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Author(s): Otova, Ildiko
Date: 2024
Abstract: In recent years, the fate of the Jews in Bulgaria during the Second World War has aroused the research interest of humanities scholars from various disciplines, with a number of studies published (see e.g., and many of the following cited (Avramov 2012. “Спасение” и падение. Микроикономика на държавния антисемитизъм в България, 1940–1944 [“Rescue” and fall. Microeconomics of State Anti-semitism in Bulgaria, 1940–1944]. Sofia: Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski; Daneva 2013; Krsteva 2015; Koleva 2017)). Many rely on research on the construction of memory. At the same time, fewer research efforts seem to have focused on how the topic has become politicized in the years since 1989 (see e.g. Benatov 2013. “Debating the Fate of Bulgarian Jews during World War II.” In Bringing the Dark Past to Light the Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, edited by John-Paul Himka, and Joanna Beata Michlic, 108–31. University of Nebraska Press; Ragaru 2020. Et les Juifs bulgaresfurent sauvе…Une histoire des savoirs sur la Shoah en Bulgarie. Paris: Science Po). The aim of this paper is to offer precisely this perspective on the topic of non/rescue, and in the last ten years. Politicization has traditionally been understood as the process of attributing salience to an issue of public interest through various channels such as political discourse and media, and in the presence of the multiple and diverse opinions associated with it (deWilde, Pieter. 2011. “No polity for old politics? A framework for analyzing the politicization of European integration.” Journal of European Integration 33 (5): 559–75; de Wilde, Pieter, Anna Leupold, and Henning Schmidtke. 2016. “Introduction: the differentiated politicisation of European governance.” West European Politics 39 (1): 3–22). In some texts on the politicization of the migration crisis in Bulgaria in the years since 2012, the author shows how a topic can be politicized in the absence of political debate and in the context of a dominant populist understanding, multiplied by various power actors – politicians, institutions, media and intellectuals (see e.g. Otova, Ildiko, and Evelina Staykova. 2022. Migration and Populism in Bulgaria. London: Routledge). For the purposes of this paper, by politicization the author will understand the blurring of ideological differences of interpretations of who the savior is in a populist consensus around the construction of the rescue narrative for foreign policy use, but mostly as a nation-building narrative. The focus of this article is on the last ten years, in which the political interpretations and actions surrounding the commemoration of the 70th in 2013 and 75th in 2018 and the 80th anniversary in 2023 of the events surrounding the so-called rescue of Bulgarian Jews are particularly interesting. It is during these last years that populism has become the norm for the political scene in Bulgaria. Populism is not the obvious entrance to the topic, but it is the political framework within which the politicization of the topic of the rescue is developing, and a possible theoretical entrance. Populism became a persistent part of Bulgarian political life more than a decade after the beginning of the democratic changes of 1989. There are several key factors involved in this process-exhaustion of the cleavages of the transition period, but especially the transformation of party politics into symbolic ones (Otova, Ildiko, and Evelina Staykova. 2022. Migration and Populism in Bulgaria. London: Routledge). Symbolic politics deal more with emotions and less with ratio and facts; they build narratives that are often nationally affirming. The article does not claim to be exhaustive, especially in its presentation of historical facts. The limits of this rather political science approach are many. On the other hand, however, it adds to the research effort with a missing glimpse into the interpretations of the no/rescue theme and could open the field for further in-depth research.
Date: 2024
Date: 2023
Date: 2024
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between the Far Right and Holocaust memory politics in the Netherlands through an in-depth analysis of the antisemitic and conspiratorial discourse of far-right politician Thierry Baudet and his party, Forum for Democracy (FvD). While the FvD positioned themselves as a victim of establishment politics from the outset, the party used their opposition to government COVID-19 policies to bolster the image of themselves as victim of state power as well as Jewish conspiracies.

