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This content is taken from the Yad Vashem's online course, Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second As part of our exploration of antisemitism in the post-Holocaust era, we focused this week on the way antisemitism is expressed in the Arab and Islamic world. We have seen how today antisemitism originating in this sphere can take violent and lethal forms, and that it is characterized by a vehement anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist rhetoric. This rhetoric is usually based on classic Christian and modern European antisemitic themes, such as the perception of Jews as the origin of all evil and corruption and as conspirators, viewing the Jews as the ultimate global threat to Islam. Holocaust denial also features greatly in this sphere, and in Iran it is even granted the status of a semi-official state policy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds Antisemitic violence and rhetoric are frequently combined with anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism, targeting Jews and non-Jews, including Muslim groups. Those spreading these forms of antisemitism and hate today usually originate from Islamist circles. In its most radical form, Islamist antisemitism even openly advocates genocide against the Jews. Though claiming that this extremely hostile and negative view of the Jews is an integral part of Islamic religion and history, we have seen throughout this week how this claim relies on a selective interpretation of the past. Antisemitic ideas began to appear in the Arab and Islamic world in modern times, as other western ideas began to infiltrate the Middle East.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds Though this form of antisemitism went through a process of Islamization, particularly in Islamist interpretation, we have seen how this reliance on the tradition and sacred texts has been done selectively, ignoring positive perceptions of the Jews and of Judaism, as well as hundreds of years of relatively peaceful coexistence. It is important to remember this when addressing the issue of Jewish-Muslim relations. Next week, in our final week of the course, we will further explore the various ways in which antisemitism is expressed in the contemporary world.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 seconds We will discuss one of the major spheres in which the phenomenon is seen today, the Internet and social media, and will examine the ways antisemitism is confronted and dealt with currently in the spheres of research, monitoring, legislation, education, and so forth.

Conclusion and looking ahead to week 6

Well done on completing week 5 of “Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present.”

Based on what we’ve learned in this week:

Discuss the factors that have shaped antisemitism in the Muslim world?

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Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present

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