Van Leer Jerusalem: The Institute of Enabling Antisemitism

26.05.22

Editorial Note

Several months ago, IAM reported that the Van Leer Institute had espoused the so-called Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA) to respond to the widely accepted definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The IHRA definition has proved to be a valuable tool for all those concerned by the alarming rise of antisemitism around the world.

However, Palestinians and their Israeli academic backers mounted a virulent attack against IHRA. The JDA text is full of misrepresentations of what IHRA’s definition stands for, as noted in an IAM article published by the BESA Center of Bar-Ilan University, “The Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism Is Itself Antisemitic.” 

The JDA authors claim they intend to fight antisemitism but then target Israel alone for abuse of human rights. The human rights abuses of the Palestinian Authority and the brutal dictatorship of Hamas are not mentioned. The JDA also defines Israel as a “settler-colonial state,” a false description of the Jewish settlement in Palestine. Applying such double standards can be construed as anti-Semitic according to the IHRA definition of antisemitism. Denying the Jews the right to self-determination while granting it to everyone else is also antisemitic, according to IHRA.  

As a follow-up to its JDA, Van Leer will host a three-day conference on Monday, 30 May, titled “Defining Antisemitism between History and Politics.” The conference questions “What is antisemitism? Is it important to define antisemitism? Is anti-Zionism a case of antisemitism? Is antisemitism a form of racism? This international conference aims to address such questions from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.”

The conference notes, “The question of how to define and combat antisemitism divides both the Jewish world and global opinion, with Israel and Zionism at the heart of these disputes. This roundtable brings together voices from diverse perspectives to take a closer look at what is and is not antisemitism today.”

Many of the participants belong to the radical camp, as the conference’s call for papers suggests:

“The working definition adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016 was endorsed widely but quickly became a site of controversy. In recent months this controversy has become more intense. In November 2020, 122 Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists, and intellectuals issued a statement that declared their opposition to antisemitism and to the IHRA’s working definition thereof, which purportedly promotes the suppression of Palestinian rights. In March this year, the IHRA definition confronted a new challenge in the form of two alternative definitions: the Nexus Document, ‘Understanding Antisemitism at its Nexus with Israel and Zionism,’ and the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA)… In this conference we wish to address one of the most controversial issues, namely, the relationship between different forms of criticism of the State of Israel – its existence, its constitutional foundations, its identity as a Jewish state, its history, policies, or practices – and antisemitism.”

Worth noting that the IHRA definition of antisemitism has been adopted or endorsed by the following countries: Albania (22 October 2020) Argentina (4 June 2020) Australia (13 October 2021) Austria (25 April 2017) Belgium (14 December 2018) Bulgaria (18 October 2017) Canada (27 June 2019) Cyprus (18 December 2019) Czech Republic (25 January 2019) Estonia (29 April 2021) France (3 December 2019) Germany (20 September 2017) Greece (8 November 2019) Guatemala (27 January 2021) Hungary (18 February 2019) Israel (22 January 2017) Italy (17 January 2020) Lithuania (24 January 2018) Luxembourg (10 July 2019) Moldova (18 January 2019) Netherlands (27 November 2018) North Macedonia (6 March 2018) Philippines (18 February 2022) Poland (13 October 2021) Romania (25 May 2017) Serbia (26 February 2020) Slovakia (28 November 2018) Slovenia (20 December 2018) South Korea (4 August 2021) Spain (22 July 2020) Sweden (21 January 2020) United Kingdom (12 December 2016) United States (11 December 2019) Uruguay (27 January 2020). The following international organizations have expressed support for the working definition of antisemitism: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Special Rapporteur for freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed. European Union: Council, Parliament Commission. Organization of American States: Secretary-General, Council of Europe: European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.

As noted before, denying the Jews the right to self-determination is antisemitic according to IHRA, which explains why the JDA works so hard to undermine it. For example, one of the conference sessions is described as “Senior scholars with diverse views will discuss the questions of whether anti-Zionism is antisemitic. Is it right to link the fight against antisemitism to other struggles against racism and xenophobia? Can antisemitism be defined, and do existing definitions advance the fight against it?” The speakers include Prof. Adi M. Ophir of Brown University, (Emeritus) Tel Aviv University, and Dr. Raef Zreik from the Ono Academic College and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Both defamed Israel through their critical theory scholarships. Ophir, one of the most vehement critics of Israel, once described Israel as the “garbage heap of Europe.”

