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The Wandering Eternal Jew , colored woodcut by Gustave Doré , 1852, reproduction in an exhibition in Yad Vashem , 2007

As anti-Semitism all forms of flat-rate today is hatred of Jews , the standard anti-Judaism or anti-Semitism called. The expression was coined in 1879 by German-speaking people who were hostile to Jews in the environment of the journalist Wilhelm Marr and since the Holocaust has developed into a generic term for all attitudes and behaviors that individuals or groups have negative characteristics due to their assumed or real belonging to "the Jews" assume. This leads to exclusion, devaluation, discrimination , oppression , persecution, Expulsion through to the extermination of Jewish minorities ( genocide ) promoted, prepared and / or justified. Representatives and supporters of anti-Semitism are known as anti-Semites .

General hostility towards Jews has a tradition around 2500 years old in which a multitude of images, rumors, clichés, prejudices, resentments and stereotypes of "the" or "the" Jews are formed, overlapped and permeated. While the occasions, motives, justifications and purposes of the hostility towards Jews changed depending on the circumstances of the time and the supporting groups, the images used show great constancy and similarities. The Antisemitismusforschung therefore avoids a general definition of the phenomenon. German-language research distinguishes at least four main forms:

Religious, social, political, cultural and conspiracy theoretic motives can be distinguished in all main forms, but most of them historically occur in connection with one another. In addition, research distinguishes between latent and manifest, oppositional and state forms of expression.

In contrast to general xenophobia , anti-Semitism is based on allegedly unchangeable properties of Jews, which are often denoted and presented consistently. Jews should be classified as "enemies of humanity" ( antiquity ), " well poisoners ", " ritual murderers ", " usurers " ( Middle Ages and early modern times ), " parasites ", "exploiters", "conspirators" and secret " world rulers " (since the Enlightenment ) always be the alleged cause of all possible negative undesirable developments and man-made disasters. Anti-Jewish caricatures are very similar over the centuries. These fictional illusions (chimeras) have proven to be exceptionally stable and adaptable up to the present day. They have nothing to do with the reality of Jewish existence, but ideologically distort its peculiarities and use them for various purposes. According to Wolfgang Benz, they are therefore considered to be a particularly typical and powerful example “for the formation of prejudices and the political instrumentalization of enemy images constructed from them ”.


The French Revolution of 1789 had promoted the implementation of general human rights and the formation of nation states across Europe. With this, other states began to equate their citizens with legal rights and initiated Jewish emancipation . Nationalist unification movements fought this and looked for reasons adapted to the changed historical situation for the traditional hatred of Jews in the Middle Ages, which was shaped by Christianity.

The expression "anti-Semitism" is a new creation of German anti-Semites in the environment of the journalist Wilhelm Marr (1819–1904). His aim was " to justify the hostility towards Jews with the fact that the Jews belong to the Semitic race and ethnic family and to give it the stamp of a scientific teaching that goes back to ultimate causes" ( Edmond Jacob : Artikel Antisemitismus , in: Encyclopaedia Judaica , 1928, Sp. 957 ). Historically, however, the new term was never directed against the Semites , i.e. the entire Semitic language family comprising many ethnic groups , but always only against Jews, who were thus represented as an ethnic collective. The term is therefore an etymological mistake and is racist and pseudo-scientific in origin.

A family of languages ​​and peoples has been referred to as “Semites” since 1771 in order to distinguish them from the “ Aryans ” language family . The Indologist Christian Lassen and the orientalist and religious scholar Ernest Renan both used terms as ideological collective terms for opposing national characters and types of culture. By referring to Jews as "Semites," they were portrayed as an ethnic community with inferior characteristics. In 1860, the bibliographer Moritz Steinschneider rejected Renan's theses that Judaism hindered the political progress of mankind through its dispersion and its religious awareness of election as "anti-Semitic prejudices". Until 1865, “ Semitism ” or “Semitism” was a lexically established catchphrase. It therefore made sense to use the antonym “anti-Semitism” for the ideology and goals of anti-Jewish organizations.

The noun is first used in December 1879 in a newspaper report on the anti-Semite league that Marr founded in September 1879. It referred to their political program to fight "Semitism". The expression served anti-Semites to differentiate themselves from the emotionally charged hatred of Jews in the Middle Ages and to give their goals a rational, enlightened look. From 1880 "anti-Semitism" also referred to the goals of the " Berlin movement " around Adolf Stoecker and Heinrich von Treitschke and the signatory of the " anti-Semitic petition ".

