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The Politics of Ressentiment: Israel, Jews and the German Media


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Contemporary expressions of Judeophobia—in Germany, as elsewhere in Europe—contain a potentially explosive mix of traditional and newer forms of antisemitism. Since 9/11, and especially in the wake of the Iraq war, anti-Americanism has been a potent factor in envenoming hostile attitudes to Israel and the Jews—as alleged architects of the war, and “aggressors” in the Middle East. Conspiracy theories, with an antisemitic subtext, have flourished on the Left and in the mainstream media, as well as on the far Right. One-sided representations of the Middle East conflict, downplaying Palestinian terrorism, the threat posed by radical Islam and the genocidal antisemitism rampant in the Muslim and Arab media—while highlighting Israeli counter-violence as gratuitous sadism—have contributed to fostering anti-Jewish feelings. “AntiSharonism” has been widely used as a cover to present Israel as a
“criminal” state in its essence.

Such commentaries reinforce long-standing and widespread antiJewish stereotypes, revealed by surveys of German public opinion over the years—especially those related to Jewish money, power, and exploitative “abuse” of the Holocaust. Much of contemporary German antisemitism can best be understood as a form of ressentiment against constant reminders of the Nazi past and the desire to reverse the roles, to turn Israelis/Jews into “perpetrators”
and Germans into “victims.”



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PDF, The Politics of Ressentiment: Israel, Jews and the German Media

Bibliographic Information

Wistrich, Robert The Politics of Ressentiment: Israel, Jews and the German Media. Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 2004:  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-877