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Researching Antisemitism

Researching Antisemitism
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Prof. Nahon’s analysis of the options open to us when confronting antisemitism and other forms of hate online, leads us to the second part of our lesson - the examination of the ways antisemitism is confronted and dealt with in various arenas today. Let’s begin by focusing on the arena of research. When attempting to confront a phenomenon or issue, it is first important to understand what it is, what are its roots, history, forms, and characteristics. As such, the study and research of antisemitism hold an integral part in the attempts to confront this phenomenon. Let’s hear about the challenges the research of antisemitism poses today. Intellectually and politically it’s difficult to engage in the study but I think there’s been some movement forward.
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I think there’s more centers emerging. At our research center, we train professors to teach courses on contemporary antisemitism. And amazingly enough there were not courses on contemporary antisemitism literally throughout the Western World in the university. Today more courses are coming online and that’s an important thing. And I think also in general it’s difficult to study antisemitism because the way we measure antisemitism, the way we understand antisemitism, sort of critical concepts of critical thinking of understanding contemporary antisemitism, how records are kept, how different governments around the world keep or do not keep statistics, on how many forms of antisemitism exist. Or what is antisemitism? What is the discourse of antisemitism? So this is really …
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it’s surprising given the legacy of antisemitism and the key role it’s played in Western civilization for centuries that we still don’t know all that much about antisemitism and its discourse. We know about the history of antisemitism but we don’t understand how sort of economically, socially, culturally processes are sort of feeding into the re-emergence of contemporary antisemitism. So it’s an understudied field, and it’s a field that needs to be developed. And I think we also have to in order to develop the field get over the sort of the political incorrectness of the study of contemporary antisemitism and really frame it as a human rights issue, as an issue that defends and promotes social democracy. This is not just about Jews.
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We know that antisemitism begins with Jews but it never ends with Jews. And this is an issue that confronts the democratic principles of a society and the democratic core and human rights of a society. It’s the reactionary forces that are using antisemitism at the core of their ideology to promote their interest at the cost not only of the Jews but of notions of citizenship, democracy and humane decent societies.

Dr. Charles Asher Small

When attempting to confront a phenomenon or issue, it is first important to understand what it is – what are its roots, history, forms, and characteristics. As such, the study and research of antisemitism hold an integral part in the attempts to confront this phenomenon.

What challenges do the research of antisemitism pose today?

Institutes for the research and study of antisemitism

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Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present

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