IAM reported before on these and other participants, Prof. Amos Goldberg and Prof. Alon Confino, who subscribe to the notion that the Holocaust and the Palestinian self-inflicted Nakba can be equated. Another participant, Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, once called Jews living in Judea and Samaria Hitler’s youth.

While other legitimate institutions that research antisemitism have taken part in this conference, one problem stands out: A group of radical anti-Israel scholars is taking over this field of research, enabling antisemitism to flourish. The Van-Leer Jerusalem Institute is providing them with the platform.

References

https://www.vanleer.org.il/en/events/on-campus-online-opening-session-defining-antisemitism/

On Campus | Opening Session | Defining Antisemitism

Defining Antisemitism between History and Politics

For the Series >

Monday | 30.05.22 | 17:00

Defining Antisemitism between History and Politics

International Workshop |

What is antisemitism? Is it important to define antisemitism? Is anti-Zionism a case of antisemitism? Is antisemitism a form of racism?
This international conference aims to address such questions from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.

Greetings: Shai LaviThe Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Julius von Freytag-Loringhoven, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

Why has the definition of antisemitism led to a heated public controversy?  What are the challenges and negative effects of existing definitions and of definitions in general? Two keynote speakers will offer their insights on the politics of antisemitism today.

Chair: Prof. Alon Confino, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Prof. Moshe Halbertal, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and New York University

“Discourse on Antisemitism, Its Uses and Abuses”

Prof. Esra Özyürek, University of Cambridge

“An Exponential Increase in Antisemitism Accusations in Three Cultural Shifts: The German Case”

https://www.vanleer.org.il/en/events/on-campus-online-reflections-from-and-on-the-field/

On Campus & Online | Antisemitism on the Ground

Defining Antisemitism between History and Politics

For the Series >

Tuesday | 31.05.22 | 16:15

Defining Antisemitism between History and Politics

International Workshop |

Roundtable

What is antisemitism? Is it important to define antisemitism? Is anti-Zionism a case of antisemitism? Is antisemitism a form of racism?
This international conference aims to address such questions from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.

The question of how to define and combat antisemitism divides both the Jewish world and global opinion, with Israel and Zionism at the heart of these disputes. This roundtable brings together voices from diverse perspectives to take a closer look at what is and is not antisemitism today.

Chair: Prof. David Feldman, Birkbeck InstituteUniversity of London

Participants:

Dr. Seth Anziska, University College London

Saba-Nur Cheema, Frankfurt University

Prof. (Emeritus) Moshe Zimmermann, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Adv. Michal Cotler-Wunsh

https://www.vanleer.org.il/en/events/on-campus-online-closing-session-defining-antisemitism/

On Campus & Online | Closing Session | Defining Antisemitism

Defining Antisemitism between History and Politics

For the Series >

Wednesday | 01.06.22 | 16:30

Defining Antisemitism between History and Politics

International Workshop |

What is antisemitism? Is it important to define antisemitism? Is anti-Zionism a case of antisemitism? Is antisemitism a form of racism?
This international conference aims to address such questions from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.

Chair: Prof. Shai Lavi, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

Understanding Antisemitism: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Religion

The plethora of explanations of antisemitism is testimony to the complexity of “the longest hatred.”  Can we outline theoretical trends that remain constant in antisemitic bigotry?

Prof. Bruno Chaouat, University of Minnesota

“Understanding Antisemitism: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Religion”

Roundtable: Antisemitisms: A Variety of Meanings?

Senior scholars with diverse views will discuss the questions of whether anti-Zionism is antisemitic. Is it right to link the fight against antisemitism to other struggles against racism and xenophobia? Can antisemitism be defined, and do existing definitions advance the fight against it?