This article argues that Baudet’s Holocaust relativization and his criticism of the evolving character of Dutch Holocaust memory are intimately tied to his and the FvD’s antisemitic worldview, in which Jews are to blame for the decline of a mythologized white, Christian Dutch nation. In this context, the FvD used Holocaust analogies on social media, in the Dutch parliament, and during rallies to simultaneously accuse Jews of exploiting a victim identity for moral legitimacy and to contest the government’s acknowledgment of Dutch collaboration and inclusion of Jewish experiences into a broader national narrative of the Second World War. In posing these challenges to the status of the Holocaust in contemporary memory politics, Baudet and the FvD attempt to rewrite Dutch history with the white, Christian population as the true bearers of Dutch heritage and identity. Examining the character and normalization of Holocaust relativization in a country still lauded internationally for its tolerance despite its delayed process of ‘coming to terms’ with its Holocaust past demonstrates the centrality of memory politics to far-right ideologies.
Author(s): Laczó, Ferenc
Date: 2013
Author(s): Trom, Danny
Date: 2018
Abstract: Lorsqu’un tribunal allemand à Cologne décida que l’ablation du prépuce pour motif religieux relève de coups et blessures volontaires, il ne pensait pas faire de politique. Lorsque les porte-parole des Juifs en Allemagne s’indignèrent que cette décision revienne en somme à bannir les juifs du pays, éclata un scandale politique national aux proportions mondiales. La chancelière Angela Merkel, rapporte-t-on, réagit en disant « Je ne veux pas que l’Allemagne soit le seul pays au monde dans lequel les Juifs ne peuvent pratiquer leurs rites. Sinon on passerait pour une nation de guignols ». En réalité ce n’est pas le ridicule que l’Allemagne craignait, c’était qu’après avoir tenté d’éradiquer les Juifs d’Europe, avec un certain succès, elle affiche une inhospitalité foncière à l’égard des Juifs. Mais il n’est pas fortuit que ce soit précisément en Allemagne que les droits de l’homme, les droits les plus individuels, soient scrupuleusement approfondis jusqu’à une conclusion politiquement intenable.
Le tribunal de Cologne, en pénalisant la berit milah, ne fait pas de politique, il protège l’intégrité physique de la personne et déclenche pourtant un scandale politique et des réactions en chaîne qui poussèrent le législateur allemand à amender dans l’urgence cette embarrassante décision. Et les juifs, lorsqu’ils circoncisent, que font-ils exactement ? Les anthropologues ont échafaudés un ensemble d’hypothèses sur la fonction de la circoncision. Les réponses varient selon le groupe étudié, mais souvent se chevauchent…
Date: 2023
Date: 2023
Date: 2023
Author(s): Zawadzka, Anna
Date: 2023
Abstract: Książka Więcej niż stereotyp. „Żydokomuna” jako wzór kultury polskiej oparta jest na analizie dyskursu ntykomunistycznego i antysemickiego we współczesnej Polsce i ich wzajemnych powiązań. Jej powstaniu towarzyszyła intencja uszeregowania trzech zachodzących na siebie procesów: 1) intensyfikacji i rozwoju dyskursu antysemickiego w synergii z wciąż zyskującą na znaczeniu polityką historyczną, 2) powstawania nowych teorii interweniujących w pole badań nad antysemityzmem, 3) pojawiania się nowych zjawisk w sferze społecznej, które miałyby być tymi teoriami wyjaśniane.

Na tle dotychczasowych ujęć tematu podejście autorki wyróżniają rozbudowane rozważania metodologiczne, a zwłaszcza wypunktowanie niedostatków kategorii stereotypu i wyjście poza nią w kierunku kategorii wzoru kultury. Kategoria stereotypu sugeruje, że mamy do czynienia z błędem poznawczym, aberracją lub pomyłką. Zaproponowaną w książce analizę antysemityzmu charakteryzuje tymczasem całkowite zerwanie z koncepcją „ziarna prawdy”, na której zasadza się większość definicji stereotypu jako uproszczonej wizji jakiegoś wycinka rzeczywistości. Podążając tropem Sandera Gilmana, autorka traktuje treści stereotypów jako materiał do analizy grupy
wytwarzającej stereotypy. Takie podejście pozwala na wykorzystanie motywu „żydokomuny” do opisania status quo współczesnej kultury polskiej w zakresie wyobrażeń o żydowskości i o komunizmie. Autorka dowodzi, że przekonania na temat Żydów są integralną częścią kultury, wypracowaną i reprodukowaną w jej prawomocnych obiegach. Są one generowane, produkowane i używane do podtrzymywania pewnej całości kulturowej i pozostają w harmonii z jej pozostałymi elementami. Autorka broni tezy o „żydokomunie” jako motywie współcześnie konstytutywnym dla koherencji kulturowej, generowanej w ramach paradygmatu antykomunistycznego.

