Brown U Watson Institute Center for Middle East Studies Provides Holocaust Reductionism and Fabrication of History


Editorial Note

Recently, Prof. Elad Lapidot gave a lecture, “Jews Out of the Question: How Critical Theory Fights Anti-Semitism by Denying Judaism,” at the Watson Institute Center for Middle East Studies, Brown University. Israeli Prof. Adi Ophir organized the lecture. The talk reflected on the “role that opposition to anti-Semitism has played in shaping critical theory after the Holocaust, in authors such as Adorno, Horkheimer, Jean-Paul Sartre and Hannah Arendt, Alain Badiou, and, most recently, Jean-Luc Nancy. My basic argument is that post-Holocaust critical theory diagnosed the fundamental evil of anti-Semitic though not as thinking against Jews, but as thinking of Jews.”

While the talk discussed anti-anti-Semitism as promised, the speaker had to add some anti-Israel rhetoric, such as “the outcry, the struggle against anti-Semitism is used to instrumentalize politically by different voices, different organizations. To defend Israeli politics, anti-Palestinian politics and to delegitimize critics or critiques against the politics of Israel are stamped anti-Semitic and this is a way of instrumentalizing anti-anti-Semitism. Another way of using it is to justify hostility towards Muslims and Arabs by saying there is a new kind of anti-Semitism that’s coming from Arab and Muslim and this is a way of creating a hostile discourse towards Arabs and Muslims, this is under the title instrumentalization. This is one way of problematizing anti-anti-Semitism. There is another level, another discourse that goes in this direction that is more theoretical, one of the first to have perhaps said something in this direction is Edward Said in Orientalism. He already indicated how anti-Semitism is conceptually linked to the Oriental and anti-Islamism or anti-Arabism or Islamophobia. He already pointed out that we tend to forget that there is a connection between them.” 

Accusations that Israel is instrumentalizing anti-Semitism are not new, but the Watson Institute has taken this charge to another level.

In October 2022, Watson held a Webinar Panel to discuss “The New Antisemitism and the Contemporary Middle East.” The host was Nadje Al-Ali, the director of the Center, together with Dr. Katharina Galor from Brown University. The panelists included Noura Erakat, associate professor of Africana Studies and in the Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, and non-resident fellow of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School. Amos Goldberg, Jonah M. Machover Chair in Holocaust Studies at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, and the Head of the Research Institute of Contemporary Jewry, at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sherene Seikaly, associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Raef Zreik, associate professor of Jurisprudence at Ono Academic College, Israel; and a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute.

Instead of discussing neo-anti-Semitism as they were planned to do, the panel mainly accused Israel of “occupation and annexation, apartheid, and settler colonialism.” 

Dr. Katharina Galor started by stating, “we have at our disposal today to highlight some of the most problematic misconceptions of anti-Semitism, especially as relevant to the critique of Israel.” She invited Goldberg to expand on this issue.

Prof. Amos Goldberg explained that the IHRA Definition of anti-Semitism is “vague and clumsily.” The “flaw” of this definition is that it “disconnects anti-Semitism from any other form of racism and the fight against it from any larger emancipatory or even liberal and democratic struggle. Six years since its adoption, one can assess its actual impact, and first, let me say that there is not even one piece of evidence that it helped fight anti-Semitism anywhere. On the contrary, it diverts attention from growing right-wing violent anti-Semitism and particularly and practically legitimizes it. It also makes it very difficult to bond with other minority groups in order to fight anti-Semitism and other forms of racism taken in practice. What it actually does, it delegitimizes the UN as anti-Semitic, the Palestinian historically well-founded narrative of the conflict, which receives Israel as a settler colonial state as it states that claiming that Israel is a racist endeavor is anti-Semitic. In fact, it equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism then it makes any critical susceptible to being labeled as anti-Semitic under the allegation of what is called a double standard, and here, there are hundreds of documented examples of that, indeed, Israel reached a point where it cannot justify policies within a liberal discourse of equality in human rights its last resort is the discourse of anti-Semitism and this tactic extremely useful because it has a double impact. First, it has a frightening, chilling effect as any engagement with the issue of Israel-Palestine is suspected to become an issue of anti-Semitism, and second, and this is even more severe, it managed to transform the whole discourse on Israel-Palestine from focusing on reality the occupation and annexation, apartheid, settler colonialism etc. to the endless debate” on anti-Semitism. 

Dr. Raef Zreik claimed that the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism could be described “how something that appears to be defending Jewish rights ending up defending Israel’s right to do ethnic cleansing.” 

Prof. Sherene Seikaly argued that “Zionist Jews claims to a piece of land are more legitimate than and outweigh those of the Palestinians who have resided on that land for hundreds of years and this logic right has been used to justify um the ongoing Nakba the dispossession of Palestinians and the denial of basic civil and political rights and so I think it’s really important to understand that the struggle for Palestinian freedom is a crucial step in ending this logic of racialization and civilizational hierarchy because this logic itself in this very moment measures Palestinian life as less valuable than Israeli life and it makes Palestinians available to premature death as it often reminds us, which is really the material embodiment of racial regime when you become available to premature death as we see with Palestinians on a daily basis and so here I think that critiquing this logic of racialization of hierarchy is a moral responsibility for all of us.”

The Panel is part of a troubling trend to denigrate the 2016 definition of anti-Semitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Formulated by dozens of legal scholars and historians, a binding definition was urgently needed because of the huge increase in anti-Semitism and demonization of Israel, considered a collective embodiment of the Jews. As IAM pointed out, pro-Palestinian academic activists furiously rejected the IHRA definition, which was adopted by many countries and institutions on the grounds that it works against the interests of the Palestinians. In 2021 a group of pro-Palestinian activists gathered at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem to produce the so-called Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism (JDA). The Jerusalem Declaration fared very poorly compared to the IRHA, but it’s architects, Amos Goldberg among them, have not given up.  

But Raef Zreik’s speech is an attempt to distort history. He said, “as Palestinians, we’re not responsible for what happened to the Jews in Europe… it’s too much to ask for the Palestinians to pay the full price of the crimes that Europe committed against the Jews in Europe, so I think there must be sort of a distinction between the two and the fact that the Jews are victimized as in Palestine shouldn’t prevent us from seeing that they were victims in Europe, and the fact that they were the ultimate victims in Europe shouldn’t prevent us from seeing that they are victimizers now in Palestine.”

In her speech, Noura Erakat promoted BDS.

There is a reason why Palestinians launched a campaign to falsify history. The Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini cooperated with the Nazis, and the Nazis instigated the 1936-9 riots. Jewish refugees who tried to escape the Holocaust were prevented from entering Palestine, which could have saved their lives. The Palestinian Arabs, with their Arab allied States, pressured Britain to block Jewish Holocaust refugees from entering Palestine. 

As for anti-Semitism, anyone, including Palestinians, who murders Jews because they are Jewish, is an anti-Semite. 

Not to mention Western campuses where numerous incidents were reported of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activists intimidating Jewish students.

The Watson Institute panel, which distorts history and minimizes the scale of the Holocaust, is just one effort in this campaign.  



Webinar | Panel | The New Antisemitism and the Contemporary Middle East

The New Antisemitism Event Poster

Thursday, October 6, 2022

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.


Registration Required 


About The New Antisemitism and the Contemporary Middle East 

This panel will address the role of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the ongoing challenge of defining antisemitism. Coined in 1870 in an age of accelerating racialized mass politics, the term and its ideology metastasized in the mid-20th century as the motivators of Nazi genocide. In the 2020s, the problem of antisemitism has again intensified, with flashpoints of debate, violence, and confusion especially evident in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.  How are we to understand the so-called new antisemitism, as well as its alleged counter-discourse of anti-antisemitism? How is the scourge of antisemitism to be distinguished from its political uses? How are the realities of antisemitic violence to be distinguished from potentially tendentious accusations of antisemitism?

Virtual Event

About the Panelists 

Noura Erakat, associate professor of Africana Studies and in the Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, and non-resident fellow of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School.

Amos Goldberg, Jonah M. Machover Chair in Holocaust Studies at the Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, and the Head of the Research Institute of Contemporary Jewry, at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Sherene Seikaly, associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Raef Zreik, associate professor of Jurisprudence at Ono Academic College, Israel; and a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute.


The New Antisemitism and the Contemporary Middle East

Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs79.4K subscribers



1,277 views Oct 15, 2022

This panel will address the role of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the ongoing challenge of defining antisemitism. Coined in 1870 in an age of accelerating racialized mass politics, the term and its ideology metastasized in the mid-20th century as the motivators of Nazi genocide. In the 2020s, the problem of antisemitism has again intensified, with flashpoints of debate, violence, and confusion especially evident in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. How are we to understand the so-called new antisemitism, as well as its alleged counter-discourse of anti-antisemitism? How is the scourge of antisemitism to be distinguished from its political uses? How are the realities of antisemitic violence to be distinguished from potentially tendentious accusations of antisemitism? Noura Erakat, Africana Studies, Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University… Amos Goldberg, Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Jewry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem… Sherene Seikaly, Associate Professor of History at the University of California… Raef Zreik, associate professor of Jurisprudence at Ono Academic College, Israel; and a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute.…

Transcript by YouTube

0:00  [Music] welcome my name is Nadje Al-Ali I’m the director of 0:15 the center for Middle East studies here at Brown University and it’s my great pleasure to welcome 0:21 everyone to today’s event on anti-Semitism in the Middle East the new anti-Semitism so this event actually was 0:29 suggested by my colleague professor katigalor at Brown University 0:35 and when she suggested it I immediately felt that was important to organize an 0:41 event like many I’m very concerned about 0:46 anti-Semitism the rise anti-Semitism on campuses in the U.S internationally in 0:53 Europe but I’m also concerned about the way that the discussion around anti-Semitism 1:01 has often been instrumentalized and like many I see the links between 1:08 anti-Semitism and racism and islamophobia currently Kati who I’m going to 1:15 introduce in a moment Katie and myself jointly with the colleague at Humboldt University are working on the rise of 1:23 far-right movements and the way that anti-gender and anti-feminist positions 1:29 are Central to these far-right movements and we’re looking comparatively the 1:35 Middle East and Europe and as part of those movements anti-Semitism does pay a 1:41 role so does racism now while we see these links and parallels in today’s 1:46 event we do want to focus on anti-Semitism and the discourses around it 1:52 often or most of the time the conversation about anti-Semitism excludes Palestinians 2:00 but given the implications for Palestinians we felt it was really 2:05 really important to open this state to open this space and start what will 2:11 hopefully be the beginning of a series of constructive conversations we are not 2:17 the first they’re happening they have been happening in other campuses in the US that have been happening in European 2:24 contexts and in Israel but it’s still remains to be a very fraud and limited 2:30 space so let me introduce my co-panelist first 2:36 my co-organizer and colleague at Brown Professor Katarina Galor 2:42 Kati is the Hirschfeld senior lecturer in the program of Judaic studies at 2:47 Brown she’s an art historian and archaeologist working in Israel-Palestine 2:54 hi Kati 



I’m going to keep the BIOS to a minimum but we’re going to post them in 3:00 the chat so you can check them out if you are want to know more about 3:06 publications and so on of course everyone has a large list of Publications then I’d like to introduce Noura 3:13 Professor Noura Erakat is an associate professor at Rutgers University in the department of Africana studies and the 3:20 program in criminal justice she is also a non-resident fellow at the religious 3:25 literacy project at the Harvard Divinity School her research interests include human 3:32 rights law laws of armed conflict National Security Law as well as 3:37 critical race Theory is associate professor of history at the 3:44 University of California Santa Barbara she is a historian of capitalism 3:49 consumption and development in the modern Middle East focusing on how individuals groups and 3:57 governments deploy both Concepts and material practices to shape economy the 4:03 body the self and the other welcome Noura and Sherene 4:09 then I’d like to introduce to you Amos Goldberg Professor Amos Goldberg holds 4:14 the Jonah Mcmakova chair in Holocaust studies in the department of Jewish history and the Contemporary jury at the 4:21 Hebrew University of Jerusalem he is also a fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute 4:28 Amos is a cultural historian whose work is interdisciplinary in nature part of 4:34 which focuses on the history on the memory and on the historiography of the 4:39 Jews in the Holocaust welcome Amos 4:45 and then last but not least I’d like to introduce to you Professor Raef Zreik who is an associate professor of 4:51 jurisprudence at Ono academic College Israel the senior researcher at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute Dr Zreik 4:59 was a guest lecturer at Georgetown law and that the Cogut institute for the Humanities at Brown University 5:05 his main fields of research include legal and political philosophy his 5:10 research addresses questions pertaining to legal and political Theory and issues 5:16 of citizenship and identity Zionism and the Palestinian question so just to tell 5:23 you about the structure the format of the event today we will be in conversation 5:29 with our guest Katie and I will be in conversation we encourage you to post 5:36 your questions and comments in the Q A function and we will have some time towards the end to engage in discussion 5:43 with you so over to you Katie. 



Thank you so much 5:52 so much for introduction, all you said at the beginning you were 5:59 immediately on board when when I approached you you shared with me the 6:05 view that there is really an urgency to engage the issue and understood of 6:12 course the highly sensitive and complicated nature of debating the 6:19 term and the phenomenon its various forms of Associated abuse verbal 6:26 physical intellectual and also political now 6:32 to me the subject has a very personal dimension as my parents and their 6:37 respective families have endorsed the most violent forms of anti-Semitism most 6:43 of them died in concentration camps only a few of them survived including my father 6:51 and I also have experienced myself verbal and physical forms of anti-Semitism as I was growing up in 6:59 Germany it is only more recently however that 7:05 I began conducting research on anti-Semitism and and writing about anti-Semitism is for example a key topic 7:13 in my co-authored book with Sa’ed Atshan the moral triangle Germans 7:20 Israelis Palestinians which was published in 2020 and then translated into German 7:27 last year and I’ve also written in the German press specifically 7:34 designed which is a national weekly newspaper 7:40 unfortunately what what I very often regret is when I hear individuals or or 7:49 groups who make sweeping statements about anti-Semitism they they very often lack 7:57 knowledge and and a true understanding of anti-Semitism of its history and it’s 8:04 really vastly different contexts and usages over time and and the the 8:12 frequent misunderstanding and and misuse of the term is such that even renowned 8:19 scholar David Engel who is the professor of Holocaust and Judaic 8:24 studies at NYU has explained why he actually has stopped to use the term 8:31 anti-Semitism altogether in his publications already some 30 years ago 8:38 including his work on the Holocaust. 8:44 The term anti-Semitism was first used in 8:50 print in Germany in 1879. 8:56 anti-Semitismos at the time was understood as a sort of Jew hatred 9:03 and I will actually not go into how it has taken on new forms of meaning how it 9:09 has been entangled with with various dimensions of religious cultural and 9:15 racial expressions of aversion and violence in different geopolitical and 9:22 historical contexts what we do want to focus on in in a very 9:28 short time frame we we have at our disposal today is to highlight some of the most 9:35 problematic misconceptions of anti-Semitism especially as relevant to the critique 9:42 of Israel and perhaps to start with with 9:47 relatively recent understandings of anti-Semitism my my suggestion would be 9:53 to begin with a 2016 IHRA in the 2021 9:59 JDA definitions IHRA being short for the International 10:05 Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and JDA being short for the Jerusalem 10:12 Declaration of anti-Semitism and I can really not think of anyone who 10:18 would be better suited to do so than Professor Arnos Goldberg 10:23 Amos could you please explain the the contexts of these two different 10:30 definitions and perhaps also your role in in this attempt to rethink redefine the 10:40 meaning of anti-Semitism and and perhaps also explain what your primary motivations were 



