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Date: 2021
Abstract: Bereits seit einigen Jahren schwelt eine Diskussion über einen neuen Antisemitismus. Im Fokus dieser Debatten finden sich immer häufiger Einwanderer:innen, vor allem aber Muslim:innen wieder. Als Folge kam der Begriff eines islamisierten Antisemitismus auf. Schnell wurden diese Diskussionen zu einem Politikum. Rechtsextreme Akteure wie die Alternative für Deutschland griffen die Hinweise auf Antisemitismus unter Muslim:innen auf und instrumentalisierten diese für ihre antimuslimische Agenda. Diese Instrumentalisierung wiederum macht es Menschen, die sich gegen antimuslimische Diskriminierung einsetzen, schwer, die Existenz eines muslimischen Antisemitismus anzuerkennen. Anhand unterschiedlichen empirischen Materials untersucht dieser Beitrag die Prävalenz antisemitischer Ressentiments unter Muslim:innen und wie diese mit der Persistenz von Antisemitismus in der deutschen Gesellschaft zusammenhängen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass traditionelle Formen des Antisemitismus und insbesondere israelbezogener Antisemitismus unter Muslim:innen besonders akzentuiert ausfällt. Der Antisemitismus, in muslimischen Submilieus, stellt neben dem ethnonationalen, rechtsextremen Antisemitismus eine Bedrohung für Jud:innen in Deutschland dar. Der Antisemitismus unter Muslim:innen stützt sich sowohl auf Narrative, die aus ihren Herkunftsländern stammen, sowie auf religiöse Quellen. Allerdings ist der Antisemitismus unter Muslim:innen in Deutschland geringer ausgeprägt als in den meisten Gesellschaften der islamischen Welt. Darüber hinaus sind schuldverleugnende Artikulationen von Antisemitismus nach wie vor ein Markenzeichen der autochthonen Bevölkerung und rechter politischer Milieus. Antisemitismus in Deutschland bedarf daher eines differenzierteren Verständnisses, als es noch vor wenigen Jahren notwendig erschien.
Author(s): Vitale, Alessandro
Date: 2021
Abstract: The Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR) of Birobidzhan in Siberia is still alive. The once famous “Siberian Zion”, at the confluence of the Bira and Bidzhan rivers, a stone’s throw away from China and a day from the Pacific Ocean, 9,000 km and six days by train from Moscow, is still a geographical reality. The political class of the Soviet Union decided to create a territory the size of Belgium for a settlement for Jews, choosing a region on the border between China and the Soviet Union. It believed that Soviet Jews needed, like other national minorities, a homeland with a territory. The Soviet regime thus opted to establish an enclave that would become the JAR in 1934. We should note that the creation of the JAR was the first historically fulfilled case of building an officially recognised Jewish national territory since antiquity and well before Israel. Nevertheless, many historians declared this experiment a failure and the history of the Region only tragic. It is interesting to note, however, that the survival of the JAR in post-Soviet Russia has been not only a historical curiosity, a legacy of Soviet national policy, but today – after the collapse of the Soviet Union – it represents a very interesting case study. It is also a topic useful for the analysis and understanding of inter-ethnic relations, cooperation, and coexistence and it is a unique case of geographic resettlement that produced a special case of “local patriotism”, as an example also for different ethnic groups living in the JAR, based on Jewish and Yiddish roots.
Date: 2021
Author(s): Kuperberg, Rebecca
Date: 2021
Author(s): Kasstan, Ben
Date: 2021
Abstract: Maintaining ‘faith’ in vaccination has emerged as a public health challenge amidst outbreaks of preventable disease among religious minorities and rising claims to ‘exemption’ from vaccine mandates. Outbreaks of measles and coronavirus have been particularly acute among Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods in North America, Europe and Israel, yet no comparative studies have been conducted to discern the shared and situated influences on vaccine decision-making.

This paper synthesises qualitative research into vaccine decision-making among Orthodox Jews in the United Kingdom and Israel during the 2014–15 and 2018-19 measles epidemics, and 2020–21 coronavirus pandemic. The methods integrate 66 semi-structured informal interviews conducted with parents, formal and informal healthcare practitioners, and religious leaders, as well as analysis of tailored non-vaccination advocacy events and literature.

