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Author(s): Wiedemann, Emilie
Date: 2024
Abstract: This thesis is an examination of the international Jewish and non-Jewish politics of opposing antisemitism between 1960 and 2005. It begins with the condemnation of antisemitism by the UN Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1960. It ends with the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia’s (EUMC) working definition of antisemitism, published in 2005. Between these poles, lay a wealth of contestation about what antisemitism is and how to oppose it. Successive challenges and instability for Israel as well as global geopolitical upheaval during this time raised these questions anew. The thesis centres the political agency of a diverse and evolving group of Jewish internationalist actors, including NGOs, community representatives and academics, and analyses their political responses to this context. I explore how these actors debated and contested ideas about how to identify, measure and oppose antisemitism, and with whom to ally in this struggle. At stake was the relationship between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, between anti-antisemitism and anti-racism, between Israel and diaspora, and who represented Jewish interests in the arenas of global governance. These questions brought out significant divides in international Jewish politics, between state and diaspora and among diaspora actors themselves. The thesis ends with an investigation of the immediate roots of the EUMC document in Jewish internationalism; at the same time, I contextualise the EUMC document within the longer arc of the thesis. It was one expression of long-standing, multifaceted and heated debates within international Jewish politics, and of how these debates have played out in international Jewish and non-Jewish political efforts to oppose antisemitism. Overall, I demonstrate that ideas about what antisemitism is were constantly in flux during this period, subject to debate, contestation and negotiation among Jewish and non-Jewish political actors.
Author(s): Ehmann, Tanja
Date: 2023
Abstract: In 2018 and 2021, the Berlin club scene saw cancel culture clashes in connection with the DJs for Palestine (DJP) boycott campaign, which follows the agenda of the BDS move-ment. I was interested in the discussions about the clashes on social media and want-ed to find out to what extent the argumentation in favor of the DJP boycott campaign reproduces antisemitism. To discuss my findings, I used the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA). The results of my analysis of the pro-boycott voices on social media show that they positioned themselves in an ideologized and Manichaean manner against Israel and Zionism. People who argued against the boycott were singled out and accused of being white supremacists. In their social media posts, the boycott supporters created a hegemonic and exclusionary space and staged themselves as gatekeepers of human rights. Analysis of the posts with key words from the JDA guidelines delineated in section C as not antisemitic per se show that this judgement has to be rejected in the case of the present study. The critique that is formulated is in most cases destructive and neither balanced nor a qualified approach to a complex situation. What is especially missing is a recognition of how criticism of Zionism or Israel can be loaded with antisemitic tropes. Instead of such recognition, there is denial of antisemitism or counter-accusation. There are dogmatic speech, unilateral blame and defensiveness, but most of the time no reference to contra-dictions and ambivalences towards the boycott campaign and the DJs for Palestine agenda.