Understanding and Dismantling Antisemitism
Antisemitism is a key component of right-wing ideology, used by politicians and political movements to fuel and advance their oppressive agenda, keeping us from the justice and liberation that we're all fighting for. Progressives should be leading on this issue, but we often don't even know how to talk about it.
About the material: In 2020, Bend the Arc initiated and led a powerful messaging initiative to fight antisemitism and its abuse, initiating, producing and leading dissemination of Dismantling Antisemitism: A New Message Guide. Sharon Rose Goldtzvik of Uprise Communications was the messaging principal. Our organization engaged in deep collaboration to contribute to this effort to produce, use and disseminate this approach. Our goals with this project include:
Make antisemitism a liability for white nationalists and their political movements;
Address Jewish audiences' fears in an increasingly violent time;
Deflate and shield audiences against antisemitic tropes;
Make the case that togetherness (instead of separateness) is the desirable strategy for Jewish people addressing antisemitism;
Provide a way for allies across struggles to see themselves in this fight; and
Create a framework that makes it possible to address missteps within the Jewish community and in the broader progressive movement (so that we’re not torn apart when they happen)
In this time in history, right-wing political movements are using supremacist and white nationalist ideology and rhetoric to gain political power. Antisemitism is a key characteristic of this ideology and its rhetoric, and over the past several years, this has led directly to an increase of violence against Jewish people. But while most American Jews agree that the greatest antisemitic threat comes from the political Right, public conversation on antisemitism suggests that it is an entirely apolitical form of hatred equally present and damaging wherever it appears on the political spectrum. Against this backdrop, progressive advocates struggle to address antisemitism adequately while placing responsibility on the political Right. This leaves the door open for the Right to deflect its own responsibility while using accusations of antisemitism against progressives to divide powerful movements for collective liberation.
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