10:49 thank you very much for holding this literally very important webinar and for 10:54 inviting me to talk I think it’s a very 10:59 unique position to be as an Israeli Jew on my note is a minority among the 11:05 speakers and it’s a very good setting so I congratulated congratulating for that 11:12 okay to a large extent what we call today the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism was born following the U1 11:20 Conference Against Racism that took place in Durban South Africa in September 2001. one year into the second 11:27 Durban conference expressed and symbolized the gradual penetration of 11:33 the harsh anti settler Colonial discourse on Israel and Zionism which until then was commonplace of course 11:40 among mostly among Palestinians radical activists and Marxists it penetrated 11:45 into mainstream International discussion on the highest level this I believe was one of the major 11:51 triggers that encourages the alien Jews of organizations 11:56 Scholars to articulate a definition of anti-Semitism that should counter what 12:02 they defined as the new anti-Israelian understanding that this radical critique 12:10 of Israel and Zionism is actually is is a is a Jewish entity 12:17 following years of discussion such a definition was launched by the American Jewish Committee in 2005. it was 12:24 promoted by very powerful Jewish and I I stress also non-Jewish actors on various 12:30 International Arenas benefiting from the change in global political tendencies that follows 9 11 which actually 12:37 happened three days after the closing of the Durban conference in its subsequent War Ontario and other upheavals that we 12:44 all know from the beginning of the 21st Century in 2016 an influential International 12:50 body called the international Holocaust remembrance alive or the IHRA adopted this definition with 12:58 some insignificant changes in order to fight Rising anti-Semitism particularly in you 13:03 this organization which was established in 1998 former president Swedish prime 13:09 minister going person defined its mission to promote Holocaust Education with them remembrance and research 13:17 this organization is one of the frequently mentioned examples what many see as the globalization of least 13:22 Americanization or westernization or Holocaust memory this body is currently comprised of 35 13:29 member states all except perhaps for Argentina belong to the global North I.E 13:35 European and western states to put it bluntly it’s a very wide Eurocentric 13:40 organization since its adoption by the IHRA many hundreds of organizations institutions 13:47 adopted it too from football clubs airliners and universities to the Trump and Biden administrations many European 13:54 States and the EU itself actually it is gradually becoming 13:59 the standard international accepted definition of anti-Semitism unfortunately without a significant 14:07 political pushback, the definition 14:12 is comprised perhaps you can post the the link to this definition I I sent you 14:21 the definition is comprised of a vague and clumsily articulated core what is 14:28 called core definition which actually says very little an 11 example which explain and concretize the definition 14:35 the core definition seven of the 11 examples refer to allegedly Israel 14:41 related anti-Semitism this mean even means even before looking at the content 14:46 of this example that the definition identifies the allegedly Israel related anti-Semitism is the core and the most 14:54 significant of contemporary anti-Semitism the second flow of this definition is 15:01 that it disconnects anti-Semitism from any other form of racism and the fight 15:06 against it from any larger emancipatory or even liberal and Democratic struggle 15:13 six years since its adoption one can assess its actual impact and oh my God 15:21 first let me say that there is not even one piece of evidence that it helped 15:26 fight anti-Semitism anywhere on the country it diverts attention from growing right-wing violent anti-Semitism 15:33 and particularly and practically legitimizes him it also makes it very 15:38 difficult to bond with other minority groups in order to fight anti-Semitism in other forms of racism 15:45 taken in practice what it actually does it delegitimizes the UN is anti-Semitic the 15:54 Palestinian historically well-founded Narrative of the conflict which receives Israel as a settler colonial state 16:02 as it states that claiming that Israel is a racist endeavor is anti-Semitic in 16:08 fact it equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism 16:15 third it makes any critical is when susceptible to being labeled as 16:21 anti-Semitic under the allegation of what is called double standard and here there are hundreds of 16:27 documented examples of that indeed Israel reached a point where it 16:33 cannot justify policies within liberal discourse of equality in human rights its last resort is the discourse of 16:39 anti-Semitism and this tactic extremely useful because it has a double impact first it has a frightening chilling 16:47 effect as any engagement with the issue of Israel-Palestine is suspected to become an issue of anti-Semitism and 16:54 second and this is even more severe it managed to transform the whole discourse 16:59 on Israel-Palestine from focusing on reality the occupation and 17:05 annexation apartheid settler colonialism etc to the endless to an endless debate 17:10 whether even talking about these issues is anti-Semitic in this discourse Israel 17:16 is not accused but the accuser who holds the higher moral grounds while the Palestinians are not victims anymore but 17:22 anti-Semitic villains I therefore perceive the eye of working definition as a direct assault on truth 17:30 and as such is part of contemporary troubling side guys but more than that I 17:36 see it as yet another manifestation of centuries-old European civilization civilizing mission in which the West 17:43 wishes to educate the East while in fact committing crimes and injustices and 17:48 causing great harm this campaign of anti-anti-Semitism has 17:54 become legitimate and become a legitimate and respectful way for many 17:59 in the west to express and enact the racism under the guise of fighting 18:04 against one of its most different forms anti-Semitism on March 2021 following an almost 18:11 year-long process of Zoom meeting and seminars an international group of some 18:17 20 Scholars of anti-Semitism and related topics launched the JDA the Jerusalem 18:23 Declaration on anti-Semitism the JDA was initiated as an opposition and fundamental alternative to the IHRA 18:29 definition which was perceived by all groups met group members as flawed and 18:34 harmful it was harmful to the fight against anti-Semitism and this was a major concern 18:41 for all it was a harmful to free speech and it was it was silencing a 18:49 Palestinians the Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian and I was among the initiators in draft by now 18:56 some 350 scholars the vast majority of whom specialize in anti-Semitism racism 19:02 Holocaust Jewish history and other related topics signed in support 19:07 [Music] unlike the narrow definition, the JDA is 19:13 not a Manifesto and does not set itself the Ten Commandments of the fight against anti-Semitism it is a political 19:20 intervention in specific time in history that aims to distinguish again between 19:27 or draw the border between anti-Semitism and Israel critique and anti-Zionism 19:32 that is not that is to raise the fight against anti-Semitism beyond the political fray 19:39 on Israel-Palestine it’s one of its in initiators and 19:44 drafters I’m well aware to the compromises and even flaws of the JDA as 19:49 it was a political intervention perhaps we can talk about it in the discussion but a year and a half after 19:57 the launch I still believe that it contributed tremendously to the fight against the IHRA and its spirit thank you 



20:08 thank you thank you very much Amos Kati if it’s okay I’m going to turn to 20:14 arrive now and really sort of following up on this introduction 20:22 Raef I know that you are amongst the initiators of a letter that was signed 20:27 by many Arab intellectuals that condemned the rise of anti-Semitism 20:33 while also challenging the IHRA definition and and you have argued that 20:38 this definition has been instrumentalized so I was wondering if you can tell us about this initiation 20:44 and explain how you think that the definition has been instrumentalized and 20:49 by whom 



yeah I would like to thank you for 20:54 holding this event again especially in these days where it’s really becoming very difficult 21:01 to speak about these issues openly it’s even probably becoming more 21:07 difficult to be a Palestinian in this climate 21:12 let me say a few words about this idea I 21:17 don’t have to call it abuse because probably it was meant to be used this 21:23 way so the idea of abuse presumes that it was meant to do one thing and then it’s ended up doing 21:29 another thing I think the definition is doing what Israel intended at the first place to be doing 21:37 and here’s I I want to use sort of my legal expertise to explain something why 21:44 why this is something tricky about the definition first about the form of the 21:49 definition the definition is considered to be kind of a soft glow so it’s not a law so it doesn’t have to go through the 21:56 procedure that parliaments go through or the Congress so it’s a soft blow 22:01 and by saying that it’s a soft blow it gives the feeling that many people who are voting for it can send event okay 22:07 after all it’s soft law it’s it’s not really really binding and because of its soft glow also it 22:15 doesn’t have to stand in the sort of limits of constitutional laws 22:22 constitutional restriction because if you want to pass a load the law should meet sort of 22:28 a constitutional constraint regarding freedom of speech or other consideration 22:33 but when you say no no it’s just a declaration it’s not a soft law then it doesn’t have to go all these sort of 22:41 restriction and many people or money Congress or whatever money Parliament 22:47 members find it sort of easy to to accept the definition because it’s 22:52 just for educational purposes now we’ve noticed that and we’re witnessing 22:58 the last five years since its endorsement that actually what seems to 23:04 be solved it’s extremely harsh in reality so the softness shouldn’t be 23:09 actually delusional its impact is really really 23:14 is is filled in every corner all around the world in terms of 23:21 freedom of speech and limitation on Palestinian activities in and shaping 23:26 the discourse on on Palestine and putting restrictions on on several academics on self-citizenship sitting 23:34 the agenda etc so this is this is one thing 23:39 now the other thing it’s important to notice that probably one might say okay 23:44 but we have sort of legal guarantees we have the Constitution 23:49 probably in the America or the human rights regimes in Europe that actually we can still have some room for freedom 23:58 of speech and the courts can defend us and please look at the Court decisions in this regards 24:04 so probably one might say that actually don’t over exaggerate and here’s the 24:11 issue is not if the if the human rights court or 24:17 the American Constitution would allow more freedom of speech or less freedom of speech the issue is the climate 24:24 the environment that has been created in the last few years the chilling effects that it 24:32 creates the fact that you are as a university Professor all of the sudden comes a complaint against you that your 24:39 papers are having anti-Semitic flavor to them 24:45 and then a committee is being set in order to review your papers your ideas and your research and probably you spend 24:53 two years and then probably the committee would come up to the conclusion no you’re not anti-Semitic 24:58 wow I’m not anti-Semitic and you should go celebrate but clearly what’s we’re 25:03 witnessing here it’s a chilling effect that people would be far more reluctant to express their ideas to choose their 25:11 research and then the in in public now what we’ve been witnessing I I’ll say I 25:20 would just give a few examples from probably hundreds of examples there is 25:25 one side that gathers all these examples of of many pro-Palestinians group that 25:32 have been targeted but let me say one more thing about the definition and the distance between the definition 25:40 and its implication or its application actually to the point that today I think 25:46 it doesn’t make sense to speak about oh there is the definition in itself and it 25:52 should be sort of separated from its uses or its application the definition 25:57 is its application the definition is its effect the definition doesn’t stand on 26:03 its own but if we take for a moment just to to show the slippery nature of the 26:09 definition the definition is so vague it’s so open-ended and the question it’s not 26:17 what the definition mandates but what the definition allows 26:22 because it’s of its open texture it allows so many things in its 26:29 interpretation and who interpret the the Declaration those who have the power 26:36 those who have the power are mostly Israel U.S and the Western Government 26:42 and between the openness of the texture and the application lies all the story 26:50 I’ll give just one example I don’t want to go through deep analysis of of the 26:56 definition let me just give you one example just to show the fact that there is so much latitude 27:03 so much room for interpretation so what actually matters is the way it’s being 27:09 applied let’s say for example not the definition itself but the examples mentioned in the definition 27:16 one of them speaks that denying the Jewish people right of 27:22 determination is anti-Semitic now if I was sitting in a room and 27:28 there’s a discussion as a philosopher of international law and what I might say look 27:33 Jewish right for self-determination sometimes self-determination can mean 27:39 only cultural self-determination so if somebody really objects to Jews having 27:45 cultural self-determination that’s really he probably might be 27:51 anti-Semitic because to deny a group to live their cultural religious life and to celebrate their language 27:58 that’s really you must really have an attitude against the Jewish you have must have a Jewish sentiment so you 28:04 might vote for that actually because there is nothing in international law that says by definition international 28:10 law means statehood sovereignty and close borders now when it comes now you 28:18 have this definition and then you can work with it and I’m now the state of Israel and I 28:24 can work with this definition and see how things can go forward from here how it could be interpreted and applied 28:32 self-determination for most people resonate actually with the idea of 28:37 statehood that the right of the group to decide the way it want to conduct its political 28:43 life one of these things one of the issues that are connected with the idle of 28:50 self-determination is the right to close the borders that means that the state 28:56 can decide on the demographic nature of the country that 29:02 is taken for granted in the U.S for example it’s a prerogative for the set of the department to decide who’s in 29:08 who’s out and to put the regulation that decides who can 29:14 come in now that means in Israel that Israel has the right to close the border 29:19 now what does that mean that’s mean Israel can decide to say no to the right of the 29:26 return to the Palestinians now that means that if you’re a Palestinian demanding the 29:33 right of return then you’re questioning of the Jewish people right to self-determination then 29:41 you’re anti-Semitic now you see what’s going on here 29:47 the right to self-determination ends up legitimating calling those who asking 29:54 right of return anti-Semitic now what does that mean actually that that means 30:00 that you can do ethnic cleansing and get away with it that means that Israel has 30:05 the right to expel the Palestinians now does that how does that square with 30:11 any human rights discourse in international law you see houses 30:16 can I just ask you to come to close we’ll come back to you but in the 30:21 interest of time could you try to close that part now yeah yeah I can close that 30:27 part I said it all in this in in in this regard that how something that appears to be defending Jewish rights ending up 30:35 defending Israel right to do ethnic cleansing this is the distance that some 30:41 people find that they can sort of have sympathy for the for the definition but 30:48 when it comes to reality to application it could be completely flipped when it said yes do I stop here thank you



 thank 30:56 you will come back to you but now over to you Katie yes I actually would like to 31:03 to ask the next question to Sherene in a 2016 New York Times opinion 31:12 piece with a title anti-Zionism can and should be 31:18 anti-racism you you wrote and let me quote from this article 31:24 to equate opposition to Zionism with anti-Semitism is to deny the history of 31:32 both Sherene could you 31:38 contextualize the quote and and perhaps elaborate a little bit on what 31:43 exactly you thought was important to stress when engaging anti-Semitism 31:52 thank you 




thank you Nadje and Katharina for bringing us together I’m gonna kind of step back and just 32:00 get a little bit more basic I think it’s really important for 32:06 all of us to engage with the history of anti-Semitism I think one of the ways 32:12 that anti-Semitism has been instrumentalized by 32:18 particular groups also by the state of Israel kind of obscures 32:25 the ways in which we have to really engage it as critical to our anti-racist work so anti-Semitism 32:35 is a 19th century outgrowth of Judeophobia which is has existed for as 32:41 long as there has been as there have been Jews and during the Middle Ages it 32:46 became this kind of constitutive underbelly of the Catholic Church’s claim to being a quote unquote 32:53 civilizing Force the precariousness of Jewish life began to recede in the 1700s 33:00 with the enlightenment as Jews began to gain equal legal rights at least in theory but the majority of the world’s 33:07 Jewish population lived in Russia where an autocratic monarchy not only 33:13 continued to deny them civic equality but incited deadly pilgrims against them 33:20 and even in the lands of the Enlightenment and political emancipation 33:25 Jewish people were one of a series of others groups to be transformed and 33:31 redeemed indeed much Enlightenment thought was premised on this hierarchical understanding of humanity 33:38 and during the 19th century with a shifting world order the category of 33:43 race became a dominant way to establish this hierarchy through exclusion and safe and 33:49 scapegoating Jews became a racialized understood as a quote-unquote 33:56 biologically irredeemable unassimbable other this racialization and I think 34:02 this is a really important point that I’ll come back to in the second portion uh the second question I’ll re I’ll 34:10 receive is that this racialization paralleled and built on the 34:15 racialization and violent exclusion of black brown and colonized bodies for 34:21 Jews it would lead to genocide that’s anti-Semitism what is Zionism Zionism is 34:28 a national political movement that began in the late 19th century as a response 34:34 to anti-Semitism Zionism was neither the only Jewish response to anti-Semitism 34:39 nor the most popular until the Nazi persecution of Jews began in the 1930s 34:45 and here I think it’s very important and linked to our discussion today that Zionism continued the enlightenment’s 34:53 idealization of the nation-state and its hierarchical understanding of humanity 34:59 it promised Jews that they could finally become European but only by leaving 35:05 Europe for Zionists Jews claimed to a piece of 35:10 land are more legitimate than and outweigh those of the Palestinians who 35:16 have resided on that land for hundreds of years and and this logic right has 35:23 been used to justify the ongoing Nakba the the the the the 35:29 dispossession of Palestinians and the denial of basic civil and political 35:35 rights and so I think it’s really important to understand that that the 35:42 struggle for Palestinian freedom is a crucial step in ending this logic of 35:49 racialization and civilizational hierarchy because this logic itself 35:55 in this very moment measures Palestinian life as less valuable than Israeli life 36:00 and it makes Palestinians available to premature death as our 36:08 often reminds us which is the really material embodiment of of racial uh 36:16 regime when you become available to premature death as we see with 36:22 Palestinians on a daily basis and so here I think that critiquing this logic 36:29 of of racialization of of hierarchy 36:35 is is a moral responsibility for all of us 36:40 



