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April 06, 2019

How To Talk About Anti-Semitism

A reading list.

Much like the border that separates Israel from Palestine, the line that demarcates what is and is not anti-Semitism is constantly being pulled into question—especially when it comes to the political project of Zionism.

While many progressives have critiqued the conflation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, our latest essay goes further. Authors Donna Nevel and Mark Tseng-Putterman argue, for instance, that the Anti-Defamation League’s research is biased and that it “reflects a broader anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian agenda” that other powerful Jewish institutions share.

We paired this new piece with some archival picks that look at the past and future of how we talk about Jews—including the language we use to talk about the financial crash, the “new” Muslim anti-Semitism, and an essay by Colin Dayan on why we must pay attention to how we speak about Palestinians, too.

—Rosie Gillies

Donna Nevel, Mark Tseng-Putterman
Two Jewish activists discuss the place of anti-Semitism in contemporary movements for social justice.
Vivian Gornick

Hannah Arendt on being Jewish.

Neil Malhotra, Yotam Margalit
When it comes to the financial crisis, Democrats are especially prone to blaming Jews.
Benjamin Balthaser
The resurgence of anti-Semitism today is not a quirk of Donald Trump. As a new book shows, it has deep roots in powerful institutions.
Carlos Fraenkel

The focus on Muslim anti-Semitism obscures the real quandary of multiculturalism in Angela Merkel’s Germany.

David R. K. Adler

But it is increasingly difficult to question Israel’s policies without accusations of anti-Semitism.

Jason Stanley
History has shown time and again that it is not possible to dehumanize an enemy while treating their cousins, aunts, and uncles with respect. 
Colin Dayan

Talking about Gaza is like talking about God. We face the ineffable. We cannot talk about what we see. 

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