Spreading Lies about Jews is Anti-Semitic

What qualifies as Anti-Semitism? There are three historical stages of Anti-Semitism, these are Anti-Judaism, Anti-Semitism (in the narrow historical sense of the term) and Anti-Zionism. The IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition has been criticized for being too expansive. However, Anti-Jewish lies have never before been so diverse and are mostly about telling lies about the Jewish state and about Israeli Jews. The IHRA definition while useful captures only a small part of Anti-Jewish lies that today proliferate both in the traditional media and on social media. Rather, Anti-Semitism should be defined as any hatred against, lies about, discrimination against and fallacies about Jews. It is interesting to compare with how Islamophobia is in practice defined as including any and all criticism against Muslims and that is clearly too expansive and is furthermore anti-democratic since the purpose obviously is silencing critical public discussion. Jews are often confronted with the conspiracy theory according to which Jews are trying to silence criticism when criticizing Anti-Semitism. The problem is rather that Jews are too tolerant of Anti-Semitism in defining Anti-Semitism too narrowly.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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