Sherene thank you so much I think Nadje you will ask the next 36:47 question yeah yeah thank you Sherene so Noura I’d like to ask you I know 36:53 that you have been involved in and also have been a researcher of renewals of 37:00 black Palestinian solidarity and I I wonder what this involvement and 37:07 also the research has illuminated in regard of to how we understand both 37:13 anti-Semitism and anti-racist struggles today 



37:18 thank you Nadje, Kati and all it’s exciting to go last in this 37:24 first series of questions especially because so much of this is scaffolding onto one another and will be resident so 37:31 let me answer the question directly about the relationship between anti-Semitism and other racial movements 37:36 and what’s been illuminated in my own research so let me start by saying that black uprisings more generally outside 37:42 of the solidarity framework have re-centered racism and as an analytic within academic circles as we are well 37:49 aware of as well as among movements who have have censored it once again to 37:55 move us forward the solidarity framework black Palestinian solidarity catalyzed in analytical renewal to understanding 38:02 racism and colonialism as co-constitutive in global structures of domination in a way that Shepherds or 38:09 Marshals and anti-imperial politics so one place that this happens is in 38:16 Durham North Carolina where a Jewish black and Palestinian 38:21 Coalition abolishes police exchanges the Durham Police Department’s police Exchange program in Israel now no this 38:29 is happening across over half a dozen states across the United States which 38:34 means we’re talking about who knows how many cities but Durham is the only 38:39 successful Municipal campaign in the United States to abolish such trainings although the program has existed 38:45 since 2001 across the U.S so part of my research was going into Durham to 38:51 interview the league organizers to reconstruct a chronology of the campaign from inception to Victory to understand 38:57 what made it successful I’ll spare you those details but here’s what it revealed about anti-Semitism and 39:03 anti-racism so firstly the campaign itself is iterative as most of our 39:08 thinking and our movements are it begins in 2014 when JVP ends a contract with 39:15 G4S but the organizers are unsatisfied with their Victory because one the media 39:20 completely erased Palestine in its discussion of all of g4s’s Nefarious 39:26 entanglements does not discuss its use in Israeli prisons surveillance and so 39:31 forth second the city ended up replacing G4S with another security form a firm in 39:38 the midst of black uprisings and the organizers in the midst of of those uprisings understood that replacement as 39:45 a reformist victory rather than an abolitionist Victory and so many of them had become abolitionists in the course 39:51 of black uprisings so they organized themselves Anew they Center their relationships with one another to create 39:57 this intersectional Coalition and Target the police training program in Israel the campaign ultimately passes in a 40:05 resolution a unanimous vote of 6-0 this is a big deal right and while th

37:18 thank you Nadje, Kati and all it’s exciting to go last in this 37:24 first series of questions especially because so much of this is scaffolding onto one another and will be resident so 37:31 let me answer the question directly about the relationship between anti-Semitism and other racial movements 37:36 and what’s been illuminated in my own research so let me start by saying that black uprisings more generally outside 37:42 of the solidarity framework have re-centered racism and as an analytic within academic circles as we are well 37:49 aware of as well as among movements who have have censored it once again to 37:55 move us forward the solidarity framework black Palestinian solidarity catalyzed in analytical renewal to understanding 38:02 racism and colonialism as co-constitutive in global structures of domination in a way that Shepherds or 38:09 Marshals and anti-imperial politics so one place that this happens is in 38:16 Durham North Carolina where a Jewish black and Palestinian 38:21 Coalition abolishes police exchanges the Durham Police Department’s police Exchange program in Israel now no this 38:29 is happening across over half a dozen states across the United States which 38:34 means we’re talking about who knows how many cities but Durham is the only 38:39 successful Municipal campaign in the United States to abolish such trainings although the program has existed 38:45 since 2001 across the U.S so part of my research was going into Durham to 38:51 interview the league organizers to reconstruct a chronology of the campaign from inception to Victory to understand 38:57 what made it successful I’ll spare you those details but here’s what it revealed about anti-Semitism and 39:03 anti-racism so firstly the campaign itself is iterative as most of our 39:08 thinking and our movements are it begins in 2014 when JVP ends a contract with 39:15 G4S but the organizers are unsatisfied with their Victory because one the media 39:20 completely erased Palestine in its discussion of all of g4s’s Nefarious 39:26 entanglements does not discuss its use in Israeli prisons surveillance and so 39:31 forth second the city ended up replacing G4S with another security form a firm in 39:38 the midst of black uprisings and the organizers in the midst of of those uprisings understood that replacement as 39:45 a reformist victory rather than an abolitionist Victory and so many of them had become abolitionists in the course 39:51 of black uprisings so they organized themselves Anew they Center their relationships with one another to create 39:57 this intersectional Coalition and Target the police training program in Israel the campaign ultimately passes in a 40:05 resolution a unanimous vote of 6-0 this is a big deal right and while the local 40:11 police the local fraternal police border opposed the resolution the greatest 40:16 opposition came from Jewish Zionist they accused the initiative of being anti-semitic on two grounds it singles 40:22 out Israel even though the Durham Police only trained in Israel and it suggests that the campaign is suggesting that the 40:29 U.S police are violent and anti-black because they trained in Israel which of course nobody ever said 40:36 this campaign this campaign is all sorry this 40:41 campaign is happening in the midst of anti-Semitic violence in the United States and abroad a lot of it incited by 40:47 the Trump Administration and encouragement of white supremacists to to be more bold even including in 40:53 Pittsburgh and in Charlottesville so in this context right the campaign Black uprisings targeting of the Durham Police 40:59 exchange Jewish activists across the Spectrum are eager to protect their communities and are figuring out how to 41:05 do that best what I found in Durham is that the Jewish Community seemed to 41:10 fracture along Zionist fault lines that corresponded to abolitionist ones Jewish 41:16 opponents to the city council statement were in fervent support of Israel a barricaded nuclear power and alignment 41:23 with global superpower as a necessary safe haven for Jews in contrast Jewish 41:28 Advocates of the resolution self-identified as anti-zionists and abolitionists and understood that their 41:36 safety and future is inextricable from that of other targeted communities for 41:41 the latter more policing higher walls greater violence were not the source of their survival instead they pursued an 41:47 abolitionist future where provisioned for their Collective well-being would create a safe haven for all so here let 41:53 me share with you one I don’t know what my time is so possibly two anecdotes that that share 41:59 some of this so Sandra corn is one of the jvp organizers and she in the you 42:06 know always like everybody else upon hearing neo-Nazis marching on Charlotte 42:11 chanting Jews will not replace us is in or is organizing with her synagogue of 42:16 how to respond in discussing appropriate responses with her fellow board members in the synagogue she found herself in a 42:23 minority that opposed greater law enforcement involvement the majority of her synagogues board members wanted to 42:29 get an armed officer to patrol their place of worship and enhance their collaboration with local and federal law 42:35 enforcement corn believed that they could only achieve safety through solidarity because abolition quote was 42:42 not something for black people but something for herself as a queer Jew and 42:47 made her transform from a solidarity activists for Palestine to understanding her own stake in the struggle similarly 42:54 Lara haft who is part of the campaign recalls the same moment when or a 42:59 similar moment when neo-Nazis were distributing pamphlets attacking blacks Muslims and Jews right so this is a 43:05 broad attack similar to what Amos is telling us the severing of anti-Semitism from other forms of racism is very 43:11 dangerous even though neo-Nazis are attacking everyone her rabbi’s response 43:17 was to grow stronger in his opposition to the city council statement to abolish the police training and in favor of 43:23 Greater FBI involvement to combat anti-Semitism have thought quote this was nuts because one third of the 43:29 campaign was Jewish and the neo-Nazis targeted all of us end quote more for 43:35 her greater safety meant getting police quote out of her Shoals in order to better protect Jews of color and to be 43:42 in community with black and Muslim folks were explicitly targeted by the FBI the 43:47 takeaway here is how those activists who understood anti-Semitism as flowing from a similar source of harm towards black 43:54 and Palestinian communities and other Brown and racialized communities 44:00 were flowing from white supremacist formations that these activists were committed to both abolition and 44:05 anti-Semitism it was both the understanding that anti-Semitism was not a sui generous form of racism or or 44:12 distinct unto its own and that their safety was not achieved with borders and police but in solidarity with one 44:18 another thank you well it’s so important to 44:25 actually you know delve in and we are aware of these issues often sort of macro but it really 44:32 I Feel Again a totally different level of understanding listening to 44:38 this very specific concrete example 


thank you Noura well back over to you 44:45 Kati yes thank you so I would like to ask Amos 44:53 having followed quite closely how debates on anti-Semitism have been 44:59 approached very differently in different contexts there’s also of course differences in media coverage and 45:07 policies and sanctions depending really on the national or religious context 45:14 the the discourses in the US within Palestinian Israeli societies both in 45:21 the Middle East and in also in in various diasporas are are really 45:28 hugely distinct even just within the European context we 45:34 see significant variations from country to Country and I’m thinking of course of 45:40 Germany where where I conducted research comparing it to France or or 45:46 Poland and Hungary not to speak of course of the fact that no one context 45:52 produces a monolithic engagement with anti-Semitism I’m thinking of course not 46:00 of course I’m thinking for example just on the brown campus there’s so many 46:05 different views and positions and so Amos 46:11 I know you you won’t be able to lay out all the differences within three 46:17 minutes but I would appreciate if you could perhaps highlight some of the 46:23 differences you have observed and perhaps also experienced I mean you you know these Israeli context very well and 46:31 and have lived in the US and know Europe 


46:37 thank you yeah I have five minutes so I would say that obviously 46:43 that the problem is that anti-Semitism is real and and 46:49 many places it’s on the rise so the whole discussion takes place in a 46:55 reality that does call for action and we heard the different ways how to confront it to either with 47:03 solidarity or with the aligning yourself to the power and 47:08 so first of all I think it became this issue became at least among Jews but not 47:13 only among Jews I would say a very divisive issue I would say broadly speaking in in 47:20 Jewish communities the some focus on like without proportion some focus on 47:28 the what they call left wing and the Islam islamist a Palestinian anti Israeli anti-Semitism and see it is it’s one of the most vicious and important one to 47:40 deal with and the other with right wing and this right-wing populist and and 47:46 regimes and this is a kind of a very divisive so but I think when we it comes to the 47:54 IHRA and its spirit is I as I this is objectively like looking from above and 48:00 saying something very general but I think if I think of the IHRA spirit that I’ve just spoken about I think three major 48:07 political forces are probably pushing it very forcefully for local and global scale and it’s interesting to see each 48:14 because each of them its own reasons and therefore is involved in slightly different discussion obviously Israel is pushing it for pure 48:22 political reasons I really don’t think Israel is that interested in issue of anti-Semitism per se unless it 48:28 becomes really well but it is yet another mean to push the Palestinian issue of the international 48:34 table but in fact it’s not a major issue in the Israeli public discourse at 48:41 all now Jewish Community now that the second stakeholder is if we can generalize the 48:47 Jewish communities and organizations in America and Europe most of them also push this definition 48:53 and its spirit because they tend to identify with Israel and are looking to protect it from criticism but actually 49:00 there’s much more to it in recent decades and that was proved and as Jewish emancipation in the west and 49:07 particularly in this moment the historical moment when Jewish emancipation in the west reached a point 49:12 it had never originally Jewish history Israel has become a dominant and essential part of Jewish identity in the 49:19 diaspora even among those who do not Define themselves as them so we’ve just 49:25 heard like Jewish voice for peace not everybody but it has become much more dominant than before 49:30 okay like 20 or 30 years ago and then any harsh assault on Zionism in Israel 49:36 is experienced by many Jews as attacked on I think falsely but this is how they experience 49:42 it on on Jewish identity therefore perceived as anti-Semitism moreover 49:48 sometimes a anti-Israel criticism in in demonstration indeed sleep to becoming 49:55 implicitly or explicitly anti-Semi anti-Semitic when chanting slogans in favor of Hitler or holding Jews all Jews 50:02 accountable for what Israel is doing so so and here there’s a big 50:09 difference between Europe and America whereas until some two decades ago Jewish American support of Israel was 50:14 very solid unconditional while European Jews were much more critical today they 50:20 switched sides till the big and very powerful Jewish American organizations such as the American Jewish committee 50:26 Simon Wiesenthal center, the IDL and other are promoting the IHRA and its Spirit on local and international levels 50:33 but there are very loud Progressive Jewish voices as we just heard and organization that are counterated in not 50:41 only the Jewish boys but also liberal Zionists the most successful one is the Canadian 50:48 group independent Jewish voices which reached huge successes in pushing back against the IHRA and now okay this makes 50:56 the entire discussion on the IHRA and its spirit and internal Jewish discussion in 51:02 Europe these voices are very weak and therefore the IHRA is perceived by the Europeans to represent all Jews this 51:09 bear this bears significant consequences the third actor which is currently the 51:14 strongest one pushing it most forcefully is the EU backed by most of 51:20 mainstream liberal conservative and right-wing politics in in Europe in some 51:25 different ways also in North America and this is why it’s so powerful and and devastating 51:32 I think different interests and ideologies are driving various actors in This broad spectrum to support the IHRA I 51:39 think it’s a combination of supporting Israel Israel has become very strong and desirable 51:45 implicit or explicit this is a way implicit or explicit many times 51:52 explicit islamophobia racism anti-immigrationism in some 51:58 quarters of population also grows or dislike to the Palestinian cause 52:03 but at least among some liberal Europeans there is something else playing out here this is this is the 52:09 tricky Palm the fight against anti-Semitism and fostering Jewish life after the 52:15 Holocaust became in the last two or three decades essential and dominant part of European identity 52:22 and since the major Jewish organization and communities in Europe of Zionism in Israel is a form of 52:29 anti-Semitism that makes them feel uncomfortable in their places of residence and EU and the EU 52:36 in most of the states adopt this perception in anti-Semitism they call it victims-based perspective now I think 52:43 it’s all wrong I suppose but this is part of the part of the motivation apart 52:49 from what I said before in supporting this on among liberal Europeans 52:55 obviously in Germany and for understandable reason the situation is a bit different and could but to my 53:02 opinion could only be explained with psychological and anthropological vocabulary such a moral panic exorcism 53:08 purification social paranoia and film contamination there is so much to talk 53:14 about to say about Germany on which category we’ve heard wrote extensively and beautifully but I will give just one 53:20 example to show how 53:26 the situation in Germany is off now a Palestinian artist was conceived 53:32 as anti-Semitism and anti-Semite because he worked in a cultural center in 53:37 Ramallah which is named after the Palestinian Progressive educator Khalil Sakakini who died already in 1953 and 53:46 who had very many Jewish friends in Jerusalem Olympic in a few lines in his diary expressed the hope that Roman in 53:53 the war in the second world war will liberate Palestine from British colonialism this was enough 54:00 to tag the artist with no connection to Sakakini whatsoever I mean of course 54:06 Nasaka King is also not Italian but if not and in 2022 as an anti-Semite I 54:13 think this tells it all indeed Germany holds today a real Witch Hunt get almost 54:18 any form of critique against Israel and Zionism and any Palestinian authentic View 


