The New Anti-Judaism /DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

Professor Irwin Cotler, a Jewish Canadian renowned as one of the world's most prominent lawyers in the field of human rights and until recently Canada's Justice Minister distinguishes between classical anti-Semitism and the new anti-Judaism and suggests a framework totaling 13 criteria for identifying its nature and import

Dr. Rivka Shpak Lissak

Professor Irwin Cotler, is a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at McGill University, a member of the Canadian Parliament, who until recently served as Canada's Justice Minister. Cotler, a Jewish-Canadian is renowned as one of the most prominent legal specialists in the field of human rights (among other things he served as legal counsel for Nelson Mandela). Professor Cotler published an article under the Title: "Human Rights and the New Anti-Judaism--an Alarm" (Jerusalem: the Institute for Planning the Policy of the Jewish People 2002)

In his article, Professor Cotler explains the essential difference between classical anti-Semitism and the new anti-Judaism. Classical anti-Semitism meant discrimination or the negation of the rights of Jews to live as members with equal status in a free society. The new anti-Judaism is a negation of the right of the Jewish people to live as a member with equal rights and status in the family of nations. Anti-Judaism isolates and discriminates against Israel and the Jewish people by discriminatory and differentiated treatment in the international arena and identifies Israel and the Jewish people as a target for extermination.

Cotler proposes a system of criteria to identify the nature and import of the new anti-Judaism. These criteria are based on principles governing discrimination and equality in the internal laws of the various countries and in international law. Cotler enumerates 13 criteria:

A. Existential or Liquidationist anti-Semitism--The reference here is to terror organizations which publicly call for exterminating Israel and murdering Jews, the religious decrees of extremist Muslim clerics who call for the extermination of Israel and the murder of Jews as a religious obligation, to Iran, which calls for erasing Israel from the map and declares its intention to use nuclear weapons for genocidal purposes.

B. Political anti-Semitism -- The meaning here is the negation of the right of the Jewish people to self-determination, the negation of the legitimacy and the existence of the State of Israel and the demonization of Israel, which is described as symbolizing the violation of human rights.

C. Ideological anti-Semitism-- Thisfinds expression in the UN Resolution --which was formally rescinded but whose influence persists-- stating that "Zionism is racism", condemning Israel as "an apartheid state" and slandering Israel as a "Nazi State".

D. Theological anti-Semitism -- Refers to Islamic anti-Semitism which views Jews and Judaism as the enemy of Islam and turns the murder of Jews into a religious commandment, and to Christian theological anti-Semitism which views the church as the inheritor of Judaism's status before the deity and therefore posits that the Land of Israel belongs to the church and not to the Jewish People and that the State of Israel arose unjustly.

E. Cultural anti-Semitism -- Refers to the current fashion in academic and intellectual circles to provide legitimation for anti-Semitism by negating the legitimacy of the State of Israel.

F. European anti-Semitism -- The reference is to the recent renewed outbreak of anti-Semitism in Europe, which has found expression in attacks on synagogues, schools, Jewish Institutions, persons identifiable as Jews, and in scare propaganda against Israel and the Jews, while demonizing Israel and denying her right to defend herself from terror attacks. Such anti-Semitic activity is common to the Right and to the Left who stage demonstrations in which they openly call for "death to the Jews."

G. Anti-Semitism in the international arena -- negates Israel's equality before the law. Israel has become a quasi "Collective Jew" and the attitude towards her resembles the bygone attitude towards the individual Jew by the non-Jewish Community in the past. The discriminatory attitude against Israel also found expression in the Durban Conference Against Racism but it is a regular phenomenon in the various UN organizations and especially in the United Nations Human Rights Legations.

H. Administrative anti-Semitism -- Seeks to preventthe participation of Israel and Non-governmental Jewish Organizations in regional associations.

I. Anti-Semitism legitimized by law -- After the UN Resolution that Zionism is a form of racism was unmasked as a cloak for anti-Semitism, the method was modified and now the emphasis has shifted to slandering Israel on the issue of human rights. The United Nations is especially active in this sphere.

J. Economic anti-Semitism -- The reference here is to the Arab Boycott. In the past, economic anti-Semitism found expression in discrimination against Jews in housing, education and employment, whereas the Arab Boycott obligates companies who wish to maintain commercial ties with the Arab States to sign a contract obligating companies to boycott Israel, not to employ Jews and not to promote those who are already employed.

K. Holocaust Denial -- The Jews are accused of fabricating the Holocaust, extorting reparations from Germany and establishing the "illegal" State of Israel on Palestinian soil. The significance of the last belief is to deprive the Jews of their past --the Palestinians are the true owners of the land-- and the negation of their future namely their right to a state.

L. Racist terror against Jews -- Refers to attempts by international terror organizations to launch terror atrocities against Jews and Israel, for example, attacks by Hezbollah and Al Qaeda against Jewish institutions or the attempt to hit the Azraeli Towers.

M. State sponsored anti-Semitism -- This means that states inculcate a "culture of hatred" against Jews and Israel via incitement in the mosques schools and media outlets, for example, by the use of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, blood libels and others symbols and topics borrowed from classical anti-Semitism

In conclusion, Professor Irwin Cotler emphasizes that he does not expect an attitude of discrimination in favor of Israel but he wants the discrimination against her to cease, meaning the application of different criteria to Israel as opposed to other countries.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.