Książka ma dowieść, że antykomunizm nie tylko stanowi komponent tradycji antysemickiej, ale w dużej mierze ukształtował taki model badań nad antysemityzmem, w którym możliwość zdiagnozowania i rozmontowania tego ideologicznego konstruktu jest strukturalnie zablokowana. Strukturę tę umacnia fakt, że – za sprawą szantażu antysemicką zbitką „żydokomuny” zastosowanym wobec szkoły frankfurckiej na uchodźctwie – zbudowano ją niejako „rękami Żydów” – badaczek i badaczy, którzy po drugiej stronie żelaznej kurtyny w początkach zimnej wojny rozwinęli koncepcję relacji międzygrupowych, próbując ten szantaż obejść. Podążając tropem Stuarta Svonkina i Avivy Weingarten, autorka śledzi historię powojennego konstruowania narzędzi badawczych antysemityzmu w duchu psychologii społecznej przy równoczesnym odchodzeniu od kategorii socjologicznych. W książce wypunktowane zostają niedostatki takiego podejścia, ponieważ koncentruje się ono na szacowaniu indywidualnych podmiotów antysemityzmu, definiując antysemityzm podług cech nieadekwatnych do jego współczesnej konstrukcji. Tymczasem kategoria wzoru kultury pozwala przenieść punkt ciężkości z pytania o to, kto jest antysemitą, na pytanie o to, jakie
treści kulturowe cyrkulujące w rozmaitych rejestrach kultury, także tych najbardziej oficjalnych, są zakorzenione w antysemickich kategoriach postrzegania rzeczywistości oraz jakie są funkcje tych kategorii dla stabilizowania zastanego porządku. Takie ujęcie pozwala na uchwycenie mechanizmów odtwarzania motywu „żydokomuny” we
współczesnym dyskursie i jego funkcjonalności.

Zaproponowana w książce krytyka słownika pojęć używanych do analizy antysemityzmu obejmuje także terminy wypracowane w łonie nauk społecznych na Zachodzie, stosowane do półperyferyjnych warunków ostkomunistycznego kraju Europy Wschodniej. W książce znajdziemy krytykę powierzchownego przyswojenia kategorii: intersekcjonalność, białość, imperializm. Rozważając przystawalność amerykańskiego dyskursu o rasie i rasizmie do warunków polskich, autorka stara się dowieść, że użycie niektórych pojęć bez zważania na lokalny kontekst okazuje się mieć odwrotny wydźwięk w stosunku do intencji, które stały za ich wypracowaniem.
Ostatnia część książki poświęcona jest recepcji piętna „żydokomuny” przez napiętnowanych. Rozważania na ten temat wynikają z założenia autorki, że tylko przemoc symboliczna – przemoc, którą jednostki i grupy zadają same sobie, uwewnętrzniając przekonania grupy dominującej na własny temat i odgrywając przeznaczone im
przez grupę dominującą role (gościa, sublokatora, aspirującego, podejrzanego, niszczyciela, wroga itd.) – zapewnia tym przekonaniom pełną stabilność kulturową i możliwość bezkolizyjnego wypełniania określonych funkcji w kulturze. Zadając pytanie o to, w jaki sposób czytać narracje mniejszościowe, autorka mierzy się z metodologicznym impasem powodowanym faktem, że struktura dyskursywna stawia w upośledzonej pozycji tych uczestników dyskursu, którzy – bez względu na to, jaką mają tożsamość wybraną – postrzegani są przez pryzmat tożsamości wymuszonej. Nosicielki
i nosiciele piętna są w kulturze dominującej pozycjonowani jako stronniczy. Jest to jeden z efektów mistyfikacyjnego uniwersalizmu. Czy zatem, analizując narracje napiętnowanych, należy brać pod uwagę piętno podmiotu? Czy nie jest to powtórzenie – w imię analizy – gestu napiętnowania? Z drugiej strony, czy pominięcie piętna nie byłoby niedopuszczalnym przeoczeniem, skoro wiemy, że autorka/autor pisze w obrębie kultury, która z przyczyn strukturalnych, pod groźbą przemocy, nie chce dopuścić jej/go do głosu na równych prawach? By przełamać ten impas, autorka proponuje oryginalny, czterostopniowy schemat analizy dyskursu w badaniach nad recepcją piętna.
Date: 2023
Abstract: From Introduction:

