Antisemitism is a serious and complicated oppression, and we recommend the resource "Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering to Our Movement," from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, as a comprehensive overview. (There are more resources below.)
Broadly speaking, as the resource says, antisemitism is "the form of ideological oppression that targets Jews. Like all oppressions, the ideology contains elements dehumanization and degradation via lies and stereotypes about Jews ... Fundamentally, it says that Jews are to blame for society's problems."
In short, antisemitism is characterized as follows:
- conspiracy theory (e.g., death of Christ, black plague)
- positions Jews as a hidden hand of control, as the secret and nefarious power behind the conditions that threaten people’s well being
- fosters the misunderstanding that attacking Jews is "punching up," since antisemitism positions Jews as a more powerful target in a poorly conceived explanation for how the world works
- part of the machinery of division and fear created and used for political or material gain
- built by people and is used by people for a specific purpose
- can be fueled by anyone, but those who built it and use it are responsible and are the ones who benefit
- able to be stopped, shut down, and dismantled
- part of a larger whole and addressing it is intrinsically connected to other struggles – like racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny
CJJ believes in the possibility of a world without antisemitism. We are working together with our communities and our allies in our state to fight antisemitism -- as well as racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and more, because we know all of our liberations are intertwined -- to build a better future for us all.
Antisemitism Listening Project
Over the past two years, CJJ has hosted several retreats and workshops about the relationship between antisemitism, racism, and white nationalism. To expand on this work, we are initiating a statewide listening tour focused on developing a better understanding of how North Carolina's Jewish community experiences, understands, and relates to antisemitism. For more information, and to sign up to stay informed about the project, including when circles are taking place near you, click here.
Resources & Recommended Reading
- "Understanding Antisemitism: An Offering to Our Movement," a resource from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
- "Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism," by Eric Ward
- "Bend the Arc opposes government use of IHRA definition of antisemitism," by Bend the Arc
- "Fighting Antisemitism is a Critical Piece of a Racial Justice Agenda," by Carin Mrotz