Since the Jewish minority did not represent a uniform ideology and party that the anti-Semites could have combated, they constructed a national-racial antithesis and made the traditional swear word “the Jew” the epitome of all negatively experienced and interpreted phenomena since the Enlightenment. He owns and directs the critical press, infiltrates the nation with selfish pursuit of profit, cold purposeful rationality, foreign ideas and tendencies: rationalism , materialism , internationalism , individualism , pluralism , capitalism ( Manchester liberalism ), democracy , socialism and communism . He is to blame for the disintegration ("decomposition") of traditional social structures, exploitation, economic crises, capital concentration and inflation, disunity and the weakness of the nation. As a summary of such anti-Jewish and racist stereotypes, the term "anti-Semitism" was in the Empire as well as in Tsarist Russia , Empire of Austria and post-revolutionary France soon commonplace. For about 75 years it remained the self-designation of “principled” enemies of the Jews who sought the isolation, expulsion and ultimately the extermination of Jews by fighting “Semitism”.

In order to distinguish assimilated European Jews as a separate “race” from other “Semitic peoples”, the anti-Semite Eugen Dühring rejected the term “anti-Semitism”. In order to ensure the cooperation of the Nazi regime with the Arabs from a tactical point of view, the Reich Propaganda Ministry asked the German press in August 1935 to “avoid the word: anti-Semitic or anti-Semitism, because German policy is only against the Jews, not against the Semites absolutely judges. Instead, the word: anti-Jewish should be used. ”In 1943, Alfred Rosenberg asked the German press to refrain from using the term anti-Semitism out of consideration for the Arab world. Because with the term the hostile foreign countries show that the Germans would "lump Arabs and Jews into one pot".

Since 1945, “anti-Semitism” has been used to describe all aspects of anti-Semitic ideology that made the Holocaust possible, prepared, accompanied and justified. Anti-Semitism researchers in Israel , Great Britain and the USA use the word as a generic term for general, also non-racist anti-Semitism with “eliminatory” features. Reinhard Rürup and Thomas Nipperdey (1972), on the other hand, wanted to limit it to the racist hostility towards Jews since 1880 in which the term had emerged. This is a “fundamentally new anti-Jewish movement”, so that the term cannot be transferred to older, non-racist anti-Jewish movements. Even Alex Bein , Jacob Katz , Helmut Berding and Hermann Greive stressed despite the difference continuity of the "modern" anti-Semitism earlier hatred of Jews and therefore rejected the term as a generic term for "anti-Semitism" from. According to Georg Christoph Berger Waldenegg , the continued use of the term suggests that “ there were and still are specifically Jewish-Semitic characteristics ”.

Ernst Simmel, on the other hand, judged: "Anti-Semitism has remained essentially the same for centuries, even if its forms of expression have changed since the Enlightenment, as have the ethical standards and social structures of each epoch." According to Shulamit Volkov , too, "with the Novelty of modern anti-Semitism not far ”. Rita Botwinick sees “anti-Semitism” as a “modern word for a traditional malevolence”. Eberhard Jäckel calls the term a “linguistically inaccurate term for hatred of Jews”. Léon Poliakov therefore advocated “anti-Judaism” as a generic term for religious and racist hatred of Jews, Steven T. Katz used “anti-Judaism” and “anti-Semitism” interchangeably.

The classification of the no longer religious, not yet explicitly racist anti-Semitism between 1750 and 1880 also remained controversial. Alphons Silbermann differentiates between “classic” and “modern”, Winfried Frey “early” or “premodern” and “modern” anti-Semitism. For the period up to 1800, Wolfgang Altgeld speaks of “enlightened hostility towards Jews”, and up to 1848 of “early nationalist anti-Judaism”. From 1800 onwards, Paul L. Rose calls hostility towards Jews "anti-Semitism".

In colloquial language , the expression “anti-Semitism” has been synonymous with “hatred of Jews” or “hostility towards Jews” since 1945. In research, "anti-Semitism" is now a "collective term for negative stereotypes about Jews, for resentments and actions that are directed against individual Jews as Jews or against Judaism as a whole and against phenomena because they are Jewish".