Antisemitism is global and multifaceted. One area in which ADL has seen a growth of antisemitism is within elements of the political left. This often takes the form of anti-Zionism, a movement that rejects the Jewish right to self-determination and of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, and frequently employs antisemitic tropes to attack Israel and its supporters. It also manifests through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a campaign that promotes diplomatic, financial, professional, academic and cultural isolation of Israel, Israeli individuals, Israeli institutions, and Jews who support Israel’s right to exist.

Political actors and advocacy movements associated with some left-wing political organizations have engaged in such antisemitism both in the U.S. and in Europe. While antisemitism from individuals associated with left-leaning political organizations is generally less violent than right-wing antisemitism, its penetration into the political mainstream is cause for concern and has in some cases alienated Jews and other supporters of Israel. Concerns are both political and physical. As described in this report, Jews and Jewish institutions have been targeted and have suffered violent attacks, associated with anti-Zionism, often in the wake of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, most recently in 2021.

The challenges facing Jewish communities in Europe can be a bellwether for what is to come for the U.S. Jewish community, as evidenced for example by the recent rise in violent antisemitism in the U.S., which has plagued European Jewish communities for many years, and the increase in anti-Zionism in U.S. progressive spaces, something that has existed in Europe for some time. To better understand this phenomenon in Europe, ADL asked partners in the UK, France, Germany and Spain to describe some of the expressions of left-wing political antisemitism and anti-Israel bias in their countries. The individual contributors are responsible for the content of those chapters and their positions may differ with standard ADL practice and/or policy.

Our British partner, the Community Security Trust, is the British Jewish community’s security agency, which monitors, reports on, and educates about antisemitism among other vital tasks for the safety and security of the Jewish community.

Our French partner, the politics and culture magazine “K., The Jews, Europe, the 21st Century,” reports on contemporary challenges and opportunities for Jewish life in France and elsewhere in Europe.

Our German partner, Amadeu Antonio Foundation, is one of Germany's foremost independent non-governmental organizations working to strengthen democratic civil society and eliminate extremism, antisemitism, racism and other forms of bigotry and hate.

Our Spanish partner, ACOM, is a non-denominational and independent organization that strengthens the relationship between Spain and Israel, and whose work is inspired by the defense of human rights, democratic societies, civil liberties and the rule of law.

Those European contributions comprise the first sections of this report. Based on those essays, in the subsequent chapter, ADL analyzed common themes and notable differences among the four countries.

