“Deciphering the New Antisemitism” Reviews

 

9780253018656_medAlvin Rosenfeld’s latest book “Deciphering the New Antisemitism”, is due for release early next year. The book is comprised of 18 essays written by an international group of scholars, including LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus, that discuss a wide-range of topics about the increasing occurrences of anti-Semitism around the world. This analyzes the various forms of anti-Semitism across the globe, its roots, and its relationship to other bodies of society. Rosenfeld is the director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at the University of Indiana and professor of Jewish and English studies, as well as a member of LDB’s Academic Advisory board. In 2014, he hosted a conference in which LDB President Kenneth L. cheapcarrent Marcus and numerous other scholars presented their research and ideas on the rise of contemporary anti-Semitism.

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The following are reviews by Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly about the forthcoming book:

“An old, noxious contagion of prejudice is on a rapid, virulent rise.
These scholarly essays, collected by Rosenfeld (English and Jewish
Studies/Indiana Univ.; The End of the Holocaust, 2011, etc.),
review the epidemiology of anti-Semitism and seek to determine
the etiology, roots, and history of this special form of bigotry.
Throughout history, many of the world’s problems have been blamed
on the Jews. As this anthology’s contributors report, renewed
Holocaust denial, naked prejudice in sectors of England, France, and
the rest of Europe, calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions,
the rise of militant jihad, and the unique standards applied only to
Israel since the start of the 21st century all attest to what has
come to be know! n as “the New anti-Semitism.” Zionism and the
establishment and achievements of the Jewish state in the Muslim
heart of the Middle East are central to the rise of hatred of all things
Jewish. Notions that were once limited to the lunatic right are now,
frequently, proud badges of the left. Certain precincts of academe
accommodate the myths and misanthropy of anti-Semitism,
supported by spurious public intellectuals. Ignorant entertainers,
as well, have their say, and the notorious forgery The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion sells quite well everywhere. International
organizations and national governments allied with Hamas and
Hezbollah threaten a minuscule spot on the planet, Israel, as
well as Jews worldwide. These various essays, fully footnoted,
consider each of these matters and others in detail in an effort to
parse and tease out the history and historiography of today’s
anti-Semitism. Some are stunningly perceptive, some explore new
dimensions, and while not all offer! lapidary prose (they are written
by academics, after all), each offers new insights about the thoughts
and activities of current anti-Semites and the evil they purvey.
A source book that will be of special value to those who see and are
concerned about the new anti-Semitism.”

-Kirkus Reviews

UC Regents Reject Weak Intolerance Statement

On September 16th UC regents decided to reject the proposed statement of principles against intolerance because it inadequately addressed the problem of anti-Semitism on UC campuses, the reason for which it was first proposed. The proposed statement has been heavily criticized as being too broad and ambiguous, simplistically defining intolerance as “unwelcome conduct motivated by…

The mighty stream and the Jewish trickle

LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus is publishing this op-ed in Washington Jewish Week discussing the increased need for a better definition of anti-Semitism, as well as further protection in the face of rising levels of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses:

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Israel-Apartheid-WeekThis summer, the Jewish community was rightly focused on the existential threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This fall, as Jewish college students return to campus, our attention must return inward.

On college campuses, students routinely hear calls to dismantle the Jewish state. In some cases, these calls are interspersed with anti-Jewish epithets, like “dirty Jew” or “kike.” In others, they are combined with anti-Jewish stereotypes and defamations. Jewish students have been assaulted, battered, threatened, and harassed.

Earlier this year, the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College published a report that found that 54% of self-identified Jewish students on 55 campuses experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during 2013-2014. Things may be worsening. Recently, a Brandeis University study found that nearly three-quarters of Jewish college student respondents had been exposed during the past year to anti-Semitic statementsIf any other minority faced this level of bias, the federal government would step in. After all, President Barack Obama has repeatedly pledged his commitment to equal rights. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has eloquently stated, on behalf of the Administration, “that what we will always insist on is nothing less than equal justice; comprehensive justice; justice that ‘rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.’”

When it comes to Jewish college students, however, they have not provided a mighty stream of justice. They have not given these students even a trickle.

While most Jewish college students have faced some form of anti-Semitism, federal officials have not found a single statutory violation in the last decade.

Bupkis.

So where is our mighty stream?