Main forms


"Anti-Judaism" denotes hostility to the Jewish religion . It is justified by specific Christian theology and often refers to anti-Jewish passages of the New Testament . The starting point for this was the Christian mission among non-Jews, so that a majority of Gentile Christians replaced the predominantly Jewish Christian primitive Christianity . The supersessionism claimed since the 2nd century that God had the election of the Jews to the people of God because of their rejection of the Messiah terminated Jesus Christ and Judaism cursed subject to change, so that Jews salvation only through Christian baptism chosen, so the transition to the now Church could attain.

After this had become the state religion of the Roman Empire with a universal claim to rule with the edict of the Three Emperor's edict of February 28, 380 , the anti-Judaistic dogmas had an effect as social and religious-political discrimination against Jewish minorities in Europe. Christians excluded Jews from most professions since the 9th century and left them only despised jobs such as junk trading, pawning and credit. This gave rise to clichés like that of the work-shy usury Jews , who also secretly sought to rule over all Christians or even to exterminate them.

The accusation of the " murder of God ", known since 180 , which gave all Jews a collective guilt for the crucifixion of Jesus , led in the high Middle Ages to ritual murder legends and accusations of alleged " host sacrilege ". The anti-Jewish church policy took on traits of systematic persecution: Jews were forcibly baptized , ghettoized , criminalized and demonized . Jewish pogroms often took place on high Christian holidays, especially during the crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries and the plague pandemic in the 14th century ( plague pogroms ). During the Spanish Reconquista in the 15th century, the concept of the Limpieza de sangre was developed, and in 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain .

During the Reformation in 1521 , Martin Luther initially seemed to initiate a departure from Christian anti-Judaism, but after successful Jewish missions he called on all princes to destroy the synagogues and Jewish homes, to intern, expel the Jews or to commit them to forced labor ( Von den Juden und seine Lügen 1543; see Martin Luther and the Jews ).

The Enlightenment adopted some anti-Judaistic stereotypes, such as the juxtaposition of a supposedly nationally limited and materialistic Jewish religion of hatred versus a universal and idealistic Christian love religion. In the 19th century, Christian and racist hostility towards Jews merged. Christian and racist anti-Jews revived the medieval legends of ritual murder. Nationalist Christians have also been anti-Semites since 1900, for example the Protestant church party “ German Christians ” during the Nazi era. It was not until around 1960 that some churches gradually turned away from traditional substitution theology as a result of the Holocaust. In the relationship between the churches and Judaism after 1945 , mission to the Jews remained a controversial issue.

Modern anti-Semitism

Social anti-Semitism refers to the actual or imagined social status of Jews in society. In the past, occupational restrictions forced Jews into the trades and lending professions. Social anti-Semitism equates the stock exchange, finance capital and greed for money with Judaism.

Political anti-Semitism sees the Jews, thought of as a homogeneous collective, as influential social power who would have come together with political intent to act together in order to achieve rule in a country or world domination . This is to be done through a secret planning in the form of a " Jewish world conspiracy ". An example of this are the Protocols of the Elders of Zion .

Cultural anti-Semitism is closely related to social and political anti-Semitism. Here Jews are held responsible for the supposedly pernicious developments on a cultural level. Anti-Semites saw irritating innovations in architecture, art, literature or music as a result of Jewish influence, which was assessed as decadent, identified with cultural modernity and rejected with it. As an example of cultural anti-Semitism, the Nazi propaganda termed “ degenerate art ”.

In a reversal of the alleged "God's murder" as part have the Enlightenment atheist and agnostic authors such as Voltaire , the Baron of Holbach or Friedrich Hegel , and mainly with them the revolutionary bourgeoisie of the French Revolution , the Jews of the "invention" of God and monotheism and accused of bringing forth the Jew Jesus Christ, which is reprehensible from their point of view. From anticlericals so the Jews will be blamed Christianity. Voltaire said to Jews: “You surpass all nations with your outrageous fairy tales, your bad behavior and your barbarism. You deserve to be punished, for that is your fate. ”And elsewhere:“ I would not be in the least surprised if these people would one day become dangerous for the human race. ”Voltaire's statements were also related to his endeavors to replace the Judeo-Christian origin myth of the Bible ( Genesis ) with an Aryan original home of mankind located in India . He wrote to the astronomer M. Bailly: "For a long time I have considered the ancient dynasty of the Brahmins to be this nation of origin."

