Whatever Happend to Antisemitism

Reviewed by Eli Machover in the Vashti newsletter, the Pickle, 5th August 2022, under the title  A racist anti-racism

For any anti-racist, Antony Lerman’s latest book does not make for easy reading. Across almost 300 pages of historical research and analysis, Lerman sketches the genesis of the discourse on the “new anti-semitism”: in short, the equation of anti-Zionism with anti-semitism, and the success with which this redefinition has been used by pro-Israel politicians and academics, hasbara organisations and Jewish communal leaders across the west to shut down legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and the ethno-nationalist ideology that underpins it.

By the book’s end – which brings us to the rather unhappy situation we face today – the reader certainly feels the uphill struggle that anti-racists face. Yet as the author resolves, revealing the bankruptcy of contemporary discourse on the matter “is not just an option but a necessity”. This work is an important contribution to that struggle…

Any definition of anti-semitism that exists primarily to shield this political project will do absolutely nothing to protect Jews across the globe. There has never been a more pressing moment to dismantle the discourse of the new anti-semitism; Lerman’s monograph has greatly increased our chances of doing so. (more…)

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