World Expert on Anti-Semitism: Danger is Real


swastikaAccording to Professor Robert S. Wistrich, Neuberger chair for Modern European History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, anti-Semitism is very much alive and growing worse every day.

In an interview to Israel National News TV, the Director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism (SICSA), who has also authored “A Lethal Obsession: Antisemitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad” (named ‘Best Book of 2010′ by The Journal for the Study of Antisemitism), said that he believes that “anti-Semitism has reached a level that we have not seen since World War II,” and added that this is “the most dangerous period for Jews in terms of the way they are perceived by others. We’ve reached a more dangerous period than at any time since the end of World War II and the establishment of Israel.”

Wistrich explained that anti-Semitism today is directed not just towards Israel but towards Jews around the world. According to him, most people identify anti-Semitism with very obvious symbols and images, such as Nazis, fascist demonstrations, or calls to throw the Jews out of a particular country. However, as he explained, these images are much less visible today, and anti-Semitism in 2010 has changed its form. “In the last 40 years, the most dynamic form of anti-Semitism is the one that is transmitted through anti-Zionism and hatred of Israel,” explained Wistrich.

He believes that anti-Semitism based on hatred of Israel is easier to carry out since it is legal in most countries to say anything one wants against Israel and not be prosecuted by the law.

Addressing the question of whether differences exist between anti-Semitism of the past and modern anti-Semitism, Wistrich said that there are not many differences today, since boycotts of Jews which existed then and still exist now. “[A] boycott works first of all against the Jews who live in Israel and it works against Jews who are supportive of Israel. This is a clear continuity from the classic anti-Semitism that we knew in the past.”

He added that the most concrete threat to Israel today is Iran and its proxies: Syria, Hizbullah, and Hamas. However, he also believes that Israelis and Jews do not do much to raise awareness about this threat. “I don’t feel that there is a sufficient awareness,” said Wistrich. “If we don’t stand up for ourselves, how can we expect others to become passionately involved?”

Wistrich believes that Israelis should take an example from the Arabs, who have been saying for decades that they refuse to give up on certain things.

“The problems of today, including the rabid incitement in neighboring countries in the Arab world, we don’t talk about it. We don’t protest about it. We keep it quiet,” said Wistrich. “This is a huge mistake. We have claims. We have grievances. We have a right to demand that in the context of any peace agreement if this does not stop then that agreement will be meaningless.”

Read more at Arutz Shevah.

{Arutz Shevah/}


  1. Ditto on #1. No matter what we do, the existence of anti-Semitism will remain a fact. The best we can hope for from goyim is mere tolerance. I also fully agree with the author on the point about anti-Zionism. The phrase “anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism” is overly simplistic and really seeks to throw an ideological blindfold over what the reality modern anti-Semitism is. The two are inextricably bound with each other. Does “pure” anti-Zionism actually exist? Maybe (highly unlikely) but for all intents and purposes, anti-Zionism is an extension of anti-Semitism. As this author points out, even “good-natured” anti-Zionists inadvertently borrow anti-Semitic themes. I mean honestly, does anyone actually believe that if Israel were to give in to the world’s demands or even to stop existing that people like Bin Laden and the neo-nazis would abandon their anti-Semitic prejudice? I think the last paragraph in the article is the best though. If we don’t want to end up like sheep to the slaughter, we’d better start doing something about this; especially protesting the massive hypocrisy practiced by the Arab governments. Remember the fact that not a penny has been paid to the victims of the Jewish expulsion in the late 40’s/50’s (and yes, I know the victims found refuge in Israel but that still doesn’t remove the guilt and the obligation to compensate them on the part of the guilty parties). We should be protesting the ugly segregation and discrimination against Jews in Yemen, Syria (right next door to Israel!), and elsewhere that goes on to this day yet no one pays attention. If we remain silent towards this then we are tacitly endorsing it.