Nationalist anti-Semitism sees in the Jews a minority that does not belong to the respective nation ethnically, culturally or socially , is perceived as a foreign body and is accused of disloyalty to the nation. In contrast to racially motivated anti-Semitism in the narrower sense, assimilation and religious conversion could overcome discrimination and achieve integration into society. Nationalist anti-Semitism does not only focus on alleged ethnic differences, but also emphasizes alleged cultural differences or a lack of loyalty to the respective nation. Due to such exclusion, this form of hostility to Jews also takes on xenophobic features. In some cases, nationalist anti-Semitism is also included under the narrower definition of anti-Semitism.

Secondary anti-Semitism

“Secondary anti-Semitism” describes a form of hostility towards Jews “after Auschwitz”, which, due to the context in terms of content with the Shoah, is also called “guilt defense ” anti-Semitism from a psychological and moral point of view. With the collapse of the Third Reich, along with the Holocaust, anti-Semitism as a state doctrine in Germany ended.

In the Federal Republic of Germany Semitism was henceforth outlawed public so anti-Semitism within the anti-Semitism against tolerant in the population group continued persisted. Antisemitism assumed in the public debate about the mass extermination of Jews during the Second World War, it serves only the defamation of national identity , the granting of continued reparations was accrued to Israel and the political legitimacy of its policies in the Middle East .


Anti-Zionism denotes the rejection of Zionism and thus of the State of Israel as such; so he denies the latter his right to exist . Anti-Zionism often contains or conceals anti-Jewish motives. A large proportion of all Jews worldwide (2010: 43 percent, with an upward trend) have lived in Israel since 1945, which sees itself as a place of refuge for all Jews. Anti-Zionism or “criticism of Israel” is therefore often judged as “camouflaged” anti-Semitism. A well-known test to distinguish legitimate criticism of the policies of Israel from anti-Semitism, the 3D Test of Antisemitism : If statements Israel d ämonisieren , d elegitimieren, or d scrappy standards create, then they are anti-Semitic.

Anti-Zionism arose from conflicts between in since 1918 Palestine resident Arabs and in several waves ( aliyoth migrant) European Jews. These conflicts escalated into the Arab uprising in 1936 , after the founding of Israel in 1948 led to six wars by Arab states against Israel and to numerous armed conflicts that continue to this day (see Middle East conflict ). These intensified anti-Zionism in and outside the Middle East region. The Soviet Union has viewed Israel as the United States' bridgehead in the region since 1950 . This view has been adopted by sections of the political left since 1967 ; it is still common today in the spectrum of anti-imperialism . Islamic organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas adopted elements of European anti-Semitism. In relation to the Islamic and Arab world, one speaks of Islamic or Islamized anti-Semitism. Even among non-Muslims, anti-Zionism often serves to immunize themselves against accusations of anti-Semitism in order to demonize, delegitimize and isolate Israel semantically and in terms of content in a manner analogous to “the Jews”. The hostility to Israel connects left anti-imperialism, right-wing extremism and Islamic extremism and acts as a potential threat to all Jews.

Current working definitions

European Monitoring Center for Racism and Xenophobia

The European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) recorded an increase in anti-Semitic tendencies following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 . In order to facilitate and standardize the criminal law treatment of such tendencies in the EU states , the EUMC published a working definition in 2005:

Anti-Semitism is a "hatred of Jews" directed against Jewish or non-Jewish individuals, their property, their institutions or the State of Israel. He “often accuses Jews of conspiracy to harm humanity and is often used to hold Jews responsible for 'when something goes wrong'.” He expresses himself in words, texts, images and deeds and uses “ ominous stereotypes and negative character traits ", for example:

  • Calls to kill or harm Jews in the name of a radical ideology or extremist religious viewpoint,
  • lying, dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical claims about Jews or the collective power of Jews, such as world Jewry or Jewish control by media, governments, etc.,
  • To collectively accuse Jews of real or alleged wrongdoing by one or more Jews or non-Jews ,
  • Holocaust denial ,
  • Accusing Jews as a collective or Israel of inventing or dramatizing the Holocaust,
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel or perceived Jewish priorities worldwide than to their own states,
  • to reject the right of Jews to self-determination, for example to claim that Israel is a racist project,
  • to apply double standards, i.e. to demand behavior from Israel that is not expected of any other democratic nation,
  • to apply classic anti-Semitic symbols and images such as the murder of God or the legend of ritual murder to Israel or Israelis,
  • Compare Israel's current policy with the extermination policy of National Socialism ,
  • to assert collective responsibility of the Jews for Israel's policies.