The final section adds ADL’s perspective on left-wing antisemitism in the political and advocacy spheres in the U.S. and provides suggested actions that can be taken to address antisemitism. To be sure, while not all antisemitism that has manifested in some elements of the political left in the U.S. is imported from Europe, lessons can be learned from this transatlantic phenomenon to protect against the mainstreaming of such antisemitism in U.S. politics.
Author(s): Ullrich, Peter
Date: 2023
Abstract: This chapter addresses the effects of the German politics of memory and the historical overdetermination of the discourse on antisemitism in the country. German antisemitism discourse builds on an exceptionalist conception of antisemitism as delusional and exterminist, which is derived from the experience of the Holocaust. This conception has proven to be unhelpful in understanding, tackling or fighting contemporary manifestations of antisemitism in all their diversity, varying formative contexts and differing degrees of severity or threat, especially with regard to the overlap between antisemitism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The current debate on BDS, along with the range of legal and quasi-legal efforts to severely restrict the movement, is symptomatic of this discourse. Rather than conceptualising (and criticising) the movement in all its heterogeneous facets and ideological and practical ambivalences and contradictions, the bulk of the German anti-BDS discourse tends to equate BDS with the Nazi boycott against Jews. The IHRA’s Working Definition of Antisemitism, with its blatant weaknesses, gaps, internal contradictions and political bias, is applied as a helpful tool in these efforts. This chapter outlines the German debate on DBS, including various public scandals and tightening administrative measures tied to Germany’s symbolic anti-antisemitism. In doing so, it highlights trends towards the juridification, securitisation and ‘antifa-isation’ of the discourse on antisemitism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Author(s): Hughes, Judith M.
Date: 2022
Author(s): Hirsh, David
Date: 2019
Abstract: This paper focuses on struggles over how antisemitism is defined. Struggles over definition are themselves part of the wider struggle between those who say that hostility to Israel is important in understanding contemporary antisemitism and those who say that these two phenomena are quite separate. A key question, therefore, is what kinds of hostility to Israel may be understood as, or may lead to, or may be caused by, antisemitism?

In this paper I analyse three case studies of struggles over how antisemitism is defined. First, I trace a genealogy of the EUMC (European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, now the Agency For Fundamental Rights, FRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism. I show how this definition emerged out of a process of splitting between the global antiracist movement on the one hand and Jewish-led opposition to antisemitism on the other. At the Durban ‘World Conference against Racism’ in September 2001, there was a largely successful attempt to construct Zionism as the key form of racism on the planet; this would encourage people to relate to the overwhelming majority of Jews, who refuse to disavow Zionism, as if they were racists. In response, some Jewish NGOs found that they could get a hearing for their concerns within the structures of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union. If Durban is thought of as a non-white global forum and if the OSCE and the European Union are thought of as networks of white states, then the antagonism between non-white antiracism and white anxiety about antisemitism becomes visible and concerning. The clash between anti-Zionism on the one hand and the claim that antizionism is related to antisemitism on the other plays out within the realm of discourse and then it is also mirrored institutionally in these global struggles over the definition of antisemitism.

Second, I go on to look at a case study of alleged antisemitism within the University and College Union (UCU) which was related to the partial success within the union of the campaign to boycott Israel. The explicit disavowal of the EUMC definition during the 2011 UCU Congress can be understood as the climax of a process of struggle within the union over the recognition of a relationship between hostility to Israel and antisemitism.

The third case study is an analysis of two formal processes which were asked to adjudicate whether hostility to Israel had become antisemitic: the UCU v Fraser case at the Employment Tribunal in 2012 and the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry into Antisemitism and Other Racisms in the Labour Party in 2016. The EUMC definition of antisemitism offers a framework for understanding the potential of certain kinds of hostility to Israel to be antisemitic. The further argument was made within the UCU, as well as to the Employment Tribunal and to the Chakrabarti Inquiry, that cultures of hostility to Israel and of support for boycotts tend to bring with them, into institutions which harbour them, cultures of antisemitism. The structures of the Union, as well as the two inquiries, wholeheartedly rejected both the claims: first, that a politics of hostility to Israel manifests itself in antisemitism in these cases; and second, that a cultural or institutional antisemitism, analogous to institutional racism, could be identified in the UCU or the Labour Party.