Dr. Danny Trom, CNRS, France

Prof. Karma Ben Johanan, The Humboldt University of Berlin

Prof. Adi M. Ophir, Brown University(EmeritusTel Aviv University  

Dr. Raef Zreik, Ono Academic College; The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

=================================================

Defining
Antisemitism
between History
Monday, 30.5.2022 and Politics
17:00–19:00 Opening Session
Greetings:
Shai Lavi
Julius von Freytag-Loringhoven
Chair: Alon Confino
Keynote Lectures:
Moshe Halbertal
The Discourse On Antisemitism, Its Uses And Abuses
Esra Özyürek
An Exponential Increase in Antisemitism Accusations
in Three Cultural Shifts: The German Case
Tuesday, 31.5.2022
10:00–10:30 Gathering
10:30–12:30 Anti-Zionism, Zionism and Jewish History
Chair: Amos Morris-Reich
Kenneth Stow
An Illicit Community: Some Things Don’t Change
Joshua Shanes
The Definition Debate Is About Equality vs. Power
Yossi Kugler
Antisemitism and Anti-Zionism in the Israeli Discourse
Emilie Wiedemann
On the History of the New Antisemitism Concept and the 1980s
12:30–14:00 Lunch break
14:00–16:00 Defining and Disciplining Antisemitism
Chair: Amos Goldberg
Nike Naina Löbrich and Ann-Kathrin Steger
Antisemitism in German Courts since 1945: Striving for a Definition?
Lena Salaymeh
The Coloniality of Recent Antisemitism Definitions
Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias and Talia Naamat
Defining Antisemitism with the Language of Law
Nira Yuval-Davis
Antisemitism Is a Form of Racism—or Is It?
16:00–16:15 Coffee break
16:15–18:00 Roundtable: Reflections from and on the Field
Chair: David Feldman
Seth Anziska | Saba-Nur Cheema
Moshe Zimmermann | Michal Cotler-Wunsh
Wednesday, 1.6.2022
10:00–10:30 Gathering
10:30–12:30 Perspectives from Sociology: Concepts and Data
Chair: Dafna Schreiber
Peter Ullrich
With and Without Jews: Two Concepts of Antisemitism
Sergio DellaPergola
Semites’ Perceptions of Antisemitism: A Social-Structural Analysis
Ashley Mayer-Thibault
Defining and Organizing against the Anti-Semite Menace: Horizontal
and Vertical Alliances within French Public Jewish Life
12:30–14:00 Lunch break
14:00–16:00 Antisemitism Decentred: Comparisons, Ambiguities, Evasions
Chair: Manuela Consonni
David Mednicoff
The Comparative Politics of Defining Bias: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Hinduism,
and Islamophobia in the US
Thomas Weber
The Canary in the Coalmine: The Flourishing of Language and Actions
that are Neither Anti-Semitic nor Free from Anti-Semitism
Moshe Behar
IHRA’s Conflations, White Privilege, Non-Jewish Minorities and Arab
Exclusivity in Reverse?
16:00–16:30 Coffee break
16:30–19:00 Closing Session
Chair: Shai Lavi
Keynote Lecture:
Bruno Chaouat
Understanding Antisemitism: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Religion
Roundtable: Antisemitisms: A Variety of Meanings?
Danny Trom | Karma Ben Johanan | Adi M. Ophir | Raef Zreik
International
Workshop
May 30 – June 1, 2022
at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Dr. Seth Anziska, Mohamed S. Farsi-Polonsky Associate Professor
of Jewish-Muslim Relations, University College London
Dr. Moshe Behar, Program Director Arabic and Middle Eastern
Studies, School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures, The University of
Manchester
Prof. Karma Ben Johanan, Professor of Jewish-Christian
Relations, The Faculty of Theology, The Humboldt University of
Berlin
Prof. Bruno Chaouat, Department of French and Italian, Center
for Jewish Studies, University of Minnesota
Saba-Nur Cheema, Head of Education, Anne Frank Educational
Center; Department of Social Work, Frankfurt University
Prof. Alon Confino, Director, the Institute for Holocaust,
Genocide, and Memory Studies (IHGMS), University of
