Jewishness and Antisemitism: Transnationalisms Confronted

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Eliezer BEN-RAFAEL, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
As discussed by Bauman and Sandauer, Jews have often been the target of singular – mostly hostile – attitudes on the side of their environments. After a few decades of relative decline following the discovery of the amplitude of the Shoa, to-day, as shown by Taguieff and Fishel, antisemitism is again on the rise in the context of globalization and the migration of Muslim population groups in many non-Muslim countries. In the context of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, from among those groups, extremist elements come out who articulate a judeophobia drawing from their ethno-religious support of the Palestinian cause. This hostility vis-à-vis Jews does not stem exclusively out of racism and nationalism like in the past, but of anti-racism and anti-nationalism associating Jews and Israel to racism and imperialism. The pro-Palestinian atmosphere propagated by this hostility attracts leftist and media people sensitive to third-world causes. This kind of confrontation is new. Jews and Muslims share indeed in common their constituting transnational diasporas disseminated in numerous countries where they make up ethno-religious minorities. These minorities also refer to countries that are homelands to their folks as majority groups – the Muslim nations on the one hand and Israel on the other. The conflict in the Middle-East fuels on either side the animosity between those diasporas granting it a dimension of transnational confrontation. While, however, Israel may seem to be the stronger party on the “battlefield”, diaspora Jews may seem to be in a vulnerable position vis-à-vis neo-antisemitism. Among the several sociological issues at stake, this case evinces the possibility that forces speaking on behalf of diasporas become transsocietal opponents. The consideration of these issues leads to new perspectives on our era of globalization.