The paper argues that the discourse of ‘religious’ exemption and opposition to vaccination obscures the diverse practices and philosophies that inform vaccine decisions, and how religious law and leaders form a contingent influence. Rather than viewing religion as the primary framework through which vaccine decisions are made, Orthodox Jewish parents were more concerned with safety, trust and choice in similar ways to ‘secular’ logics of non-vaccination. Yet, religious frameworks were mobilised, and at times politicised, to suit medico-legal discourse of ‘exemption’ from coercive or mandatory vaccine policies. By conceptualising tensions around protection as ‘political immunities,’ the paper offers a model to inform social science understandings of how health, law and religion intersect in contemporary vaccine opposition.
Date: 2021
Author(s): Shwed, Zoya
Date: 2021
Date: 2021
Abstract: Executive summary
• Three of the four ‘alternative media’ platforms analysed were found to promote a
negative view of Jews
• The fourth was found to promote a negative view of Muslims, but not of Jews
(although it sometimes made use of arguments and images that are in other
contexts used to stigmatise Jews)
• A significant relationship was found between holding antisemitic views and having a
positive opinion of each of the three platforms that were found to promote a
negative view of Jews
• A significant relationship was also found between holding antisemitic views and
having a positive opinion of the Russian state-owned propaganda broadcaster, RT
(formerly Russia Today)
• By contrast, there was no relationship, or a substantially weaker and more conflicted
relationship, between antisemitism and evaluation of named ‘mainstream media’
• Moreover, drawing on the ‘mainstream media’ in general for political information
was associated with lower levels of antisemitism
• In the interests of reducing prejudice, it would appear desirable to encourage use of
high quality, reputable sources of information at the expense of low quality fringe
• Partial solutions to the problem could include:
- Demonetisation of problematic websites (for example, through withdrawal of
- De-prioritisation of content from such websites in social media news feeds
and search algorithms
- Guidelines for members or employees of organisations such as political
parties, voluntary sector organisations, trade unions, and media companies,
both against sharing content or repeating claims from such websites and
against providing them with content in the form of interviews, quotations, or
- In extreme cases, legal or regulatory sanctions against the owners of the
websites themselves
• However, it is at least as important for government, individual consumers, and other
stakeholders (including social media companies) to play their part in ensuring that
reputable media-producing organisations are able to remain viable as businesses
that can both invest in and promote high-quality content within a democratic
regulatory framework
Author(s): Cârstocea, Raul
Date: 2021
Date: 2021
Abstract: In 2015, Spain approved a law that offered citizenship to the descendants of Sephardi Jews expelled in 1492. Drawing on archival, ethnographic, and historical sources, I show that this law belongs to a political genealogy of philosephardism in which the “return” of Sephardi Jews has been imagined as a way to usher in a deferred Spanish modernity. Borrowing from anthropological theories of “racial fusion,” philosephardic thinkers at the turn of the twentieth century saw Sephardi Jews as inheritors of a racial mixture that made them living repositories of an earlier moment of national greatness. The senator Ángel Pulido, trained as an anthropologist, channeled these intellectual currents into an international campaign advocating the repatriation of Sephardi Jews. Linking this racial logic to an affective one, Pulido asserted that Sephardi Jews did not “harbor rancor” for the Expulsion, but instead felt love and nostalgia toward Spain, and could thus be trusted as loyal subjects who would help resurrect its empire. Today, affective criteria continue to be enmeshed in debates about who qualifies for inclusion and are inextricable from the histories of racial thought that made earlier exclusions possible. Like its precursors, the 2015 Sephardic citizenship law rhetorically fashioned Sephardi Jews as fundamentally Spanish, not only making claims about Sephardi Jews, but also making claims on them. Reckoning with how rancor and other sentiments have helped buttress such claims exposes the recalcitrant hold that philosephardic thought has on Spain's present, even those “progressive” political projects that promise to “return” what has been lost.
Author(s): Baugut, Philip
Date: 2021
Abstract: Rund 75 Jahre nach dem Holocaust verzeichnet die Polizei einen An-stieg antisemitischer Straftaten in Deutschland; als bedrohte Minderheit sorgen sich jüdi-sche Menschen um das gesellschaftliche Meinungsklima, das auch die etablierten Massen-medien prägen. Vor diesem Hintergrund untersucht der vorliegende Beitrag mit Hilfe des normativen Konzepts der „interkulturellen medialen Integration“ die medienjournalisti-sche Berichterstattung der Wochenzeitung Jüdische Allgemeine. Die Befunde der qualitati-ven Inhaltsanalyse von 168 Beiträgen zeigen, dass die vom Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland herausgegebene Publikation in verschiedener Hinsicht heftige Kritik an etab-lierten Medien übt. So hätten einzelne Medien antisemitische Stereotype verbreitet, Perso-nen, die sich antisemitisch äußern, eine Plattform geboten und Antisemitismus als solchen nicht erkannt, relativiert oder negiert. Im Sinne einer differenzierten Medienkritik macht die Jüdische Allgemeine aber auch deutlich, welche Merkmale von Medieninhalten sie für wünschenswert hält, darunter Berichte über alltägliches jüdisches Leben in Deutschland, aber auch authentische Beiträge über Antisemitismus, in denen Betroffene zu Wort kom-men. Die Befunde können zum einen verstehen helfen, warum viele Jüd*innen in Europa Antisemitismus in den Medien als Problem sehen. Zum anderen liefern sie Produzierenden von Medienangeboten Hinweise darauf, welche Resonanz ihre Inhalte innerhalb der jüdi-schen Gemeinschaft finden.
Author(s): Baugut, Philip
Date: 2021
Date: 2021
Abstract: „Zionisten“, „Satanisten“, „Transhumanisten“ und die „Pharmamafia“ würden durch „Sterilisation und Mord per Todesspritze“ […] „die absolute Kontrolle jedes Einzelnen und die Auslöschung weiterer Teile der Bevölkerung“ herbeiführen. Denn hinter Corona stecke „der feuchte Traum von einer kommunistischen Weltmacht“, nämlich der Zweck der „Umstrukturierung der Welt in eine neue Ordnung, kurz NWO (New World Order, Anm. RIAS Bayern. Vgl. Glossar, → NWO)“.