Call for Papers: Life in the aftermath – Displaced Persons, Displaced Children and Child Survivors on the move 

The following Call for Papers, recently received by the Louis D. Brandeis Center, may be of interest to some of our readers:

Life in the aftermath – Displaced Persons, Displaced Children and Child Survivors on the move: New approaches in education and research

30 May – 1 June 2016

Max Mannheimer Studienzentrum (MMSZ), Dachau, Germany

Joint event organised by Max Mannheimer Studienzentrum (MMSZ), Dachau, Germany

International Tracing Service (ITS), Bad Arolsen, Germany

with consultance by the Holocaust Studies Program of the Western Galilee College, Akko, Israel

For PDF version of this CFP see http://www.wgalil.ac.il/files/Conferences/2015/CfP_DPChildren_ChildSurv.pdf

In the past few years, interest in the aftermath, social and individual consequences of the Shoah, forced labour and Nazi-persecution has increased. These topics include early testimonies, the immediate Allied care for the Displaced Person (DP) population, regional micro studies and the ongoing displacement in following generations.

This academic workshop on Displaced Persons, displaced children and child survivors as specific groups after 1945 is planned as the opening event for the Exhibition on Displaced Persons, curated by ITS (Bad Arolsen) and to be shown in the MMSZ, Dachau. The aim is to bring together scholars and educators from various disciplines who are engaged in education and research on Displaced Persons and child survivors. Opening lectures, a movie lecture and round-table discussions as well as visits of e.g. the Dachau memorial site and locations of former DP camps will be included in the finalised programme.

The workshop focuses in the first part on historical education regarding DPs and in the second part on research about child survivors and DP children as specific survivors’ groups with special emphasis on organizations working with them, such as the Child Search Branch of UNRRA and the IRO.

Of course, the topic of displacement is of special importance in times when the world is facing a tragedy of millions of refugees – the highest number of people forced to move since WW II. Although the historical and the present situation are different, we believe that examining history can provide some directions and insights that can be helpful today.

Conflict Resolution, the Arab-Israel Conflict, and Campus Anti-Semitism: An Interview with Dr. Peter Weinberger of the Institute of Peace

Peter Weinberger is a senior program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace who has interesting ideas about how conflict analysis tools can be applied not only to the Arab-Israel conflict but also to the resurgent problem of campus anti-Semitism. Dr. Weinberger works with the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding. His primary focus at the Academy is on how to best deal with ethnic, religious and tribal groups when rebuilding countries after war and conflict.

The views expressed herein are those of Dr. Weinberger and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Institute of Peace. 

What are the most important lessons that you have learned from your work in international conflict resolution?

  1. It is possible to reframe a situation, or shift people’s perspective in a way, to help find a solution that works for them.
  1. You have to listen to people, and understand what is important and meaningful for them.
  1. If you offer to help someone, you have an ethical responsibility to give them the resources and tools so that they can be successful. (You can’t just     parachute in, give people some new ideas, and leave them to their fate.)

How has your training in neuroscience informed your perspective?  

My interest in neuroscience began when I became involved with very large project related to countering violent extremism. I spent considerable time in consultation with experts, because I recognized that there was a role for neuroscience in this program. This meant really learning to understand how the brain works, and particularly how prolonged fear, stress, and trauma play out, and how that might specifically related to conflict resolution initiatives and techniques to counter violent extremism.

I began to think about supplementing conflict resolution designs with two basic things. First, a basic education about the brain and traumatic stress- which can be an eye-opener for a lot of people who are on the front lines in their communities. This helps a lot of people to understand the reactions, in terms of fear or helplessness or anger, that is often common when there is intense conflict and violence. Second, I actively incorporate some techniques, basic techniques which are validated by new findings in neuroscience, to help calm and relax participants, and which also are known to open up the parts of the brain which are responsible for empathy and self-reflection.

Take This Poll on SCR-35 and State Department Definition

UCLA’s student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, is running a poll on the SCR-35 resolution and the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism. The SCR-35 resolution was passed earlier this month by the California State Assembly urging the University of California (UC) to condemn anti-Semitism. UC President Janet Napolitano also encouraged the condemning of anti-Semitism and supported…

Available for Pre-Order: Kenneth L. Marcus’s New Anti-Semitism Book

The Louis D. Brandeis Center (LDB) is pleased to announce that LDB President and General Counsel, Kenneth L. Marcus’ new book, entitled The Definition of Anti-Semitism, is now available for pre-order, published by Oxford University Press. Proceeds from this book will benefit LDB and its campaign to fight campus anti-Semitism. The expected publication date is September…