This paper asks whether these wholehearted rejections of claims about antisemitism are themselves implicated in the functioning of contemporary antisemitism. Denial of racism is a necessary element of those kinds of racism which do not see themselves as racist. Perhaps the hostility to the EUMC definition and to arguments about cultural or institutional antisemitism is a necessary component of the anti-Zionist discourses and cultures themselves which arguably relate in complex ways to antisemitism.
Date: 2011
Date: 2018
Abstract: This paper examines whether the reemergence of “the Jewish Question” in post-2010 Hungarian public discourse has also re-surfaced the “Us” and “Them” distinction between “Hungarians” and “Jews” that has been latent within the Hungarian population, and whether this symbolic exclusion of Jews from the Hungarian “nation” creates new, additional Jewish and quasi-Jewish groups as “others”, to be lumped together with the “other others”.The current “Jewish Question” debate in Hungary may have less to do with actual Jews, and more to do with creating the populist fiction of a homogeneous, isolated, ethnic nation, reminiscent of the ethnic nationalist concepts championed during the 1920s and 1930s with tragic consequences. The paper’s first premise is that the state “protectively” treats Hungarian Jews as a distinct group, as a community that is distinguished by its “otherness”, separated from the “Us” of the national narrative. The second premise is that an “outgrouped other”, which doesn’t identify with the government’s concept of an ethnic nations, is depicted with stereotypes that historically described Jews, regardless of its background, origins or religion. In this context, the questions we must ask, as populist, ethnic nationalism is being resurrected in Europe, are, how can affiliated Hungarian Jews, and “outed” “non Jewish Jews” take part in a nation that rhetorically excludes “them”, while cynically attempting to promote “their” (Jewish) separateness in a seemingly positive manner? Why is this separation sensitive, and perhaps even dangerous? How can Hungarians (who are cast as Jewish) credibly participate in Hungary’s internal and external politics and democracy?
Author(s): Spitz, Derek
Date: 2022
Abstract: In May 2021 Jewish Voice for Labour (“JVL”) published a combative document entitled How the EHRC Got It So Wrong-Antisemitism and the Labour Party. The document criti­cises the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s October 2020 Report of its investiga­tion into antisemitism in the Labour Party. The Commission found the Labour Party responsible for antisemitic conduct giving rise to several unlawful acts in breach of the Equality Act 2010. In addition to its legal findings, it also made critical factual findings, identifying a culture of acceptance of antisemitism in the Labour Party, which suffered from serious failings in leadership, where the failure to tackle antisemitism more effectively was probably a matter of choice. The essence of JVL’s attack on the Commission’s Report is as follows. First, it is said that the Commission did not and could not lawfully investigate antisemitism as such; to the extent that it purported to do so, its findings of unlawfulness are purportedly meaningless. Secondly, JVL claims that the Commission made no finding of institutional antisemitism. Thirdly, by failing to require production of evidence referred to in a certain leaked report, probably prepared by Labour Party officials loyal to Jeremy Corbyn, the Commission is accused of nullifying at a stroke the value of its own Report as a factual account. Fourthly, JVL claims the Commission’s Report is not just legally unten­able, but purportedly a threat to democracy. Finally, JVL claims the Commission’s analysis was not just wrong, but that it exercised its statutory powers in bad faith. This article offers a response to each of the five pillars of JVL’s attack, all of which collapse under scrutiny. As to the first pillar, the article identifies the disappearing of antisemitism as the linchpin of JVL’s argument and shows how JVL’s criticism is underpinned by a political epistemology of antisemitism denialism. As to the second pillar, it shows that the absence of the term “institutional antisemitism” in the Commission’s Report is a semantic quibble. In sub­stance, the Commission found that the conduct under investigation amounted to institu­tional antisemitism. As to the third, the article demonstrates that JVL’s complaint about the Commission’s failure to call for production of the leaked report is perverse because that report constitutes an admission of the correctness of the complaints put before it. More­over, the Corbyn-led Labour Party itself decided that it did not want the Commission to consider that material. As to the fourth pillar, the article shows that far from being a threat to democracy, the Commission’s Report grasps the nettle of antisemitism denial. It con­cludes that continuing to assume and assert that Jews raising concerns about antisemitism are lying for nefarious ends may itself be, and in at least two cases was, a form of unlawful anti-Jewish harassment. As to the fifth, the article rebuts the extraordinary charge that the Commission exercised its powers in bad faith. Rather strikingly, neither JVL nor Jeremy Corbyn was willing to take the Commission on judicial review. The article concludes by considering how the poverty of JVL’s reasoning, coupled with the extravagance of its accu­sations, invites a symptomatic reading of Antisemitism and the Labour Party as a disap­pointing illustration of left-wing melancholia.