Massachusetts Amherst
Prof Manuela Consonni, The Vidal Sassoon International Center
for the Study of Antisemitism, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Adv. Michal Cotler-Wunsh, International Law and Human Rights,
Senior Public Policy and Strategy Adviser, Former Member of
Knesset
Prof. (Emeritus) Sergio DellaPergola, The Harman Institute of
Contemporary Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. David Feldman, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of
Antisemitism, University of London
Dr. Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias, Institute of Law Studies,
Polish Academy of Sciences
Prof. Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and
Contemporary Jewry in the Research Institute of Contemporary
Jewry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Prof. Moshe Halbertal, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and
New York University
Dr. Nina Keller-Kemmerer, Franz von Liszt Institute, Justus Liebig
University Giessen
Yossi Kugler, PhD Candidate, The School of Jewish Studies and
Archaeology at Tel-Aviv University
Prof. Shai Lavi, Director, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute; Tel Aviv
University
Nike Naina Löbrich, PhD candidate,
Justus-Liebig University Giessen
Dr. Ashley Mayer-Thibault, University of Montreal
Prof. David Mednicoff, Department of Judaic and Near Eastern
Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Prof. Amos Morris-Reich, The Stephen Roth Institute for the
Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, The Lester and
Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, Tel Aviv University
Adv. Talia Naamat, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Adi M. Ophir, Cogut Institute for the Humanities, Brown
University, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Esra Özyürek, Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths
and Shared Values, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Dr. Reut Yael Paz, Franz von Liszt Institute, Justus Liebig
University Giessen
Dr. Anna Pingen, Justus Liebig University Giessen
Prof. Lena Salaymeh, University of Oxford and École Pratique des
Hautes Études
Dr. Dafna Schreiber, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Prof. Joshua Shanes, Jewish Studies, College of Charleston
Ann-Kathrin Steger, Justus-Liebig University, Giessen
Prof. (Emeritus) Kenneth Stow, University of Haifa
Dr. Danny Trom, CNRS, France
Dr. Dr. Peter Ullrich, Center for Research on Antisemitism
Technische Universität Berlin
Julius von Freytag-Loringhoven, Head of Jerusalem Office
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom
Prof. Thomas Weber, Department of History, University of
Aberdeen
Emilie Wiedemann, PhD candidate, Birkbeck, University of
London
Prof. (Emerita) Nira Yuval-Davis, Honorary Director of the
Research Centre on Migration, Refugees, and Belonging (CMRB) ,
University of East London
Prof. (Emeritus) Moshe Zimmermann, Richard Koebner Minerva
Center for German History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dr. Raef Zreik, Ono Academic College; Senior Research Fellow,
The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Participants
The Van Leer
Jerusalem Institute
43, Jabotinsky St., Jerusalem
Vanleer.org.il
Tel. 972-2-5605222
OPEN
TO THE
PUBLIC
OPEN
TO THE
PUBLIC
OPEN
TO THE
PUBLIC
THE VAN LEER JERUSALEM INSTITUTE
מכון ון ליר בירושלים
Thanks to the International Consortium for Research on Antisemitism and Racism
for the support and partnership in the developing of the conference
Academic Committee:
Prof. Alon Confino, Prof. Manuela Consonni, Prof. David Feldman, Prof. Amos Goldberg,
Prof. Shai Lavi, Prof Amos Morris-Reich, Dr. Dafna Schreiber

