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Wither Philosemitic Europe? Antisemitism after the “Golden Era”


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The defeat of the Labour Party in the 2019 general election in Britain has put to rest the tumultuous “Corbyn Affair” (2015–2019). Whether Labour under Corbyn has been “overrun by anti-Semitism or other forms of racism” or, in the words of the Chakrabarti report, polluted by an “occasionally toxic atmosphere” has been hotly debated. Yet the “affair” above all symbolized the crisis of Europe’s postwar philosemitism: the official repudiation and reprobation of antisemitism in mainstream politics; a shift from enmity to partnership in Christian approaches to Judaism; the rise of a positive image of the Jews as symbol of conservative values or post-national European cosmopolitanism; the duty of Shoah remembrance and official atonement; and despite the rise of virulent anti-Zionism in Europe since 1967, the containment of anti-Israeli criticism within the framework of a two-state solution. Hostility toward Jews, to be sure, never disappeared, but philosemitism broadly conceived has redefined the relationship between contemporary Europe and its Jews. The “Corbyn Affair” challenged the terms of this postwar history: the controversy indeed signaled the possible end of Europe’s postwar philosemitic moment.




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Link to article (paywalled), Wither Philosemitic Europe? Antisemitism after the “Golden Era”

Bibliographic Information

Cohen, G. Daniel Wither Philosemitic Europe? Antisemitism after the “Golden Era”. Antisemitism, Islamophobia and the Politics of Definition. Palgrave Macmillan. 2023: 165-188.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1007/978-3-031-16266-4_8