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Anti-Semitism in Britain: continuity and the absence of a resurgence

Anti-Semitism in Britain: continuity and the absence of a resurgence
Anti-Semitism in Britain: continuity and the absence of a resurgence
It has become the orthodoxy in recent years to assume that anti-Semitism globally is not only rising but also taking a new form – it is a ‘new anti-Semitism’ or even a new phenomenon: Judeophobia. This article takes a different perspective. It initially covers approaches to anti-Semitism and how, especially in the light of the Holocaust, it has been viewed academically as no longer the fault of the Jews but as a natural and constant feature of history since antiquity. A critique is provided of the idea of a continuous history of anti-Semitism and of the metaphors used to describe it. There then follows a case study of anti-Semitism in Britain. The British case is valuable as it is seen as a key example of the ‘new anti-Semitism’, and one that is more striking given the alleged absence of previous hostility towards Jews in that country. By employing a comparative approach – both temporal and in relation to responses to other groups – change and continuity are charted through a study of racial violence. Such comparisons, it is argued, allow a more nuanced and balanced analysis of this issue, which has created much alarm and little sober reflection.
britain, anti-semitism, judaism, new anti-semitism, resurgence, jews
0141-9870
434-449
Kushner, Antony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b
Kushner, Antony
958c42e3-4290-4cc4-9d7e-85c1cdff143b

Kushner, Antony (2013) Anti-Semitism in Britain: continuity and the absence of a resurgence. [in special issue: Racialization and Religion: Race, Culture and Difference in the Study of Antisemitism and Islamophobia] Ethnic and Racial Studies, 36 (3), 434-449. (doi:10.1080/01419870.2013.734387).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It has become the orthodoxy in recent years to assume that anti-Semitism globally is not only rising but also taking a new form – it is a ‘new anti-Semitism’ or even a new phenomenon: Judeophobia. This article takes a different perspective. It initially covers approaches to anti-Semitism and how, especially in the light of the Holocaust, it has been viewed academically as no longer the fault of the Jews but as a natural and constant feature of history since antiquity. A critique is provided of the idea of a continuous history of anti-Semitism and of the metaphors used to describe it. There then follows a case study of anti-Semitism in Britain. The British case is valuable as it is seen as a key example of the ‘new anti-Semitism’, and one that is more striking given the alleged absence of previous hostility towards Jews in that country. By employing a comparative approach – both temporal and in relation to responses to other groups – change and continuity are charted through a study of racial violence. Such comparisons, it is argued, allow a more nuanced and balanced analysis of this issue, which has created much alarm and little sober reflection.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 22 October 2012
Published date: 2013
Keywords: britain, anti-semitism, judaism, new anti-semitism, resurgence, jews
Organisations: History

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 398515
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/398515
ISSN: 0141-9870
PURE UUID: 04b83734-1d56-40e5-84fe-57fb313c6381

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2016 15:58
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:15

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Author: Antony Kushner

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