On anti-Semitism

Our first meeting this term will be on anti-Semitism, with a focus on anti-Semitism and the student left. It will be Thursday 10th 7.30 -9.30pm, location (check fb eventhttps://www.facebook.com/events/388880714538201/)

jewish octoBefore the discussion, we will go over recent news – including the anti-African protest in Tel Aviv on New Years’ Eve, the exclusion and then reinstating of Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi from candidacy, and the upcoming elections. After the discussions we will have a brief organising meeting, with planning for future events. Everyone is welcome to stay for the organising meeting.

The accusation of antisemitism is hurled from some quarters with incredible facility, while others argue that there is barely any anti-Semitism at all these days. What are our experiences, what do we think, and what are potential strategies to tackle this?

We would like to cover:
– context: brief history of anti-Semitic stereotypes
– attitudes on the Jewish and non-Jewish left: is there a problem in muddling criticising/opposing Zionism with being antisemitic?
– what is the role of some Jewish community organisations and media in relation to this, by insisting that Judaism is inseparable from Zionism?
– Judaism as a race, ethnicity, nationality, culture with collective history, civilisation, or what? And what implication does this definition have on how we classify anti-Semitism/ Judeophobia/ anti-Jewish racism?
– Jewish involvement in left-wing, anti-racist and Palestine solidarity movements, and dealing with anti-Semitism (both ignorant mistakes and deep-seated prejudices) from within the left
– are comparisons of Israel and nazi Germany antisemitic?
– what are our experiences of antisemitism and accusations of antisemitism?
– what about anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia within Jewish communities?
– potential strategies – we are thinking of drafting a new version of this blog post http://this-is-not-jewish.tumblr.com/post/34344324495/how-to-criticize-israel-without-being-anti-semitic – we like the idea but would like to build a different content after the discussion. We are also aiming to get a PalSoc to make a similar document with points about how to talk about the conflict without being racist towards Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, to produce some kind of double-sided leaflet for the student left.

All welcome for a respectful discussion, and invited to speak from personal experiences. No bigoted behaviour or language will be tolerated.