1st Edition

What is Antisemitism? A Contemporary Introduction

By Linda Maizels Copyright 2023
    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    In October 2018, a white supremacist murdered eleven Jewish worshipers and wounded six others at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the deadliest attack on Jews ever perpetrated in the United States. The gunman’s motivation to kill Jews stemmed from his belief that Jews were committing "genocide" against white Americans. Although his animosity was motivated by a racial conception of Jews, the attack took place in a house of worship, illustrating the complex and interlocking web of anti-Jewish hatred based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, economic issues, and conspiracy theory that is commonly referred to as "antisemitism."

    What is Antisemitism? provides a detailed overview of this complex topic. It offers a history of anti-Jewish animosity from antiquity to the present; a discussion of the difficulties of defining antisemitism – arguably one of the most contentious issues in the contemporary discourse on the subject – and three case studies illustrating the diverse and wide-ranging nature of the phenomenon in the present-day, including examples from the political far right, the political hard left, and radical Islamism.

    With suggestions for further reading, and a chronological structure, this volume is an accessible and essential student textbook.


    Some notes on terminology



    Part I: Foundations

    Chapter One: The Difficulty of Definitions

    Chapter Two: The Onion Model


    Part II: The Christian-Influenced World


    Chapter Three: Judeophobia

    Chapter Four: The Early Christian Church

    Chapter Five: Early Medieval Christendom

    Chapter Six: Medieval Christendom After the First Crusade

    Chapter Seven: Spain, the Inquisition, and Purity of Blood

    Chapter Eight: East and West Part I: Reformation and Enlightenment

    Chapter Nine: East and West Part II: Emancipation and Revolution

    Chapter Ten: East and West Part III: Modern Antisemitism

    Chapter Eleven: Genocide


    Part III: The Islamic-Influenced World


    Chapter Twelve: Islam and the Jews

    Chapter Thirteen: Antisemitism in the Arab and Muslim World


    Part IV: All Together Now


    Chapter Fourteen: The Postwar Era and the Final Layer

    Chapter Fifteen: Antisemitism in the Twenty-First Century


    Linda Maizels is an independent scholar who earned her PhD from the Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.