Dies sagte eine Rednerin auf einer Kundgebung sogenannter Coronarebellen in Nürnberg am 27. Juni 2020. Der Frau zufolge sollen durch Impfungen Menschen weltweit mit Nanochips überwacht, sterilisiert und getötet werden. Abschließend befand sie: „Ja, das muss man auch mal ganz klar benennen dürfen, oder?“

Zwar mögen solche Erzählungen meist abstrus und verrückt wirken, sie sind jedoch in ihren potentiellen Konsequenzen ernst zu nehmen. Selbstverständlich existierten auch vor der Coronapandemie Verschwörungserzählungen. Jedoch haben sie sich auch in Bayern verstärkt verbreitet, nachdem im Frühjahr 2020 Menschen, die sich als Coronarebellen oder Querdenker bezeichnen, begannen, gegen tatsächliche und imaginierte
staatliche Maßnahmen im Zuge der Coronakrise zu protestieren.

Nicht zuletzt in den sozialen Medien verbreiten sich Verschwörungserzählungen in Wort und Bild zunehmend rasanter und erreichen im Zuge der „Corona-Proteste” auch immer mehr Menschen, die vor der Pandemie wenig verschwörungsideologisch geprägt waren. Laut einer repräsentativen Umfrage der Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung vom Juli 2020 glauben 16 Prozent der Einwohner:innen in Deutschland, dass Bill Gates allen Menschen Mikrochips einpflanzen wollen würde. Antisemitische Einstellungen sind in Deutschland weit verbreitet. Laut einer repräsentativen Umfrage des Jüdischen Weltkongresses (WJC) von 2019 behaupten 28 Prozent
der sogenannten Elite (laut Studie Hochschulabsolvent:innen mit einem Jahreseinkommen von mindestens 100.000 Euro), Juden hätten zu viel Macht in der Wirtschaft. 26 Prozent attestieren Juden „zu viel Macht in der Weltpolitik“. Fast die Hälfte von ihnen (48 Prozent) behauptet, Juden verhielten sich loyaler zu Israel als zu Deutschland. Der
WJC ließ dafür zweieinhalb Monate vor dem Anschlag auf die Synagoge in Halle an Yom Kippur 2019 1300 Menschen befragen.

