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The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism

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ISDP FORUM on The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism - Implications for Europe and Sweden 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 14:00 - 17:00

Speakers:

Ms. Birgitta Ohlsson (Introductory speech)
Minister for European Union Affairs

Ms. Hannah Rosenthal
US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

Prof. Jean-Yves Camus
Political analyst and research fellow at Institut de Relations Internationales et Strategiques (IRIS)

Dr. Henrik Bachner
PhD, History of Ideas and Sciences, Stockholm

Dr. David Hirsh
Lecturer in Sociology, Goldsmith College, University of London; founder of Engage

Dr. Mikael Tossavainen
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kantor Center for Research of Contemporary European Jewry, Tel Aviv University

 

Moderator
Paulina Neuding, Editor-in-chief of Neo Magazine

 

Location: Medelhavsmuseet, Fredsgatan 2, 111 52 Stockholm

 

Background

In 2009, figures showed that the level of anti-Semitism in many western European countries had reached its highest level since the end of World War II. Even though the number of anti-Semitic incidents declined in 2010, figures were still the third-highest since such statistics started being recorded in the 1980s. This trend has also had an impact on the Scandinavian countries. For instance, while the proportion of Jews in Sweden is only about 0.2% of the population, in 2009 42% of all offenses directed at religious groups were of anti-Semitic character.

European anti-Semitism is generally considered a phenomenon of the extreme right, and a significant number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe indeed involve right-wing or Islamist groups. However, anti-Israel statements are common in Swedish and European radical left-wing circles and many politicians and intellectuals have expressed hostile anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments. Unlike right-wing anti-Semitism, such expressions are often either left unnoticed, or are accepted as legitimate criticisms of Israel. Some researchers have spoken of a "new anti-Semitism", however the question remains whether this is a novel and distinct phenomenon and where the boundary between anti-Semitism and legitimate discourse on Israel and the Middle East conflict should be drawn.

There is a strong need for an informed debate on the development of anti-Semitism in Europe and in Scandinavia in particular, and the potential implications for security and development policies with regards to the Middle East.

 

Ms. Birgitta Ohlsson
Minister for European Union Affairs

Ms. Hannah Rosenthal
US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Ms. Rosenthal is a former head of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and former Executive Director for the Chicago Foundation for Women.

Prof. Jean-Yves Camus
Political analyst and research fellow at IRIS (Institut de Relations Internationales et Strategiques). Prof. Camus was previously a researcher at CERA (Centre Européen de Recherche et d'Action sur le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme).  He is also a member of the European Consortium on Political Research and of the Task Force on Anti-Semitism at the European Jewish Congress.

Dr. Henrik Bachner
PhD, History of Ideas and Sciences, Stockholm, specialized in anti-Semitism, racism and political extremism. Dr. Bachner has written on the evolution of anti-Semitism in Sweden since 1945 and has described the reemergence of anti-Semitism within parts of the radical left, and its connection to certain forms of anti-Zionism.

Dr. David Hirsh
Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London; founder of Engage, a campaign aimed at countering propaganda of the academic boycott campaign against Israel. Dr. Hirsh holds a PhD from the University of Warwick where he wrote his dissertation on Crimes Against Humanity and International Law.

Dr. Mikael Tossavainen
Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at the Tel Aviv University.  Dr. Tossavainen has written on the connection between nationalism and religion as well as anti-Semitism in Sweden and Malmö in particular.

 

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Ebba Mårtensson at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

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