Definition of Antisemitism
Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
Also available from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is the Summary overview of Antisemitism in the European Union (Dec 2006)
This document has been copied here to allow people to copy and past parts of the definition as needed in order to clarify when debate and discussion has cross the line from free speech to hate speech. In the EU hate speech is not protected, it is in fact a crime.
The EU's Definition of Antisemitism
The purpose of this document is to provide a practical guide for identifying incidents, collecting data, and supporting the implementation and enforcement of legislation dealing with antisemitism.
Working definition: ``Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or nonJewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.''
In addition, such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for ``why things go wrong.'' It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
- Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the
power of Jews as collective - such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish
conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
- Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single
Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by nonJews.
- Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish
people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War
II (the Holocaust).
- Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
- Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
Examples of the ways in which antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context could include:
- Denying the Jewish people their right to selfdetermination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
- Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
- Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries). Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property---such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries---are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews. Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.
More articles on antisemitism:
By Andre Oboler, PresenTense Magazine, Febuary 2010.
By Andre Oboler and David Matas (Eds), The Global Forum to COmbat Antisemitism, December 2009, Jerusalem.
By Andre Oboler, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 15 September 2009. This is the detailed report (published online in August 2009).
By Elan Miller, Jerusalem Post, 27 August 2009
By Andre Oboler, Z-Word Blog, 27 August 2009.
By Andre Oboler, Comment is Free at the Guardian, 13 July 2009
By Chantal Abitbol, The Australian Jewish News, 15 May 2009, pg 8
By Clemens Heni, Zionism On The Web, Febuary 7, 2009
By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web Special Report, December 4 2008
By Sharon Berger, The Australian Jewish News, October 31 2008, pg 4
The Australian Jewish News, October 31 2008, Life pg 16
By Christoph Gunkel and translated into English by Ricarda Krenn. Originaly Published in German as Christoph Gunkel, Facebook und Google Earth: Antisemitismus im Web 2.0, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Germany, 14 October 2008.
By Jonathan Hoffman, Open Letter, Nov 13th 2008
By Clemens Heni, Zionism On The Web, Nov 3rd 2008
By Andre Oboler, Zionism On The Web, Sept 11, 2008. Original Draft (in English) of "Hatred and Antisemitism Online", Agencia Judia Noticias
By Andre Oboler, Agencia Judia Noticias (Jewish News Agency - Argentina), Sept 4 2008
By Dr Andre Oboler, The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, March / April 2008
By Tamar Snyder, The New York Jewish Week, Febuary 20 2008
By Dr Andre Oboler, The Guardian, Comment is Free, February 15 2008
By Dr Andre Oboler, Jerusalem Post, 6th February 2008
By Prof Gerald Steinberg, NGO-Monitor
By Andre Oboler, A ZOTW Special
This is the definition used throughout Europe by law enforcement
By Andre Oboler, a ZOTW Special
By Prof Gerald Steinberg, Jerusalem Post, 9 May 2007
By Dr Matthias Küntzel, a German political scientist and author
By Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Read comments or add your own on the New Antisemitism
By Azmi Bishara (Arab-Israeli MK), Dar Al-Hayat, November 20, 2003
By ANNE BAYEFSKY, Opinion Journal, November 18, 2004
Analysis of the propoganda that Arabs are semites too and hence can't be antisemitic
By Prof. Georges-Elia Sarfati, a French linguistics expert
By Dr Denis M. MacEoin, an expert in Islamic studies
You can visit our full collection for more articles on Zionism, Israel and Palestine
External article links
The Wikipedia article on Arabs and antisemitism
A Zionism Israel Information Center article on antisemitism and the Jews
External sites about antisemitism
The Coordination Forumfor Countering Antisemitism
The Anti-Defamation League
JAFI resources on Antisemitism
Middle East Antisemitism
International Center for the Study of Antisemitism At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem