalisation. Playing the ‘Nazi card’ is a discursive act involving the use of Nazi or related terms or symbols (Nazism, Hitler, swastikas, etc.) in reference to Jews, Israel, Zionism or aspects of the Jewish experience. It manifests in words uttered in speech or in writing, or in visual representations such as artwork, drawings, caricatures, cartoons, graffiti, daubings and scratchings, or visual expressions such as a Nazi salute or the clicking of heels. In many instances, the playing of the Nazi card is unquestionably antisemitic. However, the inclusion of particular modes of criticism of Israel in definitions of antisemitism has provoked controversy. The result has been a war of words which has stagnated into an intellectual and discursive cul-de-sac of claim and counter-claim about what does and does not qualify as antisemitism. Because of this, in focusing on discourse, this report attempts to shift the focus of analysis of contemporary antisemitism onto new ground: away from labelling and defining the problem, to an understanding of the consequences of particular discourse. By unravelling and dissecting various manifestations of the phenomenon, the report reveals how the playing of the Nazi card scratches deep wounds by invoking painful collective memory of the Holocaust. It also offers some recommendations as to how the problem might be addressed.
Antisemitism Antisemitism: Muslim Antisemitism: Left-Wing Antisemitism: New Antisemitism Antisemitism: Discourse Anti-Zionism Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Main Topic: Antisemitism
Understanding and Addressing The 'Nazi card' Intervening Against Antisemitic Discourse. . 2009: https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-1259