=====================================

Defining antisemitism has become a battleground. Advocates and opponents of contending
definitions confront one another in the printed press, online, and in social media. The working
definition adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2016 was
endorsed widely but quickly became a site of controversy. In recent months this controversy
has become more intense. In November 2020, 122 Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists,
and intellectuals issued a statement that declared their opposition to antisemitism and to the
IHRA’s working definition thereof, which purportedly promotes the suppression of Palestinian
rights. In March this year, the IHRA definition confronted a new challenge in the form of two
alternative definitions: the Nexus Document, “Understanding Antisemitism at its Nexus with
Israel and Zionism,” and the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism (JDA).
This conference aims to provide a space for scholars from different disciplines (including
political science, law, philosophy, linguistics, and history) to examine the current debate over
definitions of antisemitism and to explore what is at stake in this debate. In this conference
we wish to address one of the most controversial issues, namely, the relationship between
different forms of criticism of the State of Israel – its existence, its constitutional foundations,
its identity as a Jewish state, its history, policies, or practices – and antisemitism. The
conference will address questions pertaining to definitions of antisemitism from diverse
historical, theoretical, methodological, and political points of view. It aims to give historical
and theoretical depth to a heated political debate.
At the same time, the issues raised by the debate over the definition of antisemitism ramify
widely. By addressing not only the relationship between antisemitism and antizionism but
also these broader questions, this conference aims to promote new scholarly perspectives
and better understanding of current debates and discontents.
• How does one account for the relatively recent appearance of public/formal/legal
definitions of antisemitism and their turning into a subject of intense contention?
• How do these different definitions shape and reshape the meaning of antisemitism and
how do they affect social and political relations between Jews and various non-Jewish
groups?
• To define or not to define? Are definitions necessary for combating discrimination,
prejudice, and hate?
• What functions do we expect a definition of antisemitism and its attendant examples to
perform? How has the question of definition developed in different national contexts,
within intergovernmental bodies and in civil society?
• What’s in a “definition”? What role do tropes, analogies, and examples play in definitions
of antisemitism?
• How have definitions of antisemitism emerged and changed over time?
• As a matter of practice, what has been the role of the IHRA working definition in
identifying, recording, and combatting antisemitism?
• As a matter of practice, what has been the role of the JDA definition, if any, in providing
an alternative to the IHRA definition to be used in social, political, and educational
settings to frame the debate on antisemitism?
• What implications does the striving for a definition have for other racisms, forms of hate
speech, racialization, and political hostility? Do we need a portfolio of definitions? Why
is it that Islamophobia, alongside antisemitism, has been the main site of similar activity
and controversy?
• What impact do definitions and, more broadly, the regulation of speech have on the
public sphere in liberal societies and on the tension between freedom of speech and its
social and legal regulation?
• How do definitions address or affect possible entanglements between criticism of Israel
and antisemitism?
• In what ways is the debate over the definition of antisemitism related to the Palestine
Question?
• In what ways does this debate over definitions relate to other controversies, such as
those over colonialism and postcolonialism? Does this debate express structures
of political power and processes of marginalization? Who is eligible to
participate in this discussion over definitions and whose voices are
heard/not heard in it?
Scholars of all disciplines are invited to submit proposals
for lectures to be delivered at the conference.
Proposals (500–700 words) and a curriculum
vitae should be submitted by email to
dafnas@vanleer.org.il
by November 15, 2021
CALL FOR PAPERS
Defining
Antisemitism
between History
and Politics
International
Workshop
Monday, May 30 –
Wednesday, June 1
2022
at the Van leer
Jerusalem
Institute
Academic Committee:
Prof. Alon Confino
Prof. Manuela Consonni
Prof. David Feldman
Prof. Amos Goldberg
Prof. Shai Lavi
Prof Amos Morris-Reich
Dr. Dafna Schreiber
THE VAN LEER JERUSALEM INSTITUTE
מכון ון ליר בירושלים

===================================================================

https://en-humanities.tau.ac.il/definitionsantisemitismbroadcast

The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism


Broadcasts of Workshop “Defining Antisemitism between history and politics”

The Stephen Roth Institute for Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, in collaboration with leading institutions for the study of antisemitism, is cordially inviting you to the International Workshop titled “Defining Antisemitism between history and politics”.

23 May 2022

The workshop will provide a space for leading scholars from different disciplines (including political science, law, philosophy, linguistics, and history) to examine the current debate over definitions of antisemitism and to explore what is at stake in this debate. In this workshop we will address one of the most controversial issues, namely, the relationship between different forms of criticism of the State of Israel – its existence, its constitutional foundations, its identity as a Jewish state, its history, policies, or practices – and antisemitism. The workshop will address questions pertaining to definitions of antisemitism from diverse historical, theoretical, methodological, and political points of view, aiming to give historical and theoretical depth to a heated political debate.

The workshop will take place on May 30 to June 1, 2022, at Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. Please note that not all talks will be open to the public, as specified on the poster attached to this email. 

A number of events will be broadcast live. Those interested will be able to watch the broadcasts here. The closing session will be broadcasted here.

The two greetings and the lecture by Moshe Halbertal will not be broadcast but it will be recorded and made available for the public at a later date.

One thought on “Van Leer Jerusalem: The Institute of Enabling Antisemitism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s