Abstract: The role of the "religious element" in the contemporary Ukrainian Jewish movement is examined in the wider context of Jewish politics in that country. Analyses focus on the reasons for and objectives of the political advancement of Ukrainian rabbinic leaders in the second half of the 1990s and the growth of their influence on Jewish community-building in post-Soviet Ukraine. Also discussed is the political nature of the rabbinic leadership and the place of Jewish spiritual leaders as a ruling group within the disposition of political forces in the local Jewish community.
Topics: Antisemitism, Antisemitism: New Antisemitism, Antisemitism: Left-Wing, Anti-Zionism, Main Topic: Antisemitism
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to analyze and confute some of the arguments recently put forward by important Italian intellectuals against Jews and against Israel. Neo anti-Semitism camouflaged as anti-Zionism is spreading in Italy today. Three main examples of this phenomenon are given: Sergio Romano, Alberto Asor Rosa, and Barbara Spinelli. Romano claims that the memory of the Shoah has become an insurance policy and is used by Israel as a diplomatic weapon, while Israel itself is "a war-mongering, imperialist, arrogant nation" and "an unscrupulous liar." Asor Rosa claims that Israel "developed a marvelous army" but at the same time "the tradition and thinking melted away," while Israel affirms, he writes, "the racial superiority of the Jewish people." For Barbara Spinelli: "Israel constitutes a scandal" for the way in which Moses' religion validates "rights which are often meta-historical" and "linked to sacred texts." Spinelli thinks that Israel should express its culpability to Palestinians and Islam. She goes as far as stating that some Israelis dream "of a sort of second holocaust." She also attacks the "double and contradictory loyalty" of the Jews. There is a short analysis of the Italian press and of the stand of the Catholic Church. The lynch in Ramallah is discussed, as well as the declarations of Ambassador Vento. The author also raises the question of school textbooks, the boycott against Israeli universities, and the existence of other voices, very different from the ones mentioned above.
Abstract: Jews were only occasional visitors in Iceland from the 17th century onward. Until the 1930s, the Holy Scripture as well as the most recent European trends in anti-Semitism constituted nearly the only knowledge the Icelanders had about the Jews. Jews in the flesh materialized as Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Most of the refugees moved on to other countries, and some were even expelled or deported. In the postwar period, Jews living in Iceland remained an isolated group. They quickly realized that most Icelanders showed no concern about the sufferings some of them had undergone during WW II. Members of the prewar Icelandic Nazi Party became high-ranking officials, war criminals found safe haven in Iceland, and an odd, social-democratic politician even engaged in publishing an anti-Semitic journal along with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Icelandic. Possibly because of anti-Semitic sentiments, some Jews in Iceland tried to conceal their Jewish background altogether. At present, the small Icelandic Jewish community keeps a low profile amid rising anti-Semitism centered on the Middle East.
Abstract: In 2014, after 150 years of continuous existence, the Lucerne Jewish community hardly exists. The decline of the Jewish community in Lucerne is mirrored in many places throughout Switzerland. There are fewer than 18,000 Jews in Switzerland, while the number of Swiss Jews in Israel is estimated at some 14,000, with many younger and more committed Jews relocating there. The Swiss Jewish community is shrinking at an alarming rate and has far less influence than in previous years.
Topics: Finance, Poverty, Jewish Organisations, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations, Care and Welfare, Main Topic: Other
Abstract: The development and functioning of the welfare system in Ukraine is an important condition for Jewish communal survival in post-Soviet countries. Social welfare must be based on demographics and the needs of local communities. The Joint as well as local Jewish communities must work together in order to solve current problems, especially in the area of financing the various projects. This essay outlines the problems currently facing the Jewish social welfare organizations in Ukraine and offers some solutions.
Abstract: This essay examines the roots of Jewish revival in Russia from the late Brezhnev period to the present. The development of the various institutions existing in today’s Jewish community in Russia is surveyed and their strengths and weaknesses are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the emergence of a stable indigenous community leadership. The essay looks at the internal social and political relations within the Jewish community as well as the relations of the community with the changing post-Soviet Russian regimes.
Topics: Jewish Organisations, Jewish Leadership, Jewish Politics, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: The reestablishment of organized Jewish life in the Russian Federation involved four steps: The period of informal, mostly underground and dispersed Jewish movements of the late Soviet era (from the late 1970s until 1989); the period of the first legal umbrella organizations, which dominated organized Jewish life during 1989-1996; the second half of the 1990s, featuring the leading role of the Russian Jewish Congress and affiliated organizations; and the period of the regrouping of political and organizational structures, which began in 2000.
Institutionalization of the Post-Communist Jewish Movement: Organizational Structures, Ruling Elites, and Political Conflicts
Abstract: Soviet Jews endured administrative, political, and societal anti-Semitism for years, and by the early 1960s the rich political tradition of Eastern European Jewry had been almost totally lost. In the post-Soviet period, a Jewish institutional infrastructure began to appear and develop, leading to the political advancement of a Jewish communal elite. However, the political institutionalization of the Jewish movement has become somewhat controversial and there is still some unfinished business as to its ultimate character.
Abstract: The post-Holocaust pattern of muted anti-Semitism in accepted European discourse has all but dissolved. For obvious reasons, this pattern probably remained most intact in Germany. But there, too, a new "uninhibitedness" has emerged that fuses old tropes of antipathy toward Jews and Israel with the current Europe-wide hostilities toward America, Israel, and Jews. Although the situation for Jews in Germany and Europe is in no way comparable to that in the 1920s and 1930s, a new tone informs the music.
Holocaust Remembrance in the Council of Europe: Deplorable Victims and Evil Ideologies without Perpetrators
Abstract: The current European politics of Holocaust remembrance, with its interplay of multiple perspectives of Holocaust history, is marked by the hijacking of the Jewish perspective by including numerous other real and self-claiming victim groups under the Holocaust definition, very general and superficial feelings of shame, and the ascription of a role-model character to the righteous among nations for present-day good citizenship behavior. On the flipside, evil ideologies and subsequent crimes are being denounced without clearly pointing to the individuals and societies who are guilty thereof. The Strasbourg-based intergovernmental Council of Europe, whose establishment dates back to the immediate postwar era, produces pedagogical programs on Holocaust remembrance. Strikingly, the council's fight against anti-Semitism is institutionally separated from the Holocaust remembrance and education portfolio.
Topics: Antisemitism, Antisemitism: Left-Wing, Anti-Zionism, Main Topic: Antisemitism, Universities / Higher Education
Abstract: The last few years have witnessed an explosion of anti-Zionist rhetoric on university campuses across the United Kingdom. Encouraged by the University and College Union's annual calls for discriminatory measures against Israeli institutions and academics, the rhetoric has become even more strident since Operation Cast Lead. University codes of conduct and UK law recognize that an important university goal is the promotion of equality of opportunity for minority students and their protection from discrimination, including harassment. Given the growing consensus that anti-Zionism is in fact anti-Semitism in a new guise, this goal is flouted with respect to Jewish students every time that anti-Zionist expression takes place on a university campus.