Criticism of Israel, which is also expressed in a similar way to other countries, cannot, however, be classified as anti-Semitic.

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) decided on May 15, 2016, after consulting its 31 member states, to adopt the EUMC definition:

“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews that can be expressed as hatred of Jews. Anti-Semitism, in word or deed, is directed against Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and / or their property as well as against Jewish community or religious institutions. In addition, the State of Israel, which is understood as a Jewish collective, can also be the target of such attacks. "

The European Forum on Antisemitism (EFA) working definition of “anti-Semitism” is also based on the EUMC definition from 2005.

The Austrian Council of Ministers adopted the IHRA working definition on April 21, 2017. The German Federal Government also approved this definition by a cabinet decision on September 20, 2017.

Even advocates of the IHRA working definition criticized that it was "not intended for implementation in European or national law".

The IHRC lists the following current examples of anti-Semitism in public life, in the media, schools, in the workplace and in the religious sphere, which, taking into account the overall context, may include but are not limited to the following behavior.


  • Calling for the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist religious belief, as well as aiding or abetting such acts or their justification.
  • False, dehumanizing, demonizing or stereotypical allegations against Jews or the power of the Jews as a collective - especially but not exclusively the myths about a Jewish world conspiracy or about the control of the media, economy, government or other social institutions by the Jews.
  • Making the Jews responsible as a people for actual or assumed misconduct of individual Jews, individual Jewish groups or even of non-Jews.
  • The denial of the fact, the extent, the mechanisms (e.g. the gas chambers) or the intentionality of the genocide of the Jews by Nazi Germany and its supporters and accomplices during the Second World War (Holocaust).
  • The accusation against the Jews as a people or the State of Israel for inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • The accusation against Jews that they feel more committed to the state of Israel or to allegedly existing worldwide Jewish interests than to the interests of their respective home countries.
  • The denial of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, e.g. B. by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • The application of double standards by requiring Israel to behave that no other democratic state expects or requires.
  • Using symbols and imagery associated with traditional anti-Semitism (e.g., the Christ murder allegation or the ritual murder legend) to describe Israel or the Israelis.
  • Compare the current Israeli politics with the politics of the National Socialists.
  • Making Jews collectively accountable for the actions of the State of Israel. "
- International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, May 26, 2016.

The political scientist and sociologist Armin Pfahl-Traughber criticizes the lack of clarity, selectivity and completeness in the working definition and calls for it to be fundamentally revised. It is not clear what exactly the "certain perception" consists of. Anti-Semitism is not criticism, but hostility “against Jews as Jews”. It is to be welcomed in the definition that it is articulated that the hostility towards Jews of the present is often enough expressed via the detour of hostility towards Israel, but this is overemphasized and the other ideological variants of anti-Semitism only appear marginally.

The American Civil Liberties Union in the United States criticized the definition because it was far too broad and could be used to suppress freedom of speech - especially criticism of Israel.

The Israeli historian Moshe Zimmermann also criticizes the “vagueness” of the IHRA definition. It allows any kind of criticism of Israel to be described as anti-Semitic. This leads to an inflationary use of the term and to the fact that "where anti-Semitism is really to be found [...] it may not be recognized".

In a report commissioned by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the philosopher and sociologist Peter Ullrich describes the IHRA definition's claim to solve all problems associated with the definition of the term and at the same time be generally applicable as "failed". It is not very precise and contradicting itself and also leaves blatant gaps. It makes it possible to stigmatize unpopular positions on the Middle East conflict and to discriminate publicly, which Ullrich rates "in view of its quasi-legal status as a threat to freedom of expression". In addition, they conceal the fact that the greatest danger comes from the right.

In December 2019, Kenneth S. Stern stated that, as an anti-Semitism expert for the American Jewish Committee, he was the lead author of the working definition. Politically right-wing Jewish groups would have used the definition from 2010 onwards as a weapon against freedom of expression.