54:26 yeah thank you Amos and of course brings back so many 54:31 memories of the interviews we conducted for our ethnographic study on 54:37 on the questions of anti-Semitism and and contemporary Germany when when we did our field work 54:46 in 2016 and 17 with with my colleague said 54:51 and so one of the biggest ironies for me was 54:57 that there is this genuine enthusiasm about among Germans that 55:03 there is this very significant Revival of Jews through the relatively important 55:11 migration of of Israelis I mean so many there there was a real Jewish life you 55:16 hear Hebrew in the streets you see Hebrew signs they’re Hebrew business businesses and and and I mean it’s it’s 55:24 a real presence and part of of the Berlin community and so there is this 55:31 excitement ironically many of these intellectuals and artists who come to 55:38 Berlin are lefties and and and there as as most 55:47 people in in in the world dare to criticize their their government and and 55:53 so here Germans will call these Israelis not collectively but it it happens 55:59 over and over that Israelis Germans are not happy with the way 56:05 these Israelis engage with their own government with a critical voice and 56:10 and we’ll call them anti-Semites Germans will call Israelis in Germany anti-Semitic and and that’s really the 56:17 irony yes just another example of of these really 56:27 [Music] mind-boggling contradictions yeah and on the other side of the coin 56:34 so I’m I also grew up in Germany actually very close to where Katie grew 56:39 up and so I’ve just been to a conference a big conference in Berlin and I was really was struck by the fact 56:47 but maybe not surprised that a panel on Palestine didn’t even have one single 56:52 Palestinian speaker and when I spoke to my colleagues about 56:58 it and I said well you know we have to be very careful we can’t even invite Palestinians and that really 57:04 leads me to the question that I would like to ask if which is what in your view is the relationship 57:12 between anti-Semitism and the question of Palestine 57:18 yes I mean as Amos said 57:26 Israel is trying to turn into any conversation about Palestine as a conversation about anti-Semitism 57:35 and here we have to notice there are two conversation that is being running 57:42 around and both of them are important and both of them should be dealt accordingly one is a conversation about 57:49 anti-Semitism it causes etc and fighting it and there’s an other different 57:56 conversation about Palestine the parameters the entry point to the discussion about Palestine is different 58:04 from the parameters the historical condition speaking about anti-Semitism and it’s a mistake to collapse the two 58:10 question as if they’re just one question the entry to understanding to analyzing 58:19 to thinking about Palestine is that Palestine is a question of simpler colonialism of 58:26 occupation and of disposition so this is the entry point it’s part of 58:32 parcel of a whole discussions and the whole struggle of 58:38 the 20th century about decolonization now 58:43 probably the the Palestinians were in a bad situation or a lucky situation everyone can decide on that but the 58:51 Palestinians were victims of the Jews that were the ultimate victim probably in the 58:59 20th century and here the two compositions come into 59:04 dialogue with with each other because it’s different probably 59:10 historically it’s different when speaking about why is coming to 59:16 settle in Indiana in terms of the moral appeal to the 59:21 rest of the world and when those who are coming to settle in Palestine are coming as refugees now 59:30 most settler colonies there’s the element of refugeesness I mean most 59:35 people coming to the a new world to settle our refugees 59:40 that’s probably the case of the Jews is outstanding in that given the history of 59:46 the 20th century now what does that mean after all that means different thing that means 59:53 that the case for Palestinian to prove their case is always overshadowed by the 59:58 fact that the Jews are victims of the 20th century to make their case clear 1:00:04 they have to spend sort of it’s it’s more difficult to prove to prove their 1:00:12 case in in this regard but the Palestinians 1:00:18 what they see is different from what the European see or feel or configure 1:00:24 for the Europeans they see the backs of the refugee running for his life 1:00:30 following the Nazi regime and the Holocaust and this is the image that he 1:00:36 has in his mind when he speaks about Palestine this is the main image 1:00:41 and probably when when President 1:00:48 Biden says I’m a Zionist I don’t know exactly what he was thinking when he 1:00:53 said that or what he meant by that but I’m trying to think probably he means to say that I’m for the idea of the Jews 1:01:01 having a safe place to live in their own country 1:01:06 probably is not meantime he didn’t mean to say that I’m for the expulsion of the Palestinians or for the continuation of 1:01:14 the occupation but what you see in Europe it’s different what the Palestinians see 1:01:22 we the Palestinians see the soldier the face of the soldier not the back of the 1:01:27 refugee we see him not as victims but a victimizer not as a minority but as a 1:01:34 majority not as the persecuted but the one as Persecuting us not the one that’s 1:01:40 Refugee but the one that’s turning the Palestinians into into refugees 1:01:46 so in this sense one can think of different relations between between the two but the first thing to recognize 1:01:54 that the anti-Semitism as Sherene mentioned already is basically first and 1:02:00 foremost started as a European question the Jewish question is a European 1:02:06 questions but both the Zionists and the Europeans wanted to solve this problem 1:02:12 outside Europe the Jews should go outside Europe in order to join Europe 1:02:18 but by leaving Europe Zionism didn’t reject 1:02:23 the let’s say the logic of Europe the all the logic of ethnic racial pure state 1:02:31 actually they adopt this logic and in one sense they want to extend it outside 1:02:38 Europe so in this sense the establishment of Israel is not exactly the Triumph of 1:02:45 Enlightenment it’s not the Triumph of current it’s not the Triumph of liberal cosmopolitanism and the idea that we can 1:02:53 have a liberal state that is open for all and guarantees equality for all 1:02:59 actually the establishment of Israel is one way or another is conceding to the 1:03:05 idea and to the claim that there is no way that different people from different races can live peacefully together this 1:03:14 is at the end of the day the meaning of the established at least one meaning of the establishment of the state of Israel 1:03:21 so as Palestinians we’re not responsible for what happens to the Jews in Europe 1:03:27 now that doesn’t mean that we’re under no responsibility how to deal with this 1:03:32 victimhood but it’s clearly it’s too much to ask for the Palestinians to pay 1:03:37 the full price of the crimes that Europe committed against the Jews in Europe so 1:03:44 I think there must be sort of a distinction between the two and the fact that the Jews are victimized as in 1:03:51 Palestine shouldn’t prevent us from seeing that they were victims in Europe and the fact 1:03:58 that they were the ultimate victims in Europe shouldn’t prevent us from seeing 1:04:03 that they are victimizers now in Palestine 


1:04:09 yeah thank you very much Raef we’re going to ask a couple more 1:04:15 questions before we’re going to turn to the audience questions I see they’re already a few I encourage everyone to 1:04:22 put their questions or comments in the Q A function but Kati I think you’re 1:04:27 going to ask Noura question at this point yes so it’s it’s a complicated question but 1:04:34 I think it touches upon something that I find highly relevant 1:04:40 to some of the confusions surrounding the the position of the BDS movement 1:04:47 would you be able to Enlighten us on how you personally navigate a political 1:04:55 landscape in which BDS activism is is very often equated with anti-Semitism 1:05:02 and and also Perhaps Perhaps in direct relation to this what do you think 1:05:10 is the connection between debates that take place on campuses within Civil 1:05:17 Society and also the media and government institutions and I’m thinking here specifically 1:05:25 within the U.S context 


yeah that’s an excellent question also 1:05:31 that goes back into this you know what happens in as an advocate 1:05:36 in practice by its very nature this is going to be repetitive and echo much of what my 1:05:42 colleagues have said but let me start with the latter part of your question and say something about what is the what 1:05:48 is what is the circuit of ideas between campus government 1:05:53 media and so forth and what we can see is that there has been a concerted 1:05:59 attempt a top-down attempt in order to to squash debate that is otherwise 1:06:05 resolved on the ground so several universities had filed title six suits 1:06:11 within the Department of Education accusing student activists of harassing them on campus under previous 1:06:18 terms that exist under title VI based on discrimination race nationality religion 1:06:24 and so forth in investigations at Rutgers UC Berkeley and I heard get the 1:06:29 other campus the Department of Education unanimously found that yo it’s really uncomfortable to be a student in the 1:06:35 midst of a controversial issue but there’s no discrimination here right and then we see the redefinition 1:06:42 and the adoption by the doe of IHRA in order to now make a more expansive 1:06:49 definition to to do the work that the previous iteration was unable to achieve 1:06:55 similarly think about what you know are euphoria over the democratization of 1:07:00 media and social media and so here you have for the first time we’re able to 1:07:06 see what’s happening in Gaza during these aerial strikes so we’re not just getting these perverted cartoons from 1:07:12 the Israeli Army telling us what’s happening or you know just clouds of smoke we’re actually getting 1:07:18 Palestinians running away dying children’s screens you get these stories 1:07:23 well now we just get another report that Facebook and its audit of itself has 1:07:29 demonstrated for us that there is systematic censorship of Palestinian content and not just of Palestinians in 1:07:36 Gaza but all the way to the top we see Gigi Hadid and her father Muhammad Hadid have their own social media accounts 1:07:42 suspended for their intervention so we do see a very even when we’re winning at 1:07:48 the bottom that the top will come down in order to to squash these debates 1:07:53 now I’m going to take a little bit more time because I was asked the two-part question let me get to this question about well what about BDS so in this BDS 1:08:00 part I want to emphasize that no it’s very easy for us to say that all 1:08:05 criticism of Israel is tantamount to anti-Semitism or or so we’re accused and I’m sure that all of us can put together 1:08:12 anecdotes that would demonstrate that right Palestinian breathing anti-semitic but if we actually you know get into 1:08:18 some texture of it that’s not the way that it’s that it’s actually broken down especially in in the in the short 1:08:25 life of of the BDS call since 2005. so from its initial you know 1:08:32 publication BDS has been an anathema to a spectrum of Jewish Zionists on the 1:08:37 most supportive end of that Spectrum or the liberal Zionists who oppose it only because of one of its demand the demand 1:08:43 for the right of return the liberal Zionists are in line with ending the occupation right there’s three demands 1:08:49 and the occupation meaningful equality right of return they’re okay with the ending the occupation okay with meaning 1:08:54 equality within Israel and even okay with the mode of protest of boycott they’re not even they’re not opposed to 1:09:00 boycott they’re saying go ahead boycott right but only boycott the settlements or enterprises in the West 1:09:07 Bank and Gaza unlike the other pillars however the right of return for them is equated as as an 1:09:14 existential threat because of the racist conception that a Palestinian demographic majority would signal the 1:09:20 end of the Jewish State now the the opponents to this the Ardent Jewish Zionists 1:09:25 are far different for them boycott is problematic because it’s reminiscent of European racial exclusion the belief 1:09:32 there’s a belief that the critique of Israel is tantamount with singling out Israel unfairly and of course the demand 1:09:39 for the right of return is unequivocally anti-Semitic not merely for undermining a Jewish 1:09:45 demographic majority but for for opposing this is and this is also what 1:09:50 Sherene intimated already but for opposing 1:09:55 Jewish self-determination in the form of Zionist Settler’s sovereignty and this argument conflates that Jewish 1:10:01 peoplehood in the Jewish state are the same thing but they’re not if Jewish people want to identify as a people they 1:10:07 certainly can as Benedict Anderson reminds us all peoples are imagined communities but to insist that 1:10:13 self-determination of that people is based on a territorial framework necessitating the forest removal of a 1:10:19 whole other people it’s plainly immoral it’s plainly immoral now to get to that 1:10:25 and to reject it full stop we need to you know assert this bifurcation which takes you know a little bit more work 1:10:31 than a yes or no answer and certainly for Palestinians right accepting this logic is to participate in our own 1:10:38 self-annihilation and yet we’re expected to do that just that because racial and Colonial 1:10:45 Frameworks have primed Western audiences to accept Palestinian suffering is not natural and even necessary as somehow a 1:10:53 a a sacrifice for for these Western wrongs so how do you navigate this as an 1:11:00 advocate there’s many you know there’s there’s many ways to do it I would say that the primary way is to you know 1:11:06 address the controversy head on there’s such an attempt to either not say things 1:11:12 or to say them in a different way so that you can avert right but we then put ourselves we trap ourselves and and 1:11:19 you know traps of our own making and instead we should address things very 1:11:24 head-on and invite conversation and controversy so there’s three three 1:11:31 elements or three pillars of framing that I like to use one is to address the 1:11:37 violent logic that sets up Palestinian death as a predicate element of humanity this is an opportunity for us to turn 1:11:42 the tables to highlight the contradictions that even within liberal traditions especially those captured in 1:11:48 human rights principles and human rights law to highlight what contradictions is that bringing up to highlight the racism 1:11:54 that makes this logic possible another is to actually emphasize the Universal Character of the Palestinian experience 1:12:00 by showing that Israel is not unique it’s a lot like other settler colonies including the United States Canada 1:12:06 Australia South Africa and so on and of course there’s so many differences within and between these case studies 1:12:13 but as a structure of settler colonialism Palestine is one of many which undermines the whole argument that 1:12:19 BDS singles out Israel thirdly and more and very importantly is to demand a 1:12:25 more robust conversation on anti-Semitism gave us a clinic at the beginning of this talk in less 1:12:31 than five minutes we don’t even get that in our conversations we don’t talk about anti-Semitism we need more of it we need 1:12:38 it to be more meaningful why is anti-Semitism a more form of racism how has that conversation had in the early 1:12:44 1970s what are the distinctions between religious and secular anti-Semitism what’s the relationship between 1:12:50 orientalism and anti-Semitism in Europe how is it manifested in different parts of the world and why are those 1:12:56 distinctions materially significant and so on and so forth but this conversation 1:13:01 especially in the United States is so anemic that nobody has any idea how to navigate a conversation about 1:13:08 anti-Semitism much less the accusation so the response has been a practice of Silence which is actually to to submit 1:13:15 right is to surrender our own power so in some I would encourage more 1:13:20 confrontation more robust discussion to navigate the political terrain we need to create more space so as not to be 1:13:27 pushed into a corner which is incredibly hard given all the punishments Associated just this week the hill fired 1:13:33 Kitty Helper for defending Rashida Tlieb’s statement that support for apartheid Israel is not Progressive and 1:13:39 yesterday the New York Times fighter fired Sam Salim a photojournalist in Gaza because of tweets and supportive 1:13:45 Palestinian resistance so I so how do you do this we need to talk about it you can’t talk about it 1:13:52 one way one tactic to create more space is to use the liberal argument of free 1:13:58 speech and the legal argument defending free speech and constitutional law and 1:14:03 although that approach has been the primary argument against BDS legislation I would be very careful not to rely on a 1:14:10 free speech argument because of its trappings and limits which we can discuss later suffice it to say that 1:14:16 here using the law defensively and tactically to create more space in order 1:14:21 to have other conversations is very worthwhile 