Diese Broschüre der Recherche- und Informationsstelle Antisemitismus (RIAS) Bayern soll über Verschwörungserzählungen im Zusammenhang mit Antisemitismus aufklären. Was sind Verschwörungserzählungen und was haben sie mit Antisemitismus zu tun? Warum sind sie für bestimmte Menschen attraktiv? Wie kann man ihnen begegnen? Ab Seite 18 findet sich ein ausführliches Glossar zu gängigen Verschwörungserzählungen mit von
RIAS Bayern dokumentierten Beispielen.
Date: 2021
Abstract: This article presents research notes on an oral history project on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Jews over the age of 65 years. During the first stage of the project, we conducted nearly 80 interviews in eight cities worldwide: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and St. Petersburg, and in Israel. The interviews were conducted in the spring of 2020 and reflect the atmosphere and perception of interviewees at the end of the first lockdown.

Based on an analysis of the interviews, the findings are divided into three spheres: (1) the personal experience during the pandemic, including personal difficulties and the impact of the lockdown on family and social contacts; (2) Jewish communal life, manifested in changed functions and emergence of new needs, as well as religious rituals during the pandemic; and (3) perceived relations between the Jewish community and wider society, including relations with state authorities and civil society, attitudes of and towards official media, and the possible impact of COVID-19 on antisemitism. Together, these spheres shed light on how elderly Jews experience their current situation under COVID-19—as individuals and as part of a community.

COVID-19 taught interviewees to reappraise what was important to them. They felt their family relations became stronger under the pandemic, and that their Jewish community was more meaningful than they had thought. They understood that online communication will continue to be present in all three spheres, but concluded that human contact cannot be substituted by technical devices.
Date: 2021
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic hit the British Jewish community hard. According to data gathered by JPR in July 2020, 25% of British Jews had already contracted the virus by that time and Jewish mortality rates in London in April 2020 – the peak of the first wave – were almost three times as high as usual. In Manchester, the picture was even worse.

Building on our previous studies on this topic, this paper looks at Jewish mortality over the first year of the pandemic, taking in both the first wave (March to May 2020) and the second wave (December 2020 to February 2021).

Whilst it confirms that excess mortality among Jews during the first wave was considerably higher than among comparative non-Jews (280% higher compared to 188%), it reveals that the second wave saw the opposite picture: 69% higher than expected levels of mortality for that period among Jews, compared to 77% among the non-Jewish comparative group. This second wave picture is exactly what one might expect to see given that Jews typically enjoy relatively good health and longevity, so it forces us to ask again: what happened during the first wave to cause such devastation across the Jewish community?

Whilst not yet definitive about their conclusions, the authors point towards the ‘religious sociability’ hypothesis – that notion that close interaction between Jews, prior to the first lockdown, caused the devastating spike in Jewish deaths early on. The paper also demonstrates that the ‘Jewish penalty’ at this time was greater among Orthodox Jews than Progressive ones which further strengthens the hypothesis, as much higher proportions of Orthodox Jews gather regularly for religious reasons than Progressive Jews (even though Progressive Jews do so more regularly than British society as a whole).

The fact that the picture of extremely high excess mortality among British Jews was not repeated during the second wave (on the contrary, excess mortality among Jews was very slightly lower than among the comparator non-Jewish population, and slightly higher among Progressive Jews than Orthodox ones), suggests that the religious sociability theory was no longer a major factor at this time. With many synagogues closed or complying closely with the social distancing policies established by government, Jews were affected by coronavirus in much the same way as others.

The findings in this paper should be taken seriously by at least two key groups. Epidemiologists and public health experts should explore the impact of religious sociability more carefully, as currently, socioeconomic factors tend to dominate analysis. And Jewish community leaders must also reflect on the findings and, in the event of a similar pandemic in the future, consider instituting protective measures much more quickly than occurred in early 2020.

Author(s): Bharat, Adi Saleem
Date: 2021