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The impact of the conflict in Gaza on antisemitism in Belgium


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Taking Belgium as a case study, this article aims to assess the impact of a foreign conflict (the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip) on intergroup relations in Europe. It asks whether intensification of the conflict in Gaza increases the number of antisemitic incidents in Belgium, and makes use of a database of complaints to the Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding (Center of Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism), a federal anti-racism agency, and of an analysis of political claims-making in the written press. It is often stated that the conflict between Palestine and Israel leads to increased levels of antisemitism in Europe but rarely is this based on statistical analysis. The authors of this article undertook such an analysis and concluded that complaints about antisemitism in Belgium indeed showed a statistically significant increase during the Israeli military operation Cast Lead (December 2008–January 2009). Time series and intervention analysis on data spanning a period of one-and-a-half years, however, showed that this effect was not lasting and wore off after a couple of weeks. Apart from the temporary effect of the Gaza war on domestic intergroup relations, there seemed to be no systematic and continuous link between events in the Middle East and acts of antisemitism in Belgium.



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Link to article (paywalled), The impact of the conflict in Gaza on antisemitism in Belgium

Bibliographic Information

Jacobs, Dirk, Veny, Yoann, Callier, Louise, Herman, Barbara, Descamps, Aurélie The impact of the conflict in Gaza on antisemitism in Belgium. Patterns of Prejudice. 2011: 341-360.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1080/0031322X.2011.605845