1:14:28 yeah thank you so much Nora which leads me directly into the question that I 1:14:34 wanted to ask to read and it’s it’s really linked it’s what Sherene do you think is a potential 1:14:41 for political alliances to fight both anti-Semitism and stand up for 1:14:47 Palestinian rights within the U.S 


um I don’t I think that that is actually 1:14:54 ongoing it is actually happening it isn’t a potential I think one of the 1:14:59 things that we really have to understand about this particular moment while we can 1:15:07 really kind of see it as uh a 1:15:12 time of defeat perhaps I think in many ways this is a time 1:15:17 of immense potential when we see the broad-based celebration of stupidity 1:15:24 from Hungary to more recently Italy to 1:15:30 you know the the the theater that is the Israeli Knesset to the theater that is 1:15:37 the White House right this is actually the time to continue building these 1:15:44 alliances and to continue holding on to the momentum and the labor that we’ve 1:15:50 been doing for decades right which is opposing anti-Semitism opposing all 1:15:56 forms of racism and opposing a Zionist settler colonialism this didn’t start 1:16:01 with the IHRA the the the blacklisting the containment and the confinement of 1:16:08 anybody doing critical work on Palestine and critiquing Israel has a very long 1:16:15 durray and because of that long durray because we have been accustomed to that 1:16:21 fight I think that makes the struggle for 1:16:27 Palestine actually a really important site to navigate the kinds of ways that 1:16:34 critical thought and critical expression is being targeted 1:16:39 not just in the United States but also in France also in the United Kingdom and 1:16:44 here I’m talking about Critical Race Theory right we know what that looks like because we have been under that 1:16:50 pressure it is not new to us and I think here one of the things that is really really important and the way to be able 1:16:59 to recognize this ongoing labor right and here I’ll just step back and say you 1:17:05 know I cut my teeth in post-September 11 New York 1:17:11 you know as a graduate student with Jews against the occupation right I mean which started out as an 1:17:18 organization that was called queer Jews against the occupation we were the people that were in joint struggle back 1:17:25 then this doesn’t start with the IHRA right I think if we don’t really engage 1:17:30 those long historical traditions of political mobilizing we can feel 1:17:37 ourselves besieged in the moment that we’re in now and I think that 1:17:42 the two final things I want to say is number one I think that 1:17:48 the you know the the call for boycott divestment sanctions is frightening and 1:17:54 has mobilized this amount of block of of backlash because we are actually 1:18:03 standing up together in many ways you know I grew up in this country and when I was a student in in high school you 1:18:11 know it was really hard to stand up and say anything the environment is 1:18:17 completely different now and it is in part different because of American Jewish involvement and investment so I 1:18:25 really want to encourage us to think Beyond a kind of this both this present 1:18:30 this moment and a broader kind of defeatism around what is the political moment that we’re in and I think to do 1:18:38 that we have to refuse the kinds of unified home homogenized categories that 1:18:45 the enlightenment logic imposes on us what is Europe when we’re all talking 1:18:51 about Europe in fact what is Germany I mean Berlin is arguably like the Arab 1:18:56 capital of Europe right now okay so it it is actually way more complicated when 1:19:03 we talk about the Jews it’s like mother are Palestinian Jews right what do we 1:19:08 how do we categorize those people and so I think it is those erasures that we 1:19:14 have to confront as a part of the violence of this ongoing Enlightenment 1:19:19 logic and the problem you know of Europe like we talk about you know the the 1:19:26 Jewish question the Palestinian question the black question whatever like I want to talk about the problem of Europe the 1:19:33 Europe as a problem the imagined idea of this Europe as our problem right and I 1:19:40 think that you know in this moment of immense consolidation of the right wing and the 1:19:48 rise of self-defined Fascists we actually have no choice but to 1:19:56 intensify the ongoing organizing that we’re doing together in joint struggle thank you all I mean I 1:20:06 I think this was much needed discussion I mean we 1:20:11 we’re just starting to scratch the surface I am glad that we were able to come 1:20:17 together I hope that there will be other contexts in which we will be 1:20:22 able to continue that I’d like to thank all of you 

I’d like to thank Sherene, Noura, Raif and Amos I’d 1:20:31 like to thank Katie for suggesting this conversation in the first case 1:20:38 I like to say that the way that it came about 1:20:43 this this is then became like a joint venture in terms of you know thinking 1:20:48 about it how we could bring it together and I’d also like to thank the 1:20:53 audience I’m sorry we didn’t have more time to get to the questions but I think it was really 1:21:00 important and worthwhile discussion Kati would you like to say a few words 1:21:08 only thank you so much I think this was a very productive conversation and I hope we can 1:21:15 continue this informally okay thank you


Cover of The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians

The Moral Triangle: Germans, Israelis, Palestinians



Copyright Date: 2020

Published by: Duke University Press

Pages: 256

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  1. Front Matter(pp. i-iv)Front Matter(pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents(pp. v-vi)Table of Contents(pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS(pp. vii-viii)ACKNOWLEDGMENTS(pp. vii-viii)
  4. PROLOGUE(pp. ix-xii)PROLOGUE(pp. ix-xii) were sitting at a table at Café Atlantic on Bergmannstraße in one of Berlin’s trendiest neighborhoods, Kreuzberg, known not so long ago for its large Turkish community but in recent years also as one of the areas in town that have attracted concentrations of Palestinians and Israelis. It was 9:00 PM, and we were both famished. We had just completed another day of interviews, running from one place to the next and barely finding the time to talk to each other and digest the reflections of the Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians we were interviewing.We were also full of…SaveCite
  5. INTRODUCTION THE TRIANGLE(pp. 1-10)INTRODUCTION THE TRIANGLE(pp. 1-10) study examines the triangular relationship among Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians in contemporary Berlin.¹ It poses the question of the moral responsibility of Germans with regard to Israelis and Palestinians residing in their capital city. While our temporal focus is the present, we recognize that past events such as the Holocaust and the Nakba continue to reverberate. Despite the fact that our geographic focus is Berlin, it is clear that our exploration has implications for Germany as a whole and its connections to Israel/Palestine.Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians seem to be divided among five patterns of thought on the question…SaveCite
  6. 1 TRAUMA, HOLOCAUST, NAKBA(pp. 11-24)1 TRAUMA, HOLOCAUST, NAKBA(pp. 11-24) Holocaust, known in Hebrew as “Shoah” (meaning “calamity”) — a term that also entered German usage in the 1980s by way of a tv series and a film — refers to the Nazi genocide of approximately six million Jews and five million others in the context of the National Socialist regime of World War II, which began in 1933 and ended in 1945.¹ The Holocaust was implemented in several stages, starting with legal restrictions for Jews and other victimized populations, leading from the stripping of citizenship and civil rights to segregation within the country, and finally to removal from…SaveCite
  7. 2 VICTIM AND PERPETRATOR(pp. 25-33)2 VICTIM AND PERPETRATOR(pp. 25-33) the most commonly used characterizing nouns in literature and media that deal with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, as well as in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, are “victim” and “perpetrator.” In the present, the Holocaust is invoked in contemporary Germany and Israel mostly in relation to memories and persistent experiences of second-, third-, and even fourth-generation descendants. The turmoil in Israel/Palestine, instead, is an ongoing process, with current events that continuously shape new realities.¹ Today, there is general agreement about the fact that, during World War II, Nazi Germans were the perpetrators, and the Jews, along with…SaveCite
  8. 3 GERMANY AND ISRAEL/PALESTINE(pp. 34-40)3 GERMANY AND ISRAEL/PALESTINE(pp. 34-40) claims of evenhandedness, Germany’s policies and actions are largely shaped by their proclaimed raison d’état (reason of state, or Staatsraison), rooted in the historical obligation to compensate for the crimes of the Nazi regime.¹ In this regard, no significant differences in their attitude toward the conflict exist among the major German political parties.² In the long run, the deviations of individual politicians have not altered the status quo of the triangular interaction among Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians. This reality affects not only the recalcitrant peace process in the Middle East, but also, ultimately, policies with regard to Israelis and…SaveCite
  9. 4 GERMANY AND MIGRATION(pp. 41-52)4 GERMANY AND MIGRATION(pp. 41-52), composed of twelve districts, or boroughs (Bezirke), is known as Germany’s most multicultural city. Among these, the vibrant boroughs of Kreuzberg and Neukölln are home to Israelis and Palestinians, in addition to many other ethnic communities (including Chinese, Kurdish, other Middle Eastern, North African, Polish, Russian, and Turkish residents). More than 40 percent of these populations come from an immigrant background, and the ethnic liveliness has turned the areas into popular hubs for young artists and intellectuals from around the world.¹ Alongside German, other dominant languages spoken in the streets and public spaces include Arabic, English, Turkish, and Hebrew….SaveCite
  10. 5 ELUSIVE DEMOGRAPHY(pp. 53-58)5 ELUSIVE DEMOGRAPHY(pp. 53-58) exact number of Israelis and Palestinians in Berlin is difficult, if not impossible, to establish. Discrepancies among media estimates and official statistics are often significant, though none of these sources is necessarily accurate. Although most Israelis in Berlin are Jewish and the majority of Palestinians living in the capital are Muslim, determining exact numbers for those who claim these religious identities — like the numerical size of these communities more generally — is again impossible to determine.About 60 percent of Berlin’s population has no registered religious affiliation. In fact, the city is frequently referred to as Europe’s atheist…SaveCite
  11. 6 NEUE HEIMAT BERLIN?(pp. 59-80)6 NEUE HEIMAT BERLIN?(pp. 59-80)’s commitment to Israel is clear. So are the country’s efforts to integrate and welcome Israelis in the capital. The question, though, of whether Israelis feel comfortable in Berlin, and even “at home,” is deeply complex and textured.Personal and psychological traumas between Germany and Israel have been slower to heal than the diplomatic ties between the two countries. These official ties were initiated some seven years after Israel was established in 1948, under the cloud of postwar crimes and irreparable human and physical losses. More Jews went into hiding and survived the war in Berlin than in any other…SaveCite
  12. 7 MORAL RESPONSIBILITY(pp. 81-90)7 MORAL RESPONSIBILITY(pp. 81-90) The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, the American public intellectual Noam Chomsky explores the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States. He explicates how American state support for Israel historically has been diplomatic, material, and ideological in nature. He critiques the American mainstream perception that Israel is guided by “a high moral purpose.”¹ As Chomsky has emerged as one of the world’s most prominent Jewish intellectuals, he is equally known for his solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for human rights.Germany’s alliance with Israel (second only to the U.S. alliance with Israel) and Germany’s…SaveCite
  13. 8 RACISM, ANTI-SEMITISM, ISLAMOPHOBIA(pp. 91-115)8 RACISM, ANTI-SEMITISM, ISLAMOPHOBIA(pp. 91-115) this chapter, we examine one of the most emotionally fraught issues in our study of Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians in Berlin: the often-debated phenomena of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and racism more generally. These issues are discussed separately — and in dialogue — by scholars, journalists, and politicians. The increasing number of reported attacks on religious minorities, the arrival of large numbers of refugees following the summer of 2015, and the entry of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party into the Bundestag are factors closely linked to these debates. Although German society is predominantly Christian, and Jews and Muslims are…SaveCite
  14. 9 URBAN SPACES AND VOICES(pp. 116-137)9 URBAN SPACES AND VOICES(pp. 116-137) recent years, the Israeli presence in Berlin has become palpable. Hebrew can be heard in the streets, most strikingly in the central neighborhood of Mitte, in the trendy area of Prenzlauer Berg, and in the largely ethnic quarters of Kreuzberg and Neukölln, not to mention in the new border zone between the two neighborhoods popularly referred to as Kreuzkölln. Some of the Hebrew voices clearly belong to Israelis who have made Berlin their new home. Others come from Israeli tourists; Israelis who come to spend a few months or a couple of years in Berlin; or the so-called wandering…SaveCite
  15. 10 POINTS OF INTERSECTION(pp. 138-148)10 POINTS OF INTERSECTION(pp. 138-148) Palestinians in Berlin are secular or Christian, but the majority identify as Muslim or of a Muslim background, and a significant number practice Islam and consider themselves devout. While most Israelis who live in the city are secular, almost all regard their Jewish identity as having ethnic and cultural, if not religious, dimensions. Very few among those we interviewed questioned or rejected their Jewish identity. Groups such as the Salaam-Shalom Initiative, an interfaith effort that brings together Jews and Muslims from various national and ethnic backgrounds, also includes Israelis and Palestinians (figure 10.1). The initiative promotes campaigns against anti-Semitism…SaveCite
  16. 11 BETWEEN GUILT AND CENSORSHIP(pp. 149-168)11 BETWEEN GUILT AND CENSORSHIP(pp. 149-168) not all Germans in contemporary Berlin feel universally guilty for the Holocaust and the repercussions of Germany’s atrocities during World War II, a pervasive sense of collective public guilt — and a related feeling of responsibility — is palpable across the city. This shared form of guilt affects how Germans relate to Jews; Israelis individually and as a collective; and Israel as a state. As an implicit or explicit consequence of this guilt, anyone or anything that could be perceived as critical of Israel risks subjection to moral condemnation. This public form of ethical policing is at times perceived…SaveCite
  17. CONCLUSION RESTORATIVE JUSTICE(pp. 169-174)CONCLUSION RESTORATIVE JUSTICE(pp. 169-174) the prologue, we discussed the Israeli director Yael Ronen’s play Third Generation, which features Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians examining their relationship to one another in a critical manner. The fact that the play encountered so much resistance in Israel but took off so successfully in Berlin is revelatory: while touching on the traumas of the past in a contemporary context remains a sensitive endeavor in Germany, there is a stage for this kind of work in Berlin. Such discussions exist not only among artists but also in the private sphere and among civil society activists. We are hopeful that…SaveCite
  18. POSTSCRIPT(pp. 175-186)POSTSCRIPT(pp. 175-186) was never going to return to Germany. I left when I was nineteen and had known for as long as I was able to think about the question of belonging that I would not stay in the country. Our parents — I have one sister, Agnes, who is three years older than I am — had raised us with a typical survivor and refugee mentality, teaching us about the uncertainties of life. We grew up knowing that Germany was most likely a temporary host country and that we should know multiple languages to prepare ourselves for potential moves and…


Elad Lapidot | Jews Out of the Question: How Critical Theory Fights Anti-Semitism by Denying Judaism The talk will reflect on the role that opposition to anti-Semitism has played in shaping critical theory after the Holocaust, in authors such as Adorno, Horkheimer, Jean-Paul Sartre and Hannah Arendt, Alain Badiou, and, most recently, Jean-Luc Nancy. My basic argument is that post-Holocaust critical theory diagnosed the fundamental evil of anti-Semitic thought not as thinking against Jews, but as thinking of Jews. In other words, what anti-anti-Semitic thought has been denounced as anti-Semitic is the figure of “the Jew” in thought. The talk will suggest that, paradoxically, the opposition to anti-Semitism generates in post-Holocaust philosophy a rejection of Jewish thought, which in some respects is more radical than previous historical forms of anti-Judaism. At work in this rejection, so will be the claim, is a problematic understanding of the relations between politics and thought—a troubling contemporary political epistemology. MORE INFORMATION Center for Middle East Studies Elad Lapidot is Professor and Chair for Jewish Studies at the University of Lille, France. Holding a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Paris Sorbonne university, he has taught philosophy, Jewish thought and Talmud at the University of Bern, Switzerland, as well as the Humboldt Universität and Freie Univeristät in Berlin. His work reflects on the relation between knowledge and politics, especially in modern and contemporary cultures. Among his publications: “Jews Out of the Question. A Critique of Anti-Anti-Semitism” (Albany: SUNY Press, 2020), Hebrew translation with introduction and commentary (with R. Bar) of Hegel’s Phänomenologie des Geistes, Vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Resling Publishing, 2020); “Heidegger and Jewish Thought. Difficult Others, edited with M. Brumlik” (London/New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018); and “Etre sans mot dire: La logiqe de ‘Sein und Zeit’” (Bucarest: Zeta Books, 2010).

