Antisemitism was and is a deep-seated and perennial evil.

  • It was fundamental to Nazism under Hitler, and it remains a fundamental pillar of xenophobia, escalating incitement to hate, and most forms of Holocaust Denial.
  • The New Face of Antisemitism seeks respectable or socially acceptable carriers and forums. It may appear in the guise of another ideology, or in its expressions – what can be termed the 'litmus test' - via its multiple, lurid and gross motifs, and focused targeting or scapegoating of Jews.

Jewish communities in many countries find themselves in a quandary about whether to declare Antisemitism as a major problem; they also lack the numerical strength, tools and resources to address it on the larger scale, without a great deal of assistance from the wider community.

  • However, they do need to act rapidly to educate their members and address these phenomena in the society in which they live.

It is nonetheless the integral and moral duty of democratic societies to protect their Jewish population, combat Antisemitism, and counter Holocaust Denial of their own accord and in conjunction with a Jewish community, where one exists.
But is this happening?

The world has changed from pole to pole since the cautious optimism and commitment of the Stockholm Conference on Holocaust Denial [2000] and the watershed was 9/11.

On the credit side, there have been major advances in Holocaust education, and more countries have become free.

  • If all these countries prioritize integrity in History and education, there is a real chance that they will manage to stem and reverse the rising tide of hate and incitement from within their societies, before it swamps them.
  • The tools and paths to a safer and better world are in their hands: democracy, critical thinking, education for tolerance, and the preservation of the integrity of History.

On the debit side, we note with concern that the free world has been slow to recognize and acknowledge the exponential escalation of contemporary Antisemitism with its new forms of expression, and especially the use of Holocaust Denial to legitimize it.

  • Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial are thriving in the political and social backstreets of the world; within the hierarchical establishments of government, justice, education, industry; they are fomented and disseminated within and across the electronic media.
  • At the same time, it appears that many of the countries that eventually have voiced their concern appear reluctant to grapple seriously with these issues within their borders - or are unable to address them - let alone work towards effective diplomatic action.
  • The international record on eradicating Antisemitism and Xenophobia, or protecting basic human rights where they are a matter of life and death, is close to deliberate negligence. It is far easier to allow automatic majorities and spurious organizations to devalue and deny the Holocaust and spread their poisonous forms of Antisemitism, than to confront harsh realities.  

The phenomena of Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial are well-mapped. Find out about them.
There will be no safe haven for democracy if Antisemitsm and Holocaust Denial are ignored, or allowed to perpetrate their destruction on human morality. There is no room for complacency.
Your engagement within your immediate environment and the wider community can make a difference.
Learn how.

 

Researched & written by:
Gila Ansell Brauner

Steering Committee:
Nehama Weingarten Mintz, Dr Ami Bouganim,
Eitan Eliram, Esther Carciente, Igal Lapidus

Acknowledgement:
With special thanks to Dr Irene Lancaster, historian,
for her discussion of this paper throughout

The eLearning & Technology Division,
The Department for Jewish Zionist Education,
The Jewish Agency for Israel ©

 
 
 

 

 

 

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21 Feb 2007 / 3 Adar II 5767 0