In December 2019, a group of 127 Jewish and Israeli intellectuals - including Andrew Stuart Bergerson , Daniel Boyarin , José Brunner , Judith Butler , Tommy Dreyfus , Katharina Galor , Steve Golin , Neve Gordon , David Harel , Eva Jablonka , Brian Klug , Joseph Levine, judged , Nurit Peled-Elhanan , David Ranan , Steven Rose , Graeme Segal , Alice Shalvi , Avi Shlaim , Zeev Sternhell , Rolf Verleger , Joan Wallach Scott , Moshe Zimmermann and Moshe Zuckermann  - an open letter to the French Parliament in which they were in front of the Adoption of the “unclear and imprecise” IHRA definition warned. They criticized that the IHRA definition "deliberately links criticism and opposition to the political measures of the State of Israel with anti-Semitism" and "introduces an unjustified double standard in favor of Israel and against the Palestinians".

David Feldman wrote in December 2020 that the IHRA definition was flawed, vague, confusing and unsuitable for protecting Jewish students and teachers at British universities. Nor does it offer a clear answer as to whether calls for boycotts against Israel are inherently anti-Semitic. For example, Joe Mann, the UK government's "anti-Semitism guru" wrote that boycotts are not covered by the IHRA definition.

At the beginning of January 2021, the EU Commission and the IHRA published a handbook on the practical application of the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism.

On January 11, 2021, more than seventy British academics who are also Israeli citizens (including Ilan Pappe ) addressed an open letter to British universities and students condemning the government's and university senates' introduction of the IHRA working definition there called for the often criticized and "inherently wrong", "vague" and "poor content" definition to be rejected or withdrawn. The open letter was supported by more than a hundred other Israeli academics worldwide (including Roy Wagner , Nurit Peled-Elhanan , José Brunner and Oded Goldreich ).

In February 2020, more than 600 Canadian academics signed a petition against the IHRA definition.

In January 2021, a number of left-wing Jewish organizations in the US - Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now , Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair World Movement, Jewish Labor Committee, J Street , New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, and T 'ruah - issued a statement refusing to accept the IHRA definition.

In March 2021, more than 150 Jewish university professors in Canada wrote an open letter against the adoption of the IHRA definition.

In March 2021, Neve Gordon ( Queen Mary University of London ) and Mark LeVine ( University of California, Irvine ) argued that according to the IHRA definition, Albert Einstein , Hannah Arendt , Tony Judt and Yeshayahu Leibowitz were also considered to be " Anti-Semites ”could be called. The “confusing and misleading” working definition is “the tool of choice for so-called pro-Israeli organizations”.

Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism

In March 2021, the Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism was published. It was drawn up by twenty mainly Jewish and Israeli scholars and signed by around two hundred international scholars, most of whom work in anti-Semitism research and related areas, including Omer Bartov , Wolfgang Benz , Werner Bergmann , Daniel Blatman , Debórah Dwork , Helga Embacher , Sander Gilman , Wolf Gruner , Deborah Hertz , Uffa Jensen , Jonathan Judaken , Brian Klug , Dominick LaCapra , Hanno Loewy , Brendan McGeever , Samuel Moyn , Mark Roseman , Dirk Rupnow , Gisèle Sapiro , Peter Schäfer , Stefanie Schüler-Springorum , Michael Wildt , Moshe Zimmermann and Moshe Zuckermann . It is intended to improve, supplement or correct the much criticized definition of anti-Semitism by the IHRA and to offer a coherent and politically neutral definition.

The Jerusalem Declaration defines anti-Semitism as “discrimination, prejudice, hostility or violence against Jews as Jews (or Jewish institutions as Jewish)” and provides 15 guidelines to clarify the definition, making a distinction between anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism. In this sense, inter alia the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) initiative as “common, non-violent forms of protest ... not per se anti-Semitic”.

Another important difference between the Jerusalem Declaration and the IHRA's working definition is that it sees the fight against anti-Semitism as inseparable from the wider fight against other forms of racism and discrimination.

Uwe Becker , the President of the German-Israeli Society , described the declaration as a “license to virtually limitless criticism of Israel” and a “certificate for hatred of Israel”.

The Jerusalem Declaration was received controversially in the media: some authors endorse the Jerusalem Declaration, others criticized it.

Activities in the European Union against anti-Semitism

  • In October 2015, at the end of the first annual colloquium of the European Commission on Tolerance and Respect: Preventing and Combating Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe, a number of conclusions (key measures) were adopted.
  • In December 2015, it was decided to appoint a coordinator for the Commission to Combat Anti-Semitism. The choice fell on Katharina von Schnurbein .
  • On April 20, 2016, the Council of Europe adopted Resolution 2106 on Renewing the Commitment to Combating Anti-Semitism in Europe .
  • On June 1, 2017, the European Parliament adopted a motion for a resolution on combating anti-Semitism .
  • On December 6, 2018, the European Council adopted the Council 's Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism and Developing a Common Security Concept for Better Protection of Jewish Communities and Institutions in Europe .