Transcript by Youtube
0:00 [Music] 0:08 good afternoon everyone my name is Nadje Al-Ali I’m the director of 0:15 the center for Middle East studies at Brown it’s our great pleasure to host today’s 0:21 event and I should mention that today’s event is part of a series that our 0:27 colleague Professor Adi ophir is organizing a series on anti-semitism 0:35 and today uh we are very happy to welcome 0:40 Elad Lapidot who is Professor and chair of Jewish studies at the University of 0:48 Lille in France he’s holding a PhD in Philosophy from 0:54 the Paris sorbon University and he has taught philosophy 1:00 Jewish thought and talmud at the University of Bern in Switzerland as 1:06 well as at the Humboldt University and Fry University in Berlin and I 1:11 understand he’s joining us from Berlin now Professor Lapidot’s work reflects the 1:18 relation between knowledge and politics especially in modern and contemporary 1:24 cultures among his Publications Jews out of the 1:29 question a critique of anti-anti-semitism which was published in 2020 1:37 the Hebrew translation with introduction and commentary of Hegel’s phenomology 1:42 disguised us which was also published in 2020 Heidegger and joy thought difficult 1:50 others which was edited with um and broom Lake published in 2018 and 1:59 etrosom modir La logic de song design on site 2:05 which was published in 2010. so today the talk today is entitled Jews out of 2:13 the question how critical theory fights anti-Semitism by denying Judaism please 2:19 help me to welcome professor Lapidot 2:24 [Applause] um so you’re going to give a lecture for 2:30 about 40-45 minutes and then we’ll have time for a q a thank you 2:38 hello everyone I’m very happy to be here thank you very much for the invitation 2:45 Adi and Nadje I’m very honored to be 2:50 here at the university of Brown at the center of Middle East studies 2:58 um as uh is Nad already announced I will 3:04 present some ideas in the next 40 45 minutes and 3:10 then I will try to stop if I if I have difficulties help me 3:16 and and then and then we open discussion I’ll be happy to hear your questions 3:23 and we try to answer them as much as I can 3:35 that’s that’s the title very long title how critical theory fights 3:41 anti-semitism’s anti-Semitism by denying Judaism basically what I’m going to do 3:46 is just explain this title okay the next 40 minutes 3:53 so a shorter title if you wish is a critique of anti-anti semitism now I’m 4:00 quickly going to say what it is and what it’s not it’s not a defense of anti-Semitism okay I’m not calling 4:08 for you to become anti-semites that’s not the point it’s on the contrary it’s 4:13 in internal critique of um what I think is a dominant 4:20 strategy of countering fighting struggling against anti-semitism 4:27 uh after after the shoah, after Holocaust 4:32 mostly I’m focusing on attempts to counter anti-Semitism in theory in 4:38 people who are writing Theory philosophy political thought that’s that’s my focus 4:44 but I think it goes beyond that but this is what mainly what I will talk I’m talking about 4:50 now it’s an internal critique in the sense that I’m asking is this dominant strategy as I 4:56 diagnose it is it a good one uh is it a good way of countering anti-Semitism or 5:03 not and what I’m claiming that there are some problems with this strategy and to 5:08 some extent it’s uh it’s it’s even uh um counterproductive there are some 5:14 consequences of the way that has been chosen that uh that is not only 5:19 problematic but in some way even reproduces some patterns that you can 5:24 find in anti-Semitism itself so anti-anti-semitism reproduces some elements I will tell you exactly why 5:32 that you can find in anti-Semitism this is why it’s counterproductive this is why I say there is a problem we might 5:38 want to rethink how we handle with that so that’s that’s the basic idea the 5:44 structure of what I’m gonna do is first I’m gonna I’m gonna say what I’m not gonna do there are other critics of 5:50 anti-antisemitism of the way we try to fight in theory against anti-Semitism 5:56 I’m going to talk about other what other people are doing and uh and then I’m going to move to 6:02 um to talk about but I’m doing the essence of my critique that is encapsulated in this title Jews out of 6:08 the question I’m going to explain the title to you uh then I’m going to move to uh quickly try to articulate the 6:16 basic the core of my my argument uh I’m calling it The epistemicizing the Jew 6:23 I’m gonna explain to you what it means in my title it’s hidden in the words 6:28 denying Judaism then I’m gonna move uh and um I’m gonna 6:34 speak about a few consequences that follow from my core critique of anti-antisemitism I’m going to call it 6:41 um anti-anti-semitic epistemology namely I think there is a whole discourse that is built around this Theory uh theoretical 6:49 discourse of anti-anti-semitism and I’m going to talk about a few moments problematic moments of that this course 6:55 and I’m going to conclude by suggesting uh um a a an alternative a different way of 7:02 facing anti-Semitism that that is different than 7:07 anti-antisemitism that goes uh to a different direction that I’m gonna 7:14 signal using the keywords talmud okay that’s that’s the journey so I’m going 7:20 to start as I uh promised with telling you what I’m not going to do other 7:26 critics of anti-antisemitism there has been few people already discussing problematizing the the 7:33 discourse of anti-antisemitism when I’m saying anti-anti-semitism again to make 7:39 clear I’m talking about a dominant way of countering anti-Semitism okay so 7:44 there has been other critiques I think one of the most important ones uh uh has 7:50 been circling around the problem of obliterating the Muslim or the Arab so 7:56 uh fighting anti-artisemitism and forgetting the question the the figure 8:01 uh the set of phenomena that is associated with the with the Muslim and the Arab there is a a a a one way of 8:09 problematizing uh anti-antisemitism in this direction it’s under the title 8:14 instrumentalization namely how uh how the 8:19 um the outcry the struggle against anti-Semitism is used instrumentalized 8:26 politically by different uh voices different organizations to defend Israeli politics 8:35 anti-palestinian politics and delegitimize critiques or critiques against the politics of Israel are 8:42 stamped anti-semitic and this is a way of instrumentalizing anti-antisemitism another way of using 8:49 it is to justify hostility towards Muslim and Arab by saying there is a new kind 8:55 of anti-Semitism that’s coming from Arab and Muslim and this is a way of of creating and hostile discourse towards 9:01 Arabs and and Muslims this is under the title instrumentalization this is one 9:06 way of problematizing anti-antisemitism there is another level another discourse 9:12 that goes in this direction that is more theoretical uh one of the first to have perhaps 9:19 said something in this direction is Edward said in orientalism he already uh 9:24 he already indicated how anti-Semitism is conceptually linked to Oriental and 9:31 anti-islamism or anti-arabism or islamophobia he already pointed out that 9:36 we tend to forget that there is connection between them and someone who took it 9:42 forward this critique is a Gil Anijar in 9:47 few Publications he uh he spoke about how how Jewish and uh and Muslim or Arab 9:57 are two figures that we need to understand together as having been constructed uh as two enemies of Western 10:05 Christianity and we need to think about them together how they have been constructed by Western Christianity as 10:12 the enemies of Western Christianity and as enemies won against the other and uh 10:18 according to Gil gilanija by focusing on uh when we talk about anti-Semitism when 10:24 we focusing on the anti-jewish aspect of anti-Semitism and forgetting to think it 10:30 together with the anti-muslim anti-arab side of anti-Semitism we are 10:36 obliterating an important part and uh and we 10:42 reproducing reproducing the discourse of anti-Semitism itself and the even uh 10:50 more basic disorders of semitism that is based according to this critique about 10:56 an obliteration of the Muslim uh and and only focusing on the Jewish so this is 11:01 One Direction that I’m gonna not gonna talk about now you’re welcome to read Gill’s books very interesting uh I’m 11:09 gonna I’m gonna problematize anti-anti-semitism in a different way I’m not going to focus about the 11:16 question of the Arab and the Muslim I’m gonna look on the Jewish part so on the 11:24 anti-jewish aspect of anti-semitism and as I said my critique 11:31 of anti-disemitism the way I problematize anti-disemitism I encapsulated with the title Jews out of 11:39 the question book that I published and I’m gonna explain to you very 11:44 quickly what is the what is the point of my critique and why did I call it uh Jews out of the questions so if Gill uh 11:53 anija was talking about obliterating the the Muslim in the discourse of 11:58 anti-Semitism I’m talking about the obliteration of the Jewish okay so I’m 12:03 saying anti-anti-semitism is you know the dominant way of 12:09 anti-atosemitism risks and in a sense uh generate a certain obliteration of the 12:15 Jewish and Judaism and what I mean by that is that uh the 12:22 discourse of anti-antisemitism dissolves dissolves tries to uh tries to do away 12:28 remove uh abolish the Jewish question which is one of the tropes Central 12:34 tropes of uh historical anti-Semitism try to do away with the Jewish question 12:39 but excluding the Jewish Judaism from the 12:45 realm of questions of thought of what I call epistem namely the it’s it’s a word 12:53 that I use that some people use like Michelle Foucault and other people to talk about the realm of knowledge or 12:59 what we sometimes call philosophy thinking theory knowledge science I use this word epistem and what I’m saying is 13:08 by the strategy that anti-Semitism has been using to get over the Jewish 13:15 question is to say let’s not speak about Jews let’s just take the Jews out of the 13:21 question and this is the ambivalent uh uh title that I chose Jews out of the 13:28 question namely we should not ask uh talk about uh the Jewish question 13:34 anymore namely we should stop being anti-semites but at the same time uh Jews are not to be discussed at all out 13:42 of the question in the idiomatic sense of English out of the question this is not something that we’re gonna discuss 13:48 so this is the ambivalent uh movement that I’m trying to talk about in 13:53 anti-anti-semitism okay so enough with the Jewish question but also enough about Jews that’s the that’s the 14:00 ambivalence in the center uh there are two there are two contemporary debates let’s say that this kind of reflection 14:08 is connected to maybe you’ve heard about the term epistemicide 14:13 um it’s a it’s it was coined by uh boventura de Souza Santos with respect to 14:19 um uh what what is called today the knowledge of the global South so how 14:24 European civilization in different ways did not only commit genocides or killing 14:30 of peoples but also obliterated cultures of knowledge okay this is why 14:36 epistemicide the killing of knowledge so what I’m talking about is connected to that it’s a phenomena if you wish of 14:42 epistemicide that’s just one hint for you uh and a certain uh a different way 14:49 that I’m trying to generalize my reflection is also talking about what I 14:54 call negative political epistemology which is again a general phenomena of uh 15:00 of of dissociating Knowledge from politics or dissociating Knowledge from 15:06 uh the discourse about Collective subject about people Nations groups and 15:11 so forth I’m not going to go into that just give you a hint uh about the 15:16 horizons uh where I’m where I’m talking Okay so I’m going now to 15:23 tell you very quickly what is my basic argument when I’m talking about Jews out 15:30 of the question in the ambivalence of anti-anti-semitism you could uh 15:36 understand what I’m saying in the following way there is uh a very obvious way in which 15:44 anti-anti-semitic discourse functions and now I’m not talking only about theorem also actually talking about uh 15:51 operational um legal definitions of contemporary 15:57 definitions of anti-Semitism and uh the basic way if you wish of denouncing 16:05 anti-Semitism today is uh by um critiquing any kind of uh taking of a 16:15 negative position against Jews as Jews okay being hostile 16:20 against Jews as Jews Jews as such I quickly I I I gave you two uh two uh 16:29 quotes quotes from from the two uh today I think most uh prevalent definitions of 16:37 uh of anti-Semitism uh the IHRA one and the more recent one uh the Jerusalem uh 16:43 declaration and as you see uh it’s it’s only small parts of the definitions but I think it captures the core of what I’m 16:49 saying uh if you would just see it at the more recent one the Jerusalem declaration uh any any hostility 16:57 prejudice against Jews as Jews or Jewish institution as Jewish so that’s the the 17:05 idea is taking a negative uh position against uh Jews as such however and this 17:12 is why I’m coming to the problematization what I’m claiming is a 17:17 uh a certain catch or a danger or a problem in this uh in this strategy 17:23 precluding any negative evaluation as such for jewishness or Jews as Jews 17:31 precluding any evaluation of Jews as Jews leads or can lead or tends to lead to 17:39 precluding any value of jewishness 17:44 namely precluding any possibility that’s what I’m trying to think about of 17:52 giving any what I call epistemic content for Jews as Jews namely associating 17:58 jewishness or Judaism with any idea and now you could choose whatever word 18:04 you like idea world view concept ethics thought principles anything that you 18:11 could criticize that you could be against and anything that you could be 18:17 embracing okay if in principle you say there is nothing that you can be against it means 18:22 that there is also nothing that you can embrace that you could like 18:27 which means there is no content I call it epistemic content 18:33 this is this is the problematization the basic promotization of saying in principle you could not say could not 18:40 take a negative attitude position towards Jews as Jews what I’m saying then you could also not any positive 18:48 position towards uses Jews and basically what it means is that you preclude that there is any content that you can like 18:54 or not like in Judaism and the radical way that I’m formulating this problem is 19:02 denying or precluding the very existence of Judaism 19:08 namely as a world of knowledge that has some context some identifiable contents whatever that 19:16 may be that’s the basic argument the basic way I problematize 19:22 anti-anti-semitism and now I’m talking on the level of of operative definitions 19:28 not yet the theory now I wanna 19:34 go on the level of theory and I want to talk about a few 19:42 consequences a few manifestations of this problematic 19:48 that arise from the way in which anti-anti-semitism becomes a certain 19:54 discourse that has different aspects that I want to point out by looking at different 20:03 thinkers post Holocaust thinkers that were writing in a theoretical way 20:09 conceptual way about anti-semitism so I’m gonna quickly look at a few 20:16 elements What I Call Elements of anti-anti-semitic political epistemology these elements of is a 20:22 uh quote of adona and Hawkeye they talk about elements of anti-semitism so I’m 20:28 talking about elements of anti-anti-semitism so the first element that I want to 20:34 point at is what happens when you preclude 20:41 any epistemic value or content of Jewish 20:46 as Jewish jewishness or Judaism what it means is that 20:53 the only Collective subjectivity that you are 20:59 left with to talk about as a real Collective subjectivity that does have any kind of content are not Jews but 21:08 anti-semites so the anti-semite the anti-semitic Collective becomes the 21:15 real Collective that anti-anti-semitic discourse talks about this is the real Collective that is 21:24 being discussed and because anti-Semitism because there 21:29 is no real Jewish knowledge or content 21:35 anti-Semitism has no object when anti-semite speaks against Jews and 21:43 we preclude there is any content for Judaism or jewishness we preclude that 21:49 anti-semitic discourse talks about a real thing in the world 21:54 means an anti-Semitism has no real object there is no Jew as Jew there is no 22:01 jewishness or Judaism namely so goes the argument 22:07 anti-Semitism has no real object or has nothing to do with real 22:13 Jews that’s something that you will hear very often in the context of anti-Semitism or anti-anti-semitism 22:19 there is no connection between anti-Semitism and real Jews what it means and uh 22:27 very quickly I will point out a a language rule that is being produced 22:35 from this idea it means that you should not think about anti-Semitism as a kind 22:41 of knowledge that is a real anti against something and this means that even the word itself 22:48 anti-Semitism should not be understood as anti-something but should just be understood as one word anti-semitism 22:56 and there is in the last decade uh I don’t know if in brown you uh embraced 23:01 that or not but in different universities there is a a regulation that you should stop writing 23:07 anti-Semitism with a hyphen and you should write it dehyphenated 23:12 anti-Semitism because there is no object there is no real anti there is nothing 23:17 at the other side uh it’s a real thing um what it means 23:24 second is that the way that the people 23:29 who deal with anti-semitism the way that they perceive the phenomena 23:36 that they’re talking about is is basically not a knowledge 23:41 phenomena namely not as a certain position anti-Semitism is not a certain position towards something in the world 23:47 but it is a psychological State anti-Semitism is like a some kind of a 23:52 mental state it is a psychological condition 23:58 of the anti-semite as I said the anti-semite is the real subject we’re talking about and anti-Semitism is some 24:04 kind of psychological usual of course pathological condition and uh the first 24:11 who have um developed this kind of understanding of anti-Semitism uh or the most famous One 24:18 are adorno and horkheimer uh who are already in the 40s published one of the 24:25 first theoretical discussion of anti-Semitism in their book dialectic of of clerong of 24:32 Enlightenment and they described anti-cities anti-Semitism as a state of 24:37 paranoia and later adorno participated in a project that is called the authoritarian 24:44 personality where he uh used also Empirical research to try to 24:50 characterize the anti-semitic personality and I quote very quickly uh what he wrote in 1950 anti-Semitism is 24:58 not so much dependent upon the nature of the object semitism or Jews as upon the subject’s 25:06 own psychological wants and needs so you so to speak blare out there is no uh 25:14 Jews that anti-Semitism refers to it is some kind of an inner psychological 25:19 purpose and the anti-semite second element that I want to talk about 25:25 is what happens about uh Judaism what happened about Jewish thought what happens about any kind of discourse that 25:33 does try to identify an epistemic content of Judaism I I the key