Labour and the legacy of antisemitism

May 16, 2016

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on Friday 13th May 2016, written by Steven Beller author of Antisemitism: A Very Short Introduction.


'We are currently living through a period when “antisemitism” seems to be on the rise in Europe, and is now a hot topic of debate in Britain, because of a few clumsy statements by some prominent Labour politicians (along with a very few statements that do appear to have an actual antisemitic animus). Both in Britain and in the United States the leaders of the BDS movement (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) are frequently assailed as being antisemitic because of their being against Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Yet, a word like “antisemitism” should not be bandied about carelessly. It is far too emotive, and even explosive a term to be as irresponsibly handled as it has been of late in politics and the press. Antisemitism was not just some psychological state of mind but a modern ideology and political movement, that had major consequences in the Holocaust. As such, modern antisemitism differs in crucial aspects from what is often called antisemitism but is more accurately called Jew-hatred, or, more neutrally, hostility to Jews.'

Discover more: Read the rest of the article on the OUPblog.

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