  • FRA survey on the perceptions and experiences of the Jewish population in connection with anti-Semitism, November 8, 2013.
  • Second FRA survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU of 10 March 2019.

See also


Since this article gives an overview of the various forms of hostility towards Jews, the literature here is limited to general descriptions of the overall phenomenon. Literature on special terms and epochs is reserved for the linked special articles.

Web links

Commons : Antisemitism  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Anti-Semitism  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Armin Pfahl-Traughber: Anti-Semitism in German history. State Center for Political Education, Leske & Budrich, Berlin 2002, p. 9
  2. Wolfgang Benz: What is anti-Semitism? Munich 2004, pp. 9-27, especially pp. 9f. and 19f.
  3. Matthias J. Becker: Analogies of the "coping with the past": Anti-Israeli projections in reader comments of the time and the Guardian. Nomos, 2018, ISBN 3-8487-4946-7 , p. 78 ; Marc Grimm, Bodo Kahmann (Ed.): Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: Virulence of an Old Enmity in Times of Islamism and Terror. De Gruyter / Oldenbourg, Munich 2018, ISBN 3-11-053471-1 , p. 237
  4. Armin Pfahl-Traughber: Anti-Semitism in German history. State Center for Political Education, Leske & Budrich, Berlin 2002, pp. 10–13
  5. Hans Rauscher: Israel, Europe and the new anti-Semitism: a current handbook. Molden, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-85485-122-7 , p. 153.
  6. Günter Wasserberg: From Israels Mitte - Heil für die Welt: A narrative-exegetical study on the theology of Luke. De Gruyter, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-11-015864-7 , p. 21 .
  7. Thomas Nipperdey, Reinhard Rürup: Article anti-Semitism. In: Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, Reinhart Koselleck (eds.): Basic historical concepts. Historical lexicon on political-social language in Germany, Volume 1. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1972, ISBN 3-12-903850-7 , pp. 130-132.
  8. a b Alex Bein: The Jewish Question: Biography of a World Problem, Volume II. Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, Stuttgart 1980, p. 164f.
  9. Reinhard Rürup: Emancipation and Anti-Semitism: Studies on the "Jewish Question" in bourgeois society. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 3-596-30933-6 , pp. 95-97 .
  10. Massimo Ferrari Zumbini: The Roots of Evil: Founding Years of Anti-Semitism: From the Bismarck Age to Hitler. Klostermann, 2003, ISBN 3-465-03222-5 , p. 171 .
  11. Marc Grimm, Bodo Kahmann (Ed.): Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: Virulence of an Old Enmity in Times of Islamism and Terror. De Gruyter / Oldenbourg, Munich 2018, ISBN 3-11-053471-1 , p. 30 .
  12. Rürup / Nipperdey: Antisemitismus , p. 129.
  13. Alex Bein: Die Judenfrage: Biographie einer Weltproblem, Volume II. Stuttgart 1980, pp. 164 and 217.
  14. Jakob Katz: early anti-Semitism in Germany , p. 136 ff .; The Preparatory Stage of the Modern Antisemitic Movement 1873-1979. In: Shmuel Almog (ed.): Antisemitism through the Ages. 1988, pp. 279-289.
  15. ^ Helmut Berding: Anti-Semitism in modern society - continuity and discontinuity. 1999, pp. 85-95 and 98-103.
  16. ^ Hermann Greive: History of modern anti-Semitism in Germany. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1995, ISBN 3-534-08859-X , pp. 1 and 8ff.
  17. Georg Christoph Berger Waldenegg: Anti-Semitism: "A dangerous word"? Diagnosis of a word. Böhlau, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-205-77096-X , p. 31.
  18. Ernst Simmel: Anti-Semitism. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-596-15530-4 , p. 12.
  19. Shulamit Volkow: The written and spoken word. About continuity and discontinuity in German anti-Semitism. Jewish Life and Anti-Semitism in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-34761-4 , p. 54.
  20. Rita S. Botwinick: A History of the Holocaust. (1996) Pearson, 5th edition 2012, ISBN 0-205-84689-0 .
  21. Eberhard Jäckel: Hitler's Weltanschauung. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-421-06083-5 , p. 167.
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