words I 25:39 use is Jewish thought what is Jewish thought what happens with Jewish thought namely with the idea that there is some 25:45 kind of a epistemic uh Jewish World it becomes in these this course anti-anti 25:53 this course is based on the premises that I was talking about Jewish thought becomes an anti-semitic 25:59 fantasy fantasy myth another word that is used 26:05 very often it goes like is conspiracy there is a conspiracy theory I mean if you talk about Jewish thought it means 26:11 that you speak about the conspiracy of different individuals and the uh the way that uh that 26:21 anti-antismatic theory the one that I’m talking about try to understand what the Jewish 26:27 thought is that it’s a creation a fantastic creation of anti-semites these 26:32 are the real subjects so to say very succinctly anti-Semitism creates Judaism 26:38 it’s Judaism is an idea a fantasy that is being created by anti-semites and 26:45 this is one of the basic ideas that you will find in a Dawn and horchheimer’s Analysis in their book that I mentioned 26:52 dialectic they’re off Club 44 the paranoid anti-semite creates everything 26:57 in his own image there is a psychological disturbance that is called anti-Semitism and this psychological 27:03 disturbance creates certain fantasies about Judaism about Jewish thought 27:10 this is uh what is very often um 27:16 articulated by the word projection it’s a projection Judaism or Jewish thought or Jewish knowledge or Jewish ethics and 27:23 so forth or Jewish philosophy it’s a projection of anti-semites so this is the second element the first 27:30 one that the actual subjectivity the actual subject the collective subject is anti-semites second one is that Jewish 27:38 thought is a projection fantasy of this Collective third element 27:45 is a consequence of the second namely if it is anti-Semitism that creates Judaism 27:54 if Jewish thought is a fantasy or the semites it means that any talk 28:02 any discourse any claim that there is Jewish thought 28:08 is akin to anti-Semitism is somehow already 28:14 tainted it’s already complicit with anti-Semitism speaking about Jewish 28:19 thought is in a way already somehow anti-semitic because 28:24 Judaism is a creation of anti-Semitism what this means and this is the difficult 28:31 move here and this is where I’m starting to talk about complicity or Affinity 28:37 between anti-anti semitism and anti-semitism is that even a self claim 28:45 by Jews themselves about when they speak about Judaism or Jewish thought or 28:51 Jewish ethics is becoming identified or problematized as 28:58 in a sense complicit with anti-Semitism namely 29:04 Judaism itself the discourse about Judaism about Jewish thought 29:10 Jews who speak about Jewish thought are being problematized as in a sense cooperating 29:16 with anti-Semitism that’s the difficult turn in this discourse and which is what 29:22 I call the anti-ju anti-jewish term of anti-anti-semitism so anti-anti-semitic 29:29 discourse becomes in a sense anti-jewish and the two the two um 29:38 thinkers that I think uh in the last 50 60 years have produced this kind of 29:45 problematic turn of anti-books of anti-anti-semitism toward anti-judaism 29:51 are Hannah Arend and alambaju I 29:58 for the sake of uh formulation I called it the position that they both in different 30:04 ways developed I call it Judaism creates anti-Semitism namely 30:10 Judaism is a real tradition but it is a problematic tradition pragmatic 30:15 tradition that precisely created this kind of myth about Jewish thought that 30:21 at certain point gave birth to anti-Semitism so this is a 30:27 problematic turn that I try to to talk about I will not go into the here the 30:34 specifics of how these two thinkers I think produced each in their way this 30:40 kind of a position where they were trying to criticize anti-antisemitism at a certain point their critique became a 30:48 critique against Judaism Hana aren’t in her origins of totalitarianism and 30:54 alambadu in his different books the books the book on Sample from 97 and 31:03 his collection of essays from 2005 about about basically Judaism 31:11 so this was this was the third element how anti-anti-semitism becomes anti-jewish 31:19 which is the problematic I think the most problematic aspect of this discourse now I want to turn to the last 31:28 uh the last element of what I call anti-anti-semitic discourse or 31:34 anti-industemitic epistemology what is happening here 31:42 is uh the um the phenomena that anti-anti semitism 31:51 does not of course explicitly want to abolish eradicate obliterate uh 32:01 jewishness or Jews obviously especially after the Holocaust 32:08 anti-antisemitism is a pro Jewish discourse in the most basic sense 32:16 now what it means is as anti-antisemitism does have 32:23 some kind of a notion an idea a figure a positive figure of jews as a collective 32:30 it’s not that there is a complete negation or denial that there is a 32:38 Jewish Collective that are Jews so the question is what kind of jewishness what kind of Jewish Collective is positive is 32:46 accepted admitted and in a sense produce or generate it by 32:53 anti-anti-semitic discourse so what I claim is that there is a certain Collective figure of Jews that is 33:00 identified and produced by anti-anti semitism 33:07 and this is precisely the figure of a collective subject that has 33:13 no Collective knowledge what I call succinctly the epistemized 33:20 collective a collective without knowledge I think the way that it is 33:25 usually this Collective is usually designated in the discourse I’m talking 33:32 about is through Notions such as living Jews 33:38 real Jews Jews flesh and blood and it’s usually 33:43 these terms are polemic terms they mean and not 33:49 Jews with knowledge not Jews with thought 33:55 this is the way that the de-epustomized collective of Judaism is being 34:01 designated now the question of course who are these Jews living Jews that don’t have Judaism 34:06 and of course here uh there are different candidates with what you can associate them you can 34:12 associate them with modern Jews Jews who indeed uh lost any connection with any 34:19 traditional knowledge practice of Judaism secular 34:24 Jews assimilated Jews non-jewish Jews there are different way we can identify 34:29 these Jews I wanna offer one very quickly uh 34:37 because they’re almost out of time very quickly I’m going to point out that one thinker Jean-Paul Sartre a French 34:44 philosopher who offered I think an interesting take on that on who are 34:49 these Jews without Judaism Jews without Jewish knowledge he wrote one of the 34:55 first texts on anti-Semitism after the Holocaust uh it’s called Reflections 35:02 in 1946 I think it was called it was translated to English as uh the Jew the 35:08 anti-semite and the Jew and his point was similarly to what a Dawn and hawkheimer 35:15 said that Judaism is created by anti-semites he said something very 35:23 similar he said it’s the anti-semite and quoting who makes the Jew but his Point 35:28 South was not that it’s a fantasy that the anti-semites creates who makes the Jew as a figure of fantasy what he 35:36 claimed and it’s connected to his entire philosophy is that the Gaze of the 35:41 anti-semite the way anti-semites look at Jews hate are being hostile or Jews 35:49 generates an actual consciousness within the people that are being exposed 35:56 to anti-Semitism generates a certain Jewish Consciousness so there is an actual creation of Jews through 36:04 anti-semites anti-Semitism actually creates Jews not only as a fantasy but in reality 36:13 now this is a very this was an interesting point that he made and it was actually uh it had a huge influence 36:20 in France after the war because many Jews actually felt that he said something true that this is was their 36:27 own experience mostly precisely assimilated Jews that did not have any 36:32 anything to do with Jose anymore and only through anti-Semitism so they discovered that they were uh they were 36:40 Jews so it was a very influential uh Theory 36:48 and South was able to actually describe a real phenomena of what I call 36:54 a de-epustomized Jewish Collective that was created so to speak through 37:00 anti-semitism now the problem is of course is that forsat 37:07 that is that is Judaism this is the uh 37:12 the model of Judaism the model of the Jewish subject this is the problem in 37:17 what he was saying although he was describing something that was actually true now I want to point out and and end 37:26 with that that 37:31 there is you could say there is actually a very Central 37:36 Collective phenomena of jewishness in modernity that you could say has been created in a 37:45 sense that uh has been described by South namely a 37:50 certain jewishness that was created as a response to 37:57 anti-semitism and was developed as an anti-anti-semitic subject a Jewish 38:04 subject who’s so Jewish knowledge is that they 38:09 are against anti-Semitism and this is what uh you owe 38:16 probably know under the title of Zionism so in many ways if you look at a Zionist 38:24 writings you see that the way that Zionist thinkers the 38:30 founder of Zionism described so to speak how they came to their project to their 38:35 understanding to their own self-understanding as Jews was as a reaction of their exposure to 38:42 anti-Semitism so I brought you a letter by uh Theodore Herzel uh one of the 38:49 great founders of of of Zionism writing to a friend in 1895 I was indifferent to 38:57 my jewishness but anti-Semitism forced my jewishness to the surface 39:04 and if you look at a healthy project you can see how precisely 39:10 anti-anti-semitism in a sense for him is the the force that moves Zionism 39:17 so that was the fourth element of what I call the anti-anti-semitic epistemology 39:22 which is the most uh I think um realistic in a sense in his actual creation of a real 39:28 political Collective Jewish subject I conclude 39:34 I conclude I promised that I will end by pointing Beyond anti-anti-semitism 39:42 and uh what I want to suggest is that there is 39:47 not only a theoretical way but an actual way of countering resisting fighting 39:52 anti-semitism by understanding anti-Semitism as a form 40:00 of anti-judaism that reacts to Something Real in the world to actual what I call 40:07 Jewish knowledge or Jewish epistem namely not as adult and hawkheimer and 40:13 South were thinking however 40:19 understanding this Jewish episteme not as a proto-anti-semitic one 40:24 namely not as the real model by which anti-Semitism was produced which is I think what is 40:30 has been done by arant and a lumba due 40:36 but as a tradition of knowledge that offers a different political 40:42 epistemology a different way of understanding politics a different way of understanding knowledge itself which 40:48 I’m not going to develop now what I will do quickly I will just point out that 40:54 this way of reacting to anti-Semitism namely by going back to a real tradition 41:00 of Jewish knowledge that is different from anti-semitism has been developed by different people 41:09 in the 20th century one of the most I think important uh person to do so is the French Jewish 41:17 French philosopher Emmanuel vinas I just sketched for you a few uh steps 41:24 of what he was doing I will not repeat them I would just say that if you trace his thought from the 41:31 mid-30s to the mid 60s you could see that he developed 41:38 from a position of a assimilated Jew who in fact had nothing to do really with 41:44 any Jewish knowledge he was studying philosophy in France but by encountering anti-Semitism in the 30s 41:50 he developed a certain movement of return to Jewish 41:56 traditions of knowledge that he at a certain point in the 60s 42:01 identified as uh tradition of thought and texts and this 42:10 is where if you know something about the Venus this is where his entire Corpus of talmudic readings is 42:17 coming from is a representative of a Beyond 42:23 anti-anti-semitism as I promised Beyond anti-anti-semitism lies talmud thank you 42:30 very much for your intention I’ll be very happy for any questions that you have 42:43 [Music] to set towards them okay well thank you 42:49 thank you very much for a very thought provoking and provocative talk 42:56 we have time for questions uh maybe I 43:02 will take the chance and ask a question and give you a chance to think about your comments or questions 43:09 so I guess the first thing that sort of comes to my mind or the first question 43:14 that comes to our mind as a feminist scholar is how if and how 43:21 this Jewish knowledge is contested and contested along for me the immediate 43:27 thing that comes to mind is long-gendered lines around racialized lines and I I know that 43:34 you’re speaking on the level of I made a much more kind of abstract philosophical religious 43:41 um but I guess also being an anthropologist I can’t help but think about I guess 43:47 the real Jews who are producing interpreting and contesting that 43:53 tradition and knowledge and I guess I was wondering if you have some Reflections on that yes thank you for 44:00 the question um [Music] I think one of the basic problems is 44:06 what I called political epistemology and I mean the association of knowledge with the collective subjects 44:15 there is a certain um resistance or 44:20 problem of of accepting uh so to speak that knowledge has a 44:25 can have a historical Collective subjectivity can be carried by groups that are defined by 44:33 knowledge and I think one of the paradigms for this kind of a political epistemology 44:40 has been Judaism has been Judaism and 44:46 um I think you can already find it in a theological pre-modern layers of 44:53 Christian universalism against any attempt to associate not knowledge but let’s say faith or 45:00 relation to God or whatever you want to call it with a specific uh ethno specific group and I think many of these 45:07 tensions has been secularized into uh to spec to the specific context of 45:12 anti-Semitism into racial uh uh racial discourse and I think this is what you can find in 45:20 the anti-semitic discourse and this is what you will find transferred into the anti-antimatic 45:26 discourse this figure of knowledge or certain tradition of thought recitation of text that Associated also with the 45:33 with the collective practice over history and I mean people is something that is over and over being uh posing a 45:40 problem and I think the the so to speak pre-h Holocaust strategy of doing of of 45:47 expressing this problem was being anti-jewish the post Holocaust way of 45:52 dealing with it was being so to speak denying 45:58 that’s more or less what I uh what I’m thinking about 46:04 thank you I’m going to take uh three questions uh yes 46:11 uh yes please sorry 46:20 thank you you mentioned liviness I wonder what you think of derida and the reason I ask is because it seems 46:27 to me that the whole um problem that you were you were outlining so beautifully is 46:34 um the the the problem with the dialectic so you have the turn of the 46:40 screw what you know you have the paranoia and then you have the return and so forth and so what Daddy does 46:46 doing it seems to me is doing a critique of the dialectical turn of the screw and 46:54 some of that has to do the talmud and so what would you I’m 46:59 curious why you mentioned living us and not derida sorry do you mind if it does take a few 47:05 questions are you okay do you need some paper are you okay you can yes um Michael 47:12 can you pass it up thanks so you may be aware of a pace of 47:18 a of a politician recently elected to a congress who turns out to have lied all 47:24 the way through his curriculum vitae and and one of his lies was that some of his 47:30 ancestors were Jews and Holocaust Survivors and when he was asked about this he said I never said they were Jews 47:36 I said they were Jewish uh so in a way my question which I attend seriously about the epistemology 47:44 of the Jewish because it seems to me uh that one understanding or perhaps 47:50 misunderstanding of the corrective uh you’re proposing is the creation of a 47:55 certain kind of essentialized jewishness which is built on value rather than on 48:01 history so I I would actually in a way defend the the Jewish as a construction at 48:09 least of the Enlightenment that is taken seriously and that is a kind of um critique of nationalism Zionism Etc in 48:18 other words various modern forms of the essentialization of an identity so I 48:23 wonder I’m sure you’ve considered this I wonder how that fits into your opening 48:28 thank you one more question Ariella 48:35 thank you a lot it was very uh interesting to listen to your talk and I 48:40 liked very much the way that you speak about that the anti-anti-semite these 48:45 are actually the community or the anti-semite becoming the community and there are no Jews but my question to you 48:52 would be about the Jews how come did the Jews continue to be the Jews when we 48:58 know that the history of the Jews with the not a capital letter but with a 49:04 meniscule letter is a history of diverse Jews so uh you started with gilani jar and 49:11 you started with the exclusion of the Arab or the Muslim but it seems like 49:16 it’s the exclusion of the hour of the Muslim as the others but what about the exclusion of the Arab and the Muslim 49:21 within the Jews and I’m speaking about Arab Jews or Muslim Jews or Berber Jews 49:27 so this would be my first question how do you deal in these the Jews out of the question with the diversity of Jews 49:33 diversity of community of Jews um my second question very brief is that 49:38 you spoke about Jews who lost connection to Judaism you spoke about assimilation and it seems like it happened by itself 49:46 but there is a very strong European project prior to the Holocaust which is 49:52 killing the Jews within the Jews in diverse communities in Europe and later 49:57 on in North Africa in the Middle East when they wanted to actually regenerate the Muslim Jews or Arab Jews and to make 50:04 them into European Jews which means Jews without Jews so where I know that you’re 50:10 you know you had only 40 minutes and you couldn’t give all the history but how do you deal with this history in order for 50:15 it not to sound like they lost their connection to Judaism and 50:21 um I add one last question yeah sorry okay uh you speak about knowledge uh 50:29 Collective without knowledge and you are very seriously showed us what happened 50:34 to this Collective without knowledge and he’s perceived without knowledge but knowledge doesn’t uh exist outside of a 50:40 worldliness and I think that when we uh take for example the Jews of North Africa knowledge is inseparable from 50:49 Craft and this is also true for Eastern Europe I don’t know about Western Europe but for Eastern Europe it’s also true so 50:57 how do you approach knowledge in its worldliness and not just as a body of knowledge that the talmud can now stand 51:04 for three became five but I will do my best 51:11 it was my base I hope I remember all the questions if I don’t just remind me I’ll start with the Ridah if I had UH 60 51:19 Minutes instead of 45 I would Edward uh that’s that’s that’s the uh so so thank 51:25 you for the question the I I completely agree with you that terida was uh very 51:31 much uh in reaction to the Venus was trying to problematize and warn about uh 51:36 uh what’s going to happen uh if we go with the political consequences of what 51:43 leaving us was doing going back to the talmud and so forth and are we not and that was this point are we not then 51:49 reproducing anti-Semitism uh that that was his basic problem and and concern 51:54 and uh and I think it’s uh it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s the next step and after we uh we we uh we we 52:03 reached the point of leaving us then we can understand what Delhi was doing I think however the Ridah was asking a 52:10 question Visa vilavinas namely he uh he uh he he did not uh want to and he 52:17 repeated it in the last two decades uh did not want to uh deny in any way any 52:22 kind of connection to a certain tradition of something that he was very careful by saying what but I think it’s 52:29 always important to see that he read the final very carefully and he saw that this is has to be the way to go namely 52:37 go to some kind of tradition of knowledge that I think uh uh Taj mood 52:42 would be one options of that and there are others uh and and and only then you 52:48 can work with the reader that that would be my my Direction with Elita is to um 52:55 as to um jewishness and essentialization 53:01 um I think what I was calling the the epistemized collective 53:07 is essentialization is precisely creating a collective that uh is in a 53:13 sense Essence it’s a certain entity that uh that uh exists somehow as is in 53:22 history and uh you either are or not that and this is this uh this 53:28 installation I think the only way of go of fighting against digitalization is to 53:33 re-epustomize namely to see in what way precisely there is a Ness ISM some kind of a tradition of 53:42 knowledge when I’m speaking about knowledge I’m speaking about not only about theoretical knowledge of course about some kind of practices mostly 53:48 social political practices and so forth uh so I would say if you start to 53:54 acknowledge a certain existence of social political practices that you could call Jewish or not then it starts 54:01 to make sense to say I am that or not and it’s not just a uh uh a declaration 54:07 of origins or of uh some kind of uh mysterious belongings but an actual 54:13 practice of are you doing that or not uh and and then it makes or starts to make 54:19 sense uh can you talk about being somehow Associated or connected to 54:25 jewishness without being associated with Judaism namely non-halahic Jews and so 54:30 forth but I think this would be the way of treating this and I think the problem precisely results from this 54:36 sensitization of an I would say it’s an entity without practice 54:42 as to the um as to the diversity 54:48 I um I don’t treat this really in my book because my book is kind of a trying 54:53 to deal with the very possibility of starting a intelligent discourse about uh about Jewish Jewish something Jewish 55:00 practice Jewish thought and so forth and so forth of course I agree with you that once we start the discussion yes uh we 55:08 need to see I I just throat and moods as a you know as a as a suggestion others 55:13 other others say Kabbalah other yes others say midrash okay we can debate 55:19 what exactly we’re talking about and then start talking about the different directions that there is an actual uh 55:26 intellectual history of that that has a geography and have uh temporality and so 55:31 forth and then it makes of course start making sense about talking about uh 55:36 about the about the diversity and also about the let’s say the European uh 55:41 Christian maybe German jewishness or Judaism vis-a-vis the Muslim Arab North 55:47 Africa or have a jewishness and I think this is what one of the projects that Derrida was was starting to talk about 55:56 um as to the Emancipation and prod European project 56:01 of uh of Jews without Judaism yes uh I 56:06 think this is when I when I asked in Nadje that uh what what I think is the 56:12 problem uh uh with Jewish knowledge and that the problem is associating a 56:19 knowledge or practice or thought with a historical Collective I think precisely this is the secularization of 56:25 theological critique again Judaism it that took place in the form of the 56:31 modern Republic in which the Jews are to become citizens that can be Jews at home 56:38 but uh but uh but human beings in the street and I think this is definitely 56:44 the process of assimilation connected to emancipation that eventually also and this is the 56:52 more provocative theories that did not talk about uh also gave rise to the suspicions of anti-semites if you read 56:59 the anti-semitic text from 19th century it’s all about the suspicion about where 57:05 are the Jews uh you tell us that they all become citizens but uh what does it 57:11 mean where is Judaism so uh I think uh in this sense the it is 57:16 a very complex problematic that you are absolutely right to point at at the 57:22 um at the emergence of let’s say modern European political epistemology that uh 57:28 it faces Judaism and by uh way of consequence also in a sense gave rise to 57:34 anti-semitism the third question about Praxis yes when 57:40 I say that mood I think this is precisely when I say that because talmud is uh is not only it’s it’s not a theory 57:46 uh talmud is definitely uh as text it’s all around taxes 57:52 and of course talmudi culture is artemudic of uh of uh of of of of social 57:58 political uh practice of building communities and so forth so I think this is one of the interesting things for me 58:05 specifically going to talmuda not for example to Kabbalah or to midrash because I think that precisely you have 58:11 a very important element of Praxis and connectivity 58:16 thank you okay so we have time for another round uh what do you want yes uh 58:22 can we have the microphone please 58:27 foreign thank you can you hear me yes thank you so much for this really incredibly 58:33 thought-provoking talk um I hesitated to actually ask my question because it will repeat or 58:40 reiterate but then I thought reiteration is maybe another Not a Bad Thing Elizabeth weed’s question and in a way 58:48 also ariela azul’s question so I was really struck as as Elizabeth by the the 58:55 very strong um dialectical thread that that runs 59:01 through your presentation um and I was also struck that’s where my 59:07 question is maybe more a footnote than reiteration also struck by the fact that 59:13 negative dialectics becomes included in the dialectic dialectical movement of 59:20 anti-antianti Etc um but then what I thought is that 59:26 um if this this dialectic of Jewish identity this dialectical identity let’s 59:32 say if it is hyper dialectical or negative dialectic identity still there 59:40 is some kind of of nucleus of identity that this whole dialectic circles around 59:47 or comes back to in in various complex ways and so I was wondering this is 59:53 where um I I thought both about the da as continuing leaving us while criticizing 1:00:00 him and and about ariela’s question too I was wondering what about 1:00:05 um let’s say radical plurality of of the very notion of to I I don’t mean only 1:00:13 the Jewish diaspora the empirical historical dissemination to take one of dareda’s 1:00:20 words but also what about a radical dissemination that would work or inhabit 1:00:27 or haunt the very notion of jewishness thank you Adi 1:00:38 thank you thank you so much I would like to take you back to the very beginning of your talk and and take the 1:00:46 conversation a little bit down from its lofty height uh you you excluded uh two 1:00:54 paths from the beginning in distance I’m not doing this I’m not doing that 1:01:01 instrumentalization and the exclusion of the Arab of the Muslim hmm 1:01:07 as if taking juice out of the question what 1:01:13 you are doing is is this independent separate route 1:01:19 I think that from your from the point of view that you propose to us 1:01:27 they’re very much related and that you actually uh 1:01:33 you uncovered a discursive structure that they inhabit together 1:01:40 because at the core of of the present at least instrumentalization of 1:01:45 anti-semitism there is a denial of questioning of Israel 1:01:51 Israel is out of the question so you you are not supposed to ask what 1:01:57 kind of regime is this um Jewish Collective 1:02:02 and and what kind of policies are they practicing and etc etc uh 1:02:08 instrumentalization is the practice of taking political Jews Sovereign Jews 1:02:15 out of the question and I think that this the the other is 1:02:20 is a little more complicated to show how the exclusion of the Arab is related to 1:02:25 the Christian actually basically Christian Universal universality and 1:02:32 universalization uh that all that is all in in operation in the exclusion of of 1:02:38 the um of real Jews from the anti-anti-semite critically 1:02:48 [Music] okay uh yes so I take two more questions the gentleman and then 1:02:56 uh um Mark Perlman from the music department thank you for this again very 1:03:03 thought-provoking uh talk I would like to try to put it in a maybe a different 1:03:08 framework and you can tell me if I’ve done so with if I’ve done Justice to it 1:03:14 um I’m thinking of the what in political theory is called the identity dilemma 1:03:19 which is that claiming an identity has you know it it makes you something 1:03:25 someone but it also limits you and normally the pros and cons correlate 1:03:32 with whether you are claiming the identity yourself or whether someone is projecting an identity upon you 1:03:38 and when you’re claiming it yourself it seems like Freedom when someone is projecting it upon you it seems like a 1:03:45 prison house and I suspect that this is what that what 1:03:52 you’re saying I’m not I’m not exactly sure about the the epistemalize the epistemizing uh issue I thought I 1:04:00 understood it but then in your answer I started to doubt but the other 1:04:07 big example that strikes me as analogous is the American discourse on Race which 1:04:15 in Progressive circles centers around the uh the statement that race does not 1:04:21 exist and racism is what exists 1:04:30 so it seems to me there might be an interesting comparison and contrast 1:04:36 between this idea that Jews do not exist only anti-Semitism exists and race does 1:04:43 not exist all the racists thank you 1:04:48 um yes so this last question and then we’ll have to uh well overtune 1:04:55 I think yes I want to go back to this question of negation as uh definitely this was 1:05:01 for adono one of the main impact of his own thinking and he shared it and 1:05:07 therefore I think it’s interesting that you made this difference to say your answer is a talmuda not the Kabbalah 1:05:13 about the answer would be strong why because there you know you would 1:05:19 have a kind of sort of a negation in the in the system and so on so and so I 1:05:24 think this is a important because this would be let’s say an integration of 1:05:31 Jewish knowledge as a practice of thinking a practice of thinking so I 1:05:36 would not go for uh for your argument um that by analyzing anti-Semitism they 1:05:46 were denying Judaism not at all not at all so I don’t know why you are so 1:05:51 insisting on this because I think you make a link between what is this kind of 1:05:57 you know implementation of Jewish thoughts and thinking and practices of life and so in 1:06:06 the critical series you mentioned and you say they have none and I think it’s just 1:06:12 only half of the reading so I wonder how you would bring this together and does 1:06:18 this is a cons is it let’s say as a consequence it’s a difference between you your point of view and the one in in 1:06:25 the series and believing us um indeed about uh negativity 1:06:31 I mean you cannot stand negativity so to say I mean what you know was actually adarno’s point in negative dialectics to 1:06:39 say one has to overcome negativity it was not negative dialectic as an end 1:06:44 state it was seen as and and that’s where he would go with uh 1:06:49 and so I I doubt a little bit your I mean very I mean it’s very convincing 1:06:55 when one hears it but I doubt it um more when I go back to the text themselves 1:07:01 thank you well over to you again I will try uh I will start from 1:07:08 the end the other side of the reading is the book uh you’re absolutely right that uh 1:07:15 not only I don’t know in hoga also Arlington but you are more complex than what I presented 1:07:22 here what I what I did is I tried to use them so to speak uh at certain moments in their text to show a certain 1:07:29 overarching uh broader narrative in the book I show how each of them also have 1:07:37 other moments in their readings that counter that so that’s not representative of what they were doing 1:07:42 and I agree with you when this is I’m trying to show it in the book that uh 1:07:49 that that Don and alkheimer there are also other moments precisely what you’re talking about this trying to going later 1:07:55 to Kabbalah or to uh specifically in the text about anti-Semitism they are going to uh 1:08:01 they’re trying to compare the negativity in Hegel to uh not to the Tsum but to 1:08:09 the building for about the uh the prohibition on images so so they are 1:08:15 trying to to negotiate that so I agree with you it’s it’s it’s it’s not a fair 1:08:20 position of I don’t know what I showed here I was really uh using them 1:08:27 that’s about uh I’ve done in Hawkeye about uh maybe I just took the reader 1:08:33 um uh continuing this yes I I I I completely agree that the 1:08:41 next step well how I see that the next step will be to uh uh go and problematize what we mean 1:08:49 by a collective a collective subjectivity uh in general and what we 1:08:55 mean by Jewish and I think that he dies definitely has done a lot to help us do precisely this 1:09:02 what I would suggest and what I think that doesn’t do himself but this is why I think it’s important to read him 1:09:09 together with leaving us is that terida left it as a as a more of 1:09:14 a kind of theoretical subjective understanding you know I’m the last two 1:09:19 I’m the last of the Jews and so forth but then of course the question is how does it become a uh a collective thing 1:09:26 how this become a politics even uh and I think with this question you 1:09:32 should go to the tablet and and and and and I think and it seems to me that many 1:09:38 also showed that he was thinking something similar that if there is any 1:09:44 way of making sense of uh some kind of a Jewish knowledge tradition which would 1:09:50 not just repetition of uh of uh Collective chauvinism it would have to be along these lines I I think he for 1:09:58 different reasons he never did it himself actually stepped into the talmudic or whatever other Jewish texts 1:10:04 and tried to show that I’m not sure why but I think one of the reasons because he was looking closely about leaving us 1:10:09 was doing by the way I think leaving us was not able to do that 1:10:15 that’s a different issue I I think that talmud is interestingly read as a kind 1:10:22 of a collective performance of what did I was answering and by the way the talmuda Arnold juice 1:10:29 the the the speaking subject in the mood doesn’t call themselves Jewish it’s a and there is a reason for that they knew 1:10:35 that that there is Jewish but they were not calling themselves this okay 1:10:40 so that about uh um about the race there 1:10:46 is no race there are only racist yes I think the analogies uh is is very strong 1:10:53 and I think it is precisely South who established this analogy textually uh 1:10:58 and also at the same moment uh precisely when he was writing uh uh the Jews in 1:11:04 anti-semite he was also writing uh black or foes and uh almost the same year and 1:11:10 this is exactly where he was making the point uh of what he called anti-racist racism finally the uh assertion of uh in 1:11:19 this context the black uh the black uh identity the Black Culture uh the 1:11:25 negative the entire discus of negritude that was the exactly uh and and I think 1:11:30 there is an analogy between his his suggestion you need to assert the Jewish 1:11:36 identity as a in in a political fight against Autism as as a Jewish and you 1:11:43 need to assert the black Consciousness and black culture in a kind of so to speak a counter uh an answer to European 1:11:51 colonialism I think and it was influential voice both sides the only 1:11:57 thing that I would add to that is that I I think I I don’t know enough about you 1:12:02 know African context and so forth I think other people made similar arguments that there is a way of 1:12:08 mobilizing politically uh Jewish identity and and history that is not 1:12:15 only in response to anti-Semitism but has its own resources this is this is 1:12:20 what I uh what I suggest and I think people who are talking about Africa and epistemology and also uh of the global 1:12:26 South try to do the same thing saying it’s not only a reaction there are only resources that have been uh obliterated 1:12:35 uh Israel yes I think there is an Israel out of 1:12:40 the question uh I think that this is precisely right this is precisely the 1:12:45 what I what I find still problematic in the in the Jerusalem declaration uh 1:12:51 Jewish institution as Jewish uh I mean there is a state that uh it’s 1:12:58 called itself Jewish and does politics explicitly as Jewish politics and uh if 1:13:05 you wanna deal with that effectively then you need to acknowledge there is a claim for uh Jewish politics that also 1:13:12 claims to realize some kind of uh Jewish history and tradition and so forth and if you uh 1:13:19 you cannot just ignore that so there is definitely a way that you should criticize uh Israeli Politics as Jewish 1:13:24 and not as anti-Jewish but so to speak as an inner 1:13:29 critic within Judaism itself and I think it is today uh something that should be 1:13:36 uh should be done which diverges from a traditional kind of liberal way of 1:13:42 dealing with politics of Israel only in the name so to speak of uh human rights 1:13:48 universality and so forth and obliterating the fact that there is an entire Jewish uh world of discourse and 1:13:53 thought that is a very essential part of that so I agree with you about that as 1:13:59 to how that then connects to the question of the Muslim and Arab okay politically we see that very clearly 1:14:05 um I still not sure what would it mean then if uh so to say we go beyond 1:14:11 anti-anti Semitism to Jewish knowledge how you then deal with that and how is 1:14:16 it connected I guess it goes probably to the direction that that really was 1:14:21 pointing about and uh showing you know uh precisely how within Jewish knowledge 1:14:27 itself there is uh precisely the Muslim Arab Jewish you know that Visa with a European one that and and inner so to 1:14:36 speak tension with it the Jewish epistem that needs to be uh problematized but okay that’s that’s maybe just a kind of 1:14:43 hunch idea that I have it’s not something that I can say much warm up now 1:14:49 I think I uh remembered everybody I didn’t forget any yeah you did an amazing job of 1:14:55 holding all the questions thank you so much please help me and thank you 1:15:04 and also many thanks to all of you who attended in person and those of you who 1:15:11 are attending online thank you thank you.

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