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Allan C. Brownfeld
Fall 2022

Whatever Happened to Antisemitism?  
Redefinition and the Myth of the "Collective Jew"  
Antony Lerman  
Pluto Press, 317 Pages, $23.95  
The world used to understand the meaning of the term antisemitism. In recent  
years, however, there has been an effort to redefine it to include not simply  
contempt for Jews and Judaism, but criticism of Israel and Zionism as well. In  
May 2022, Jason Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) declared  
that “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” He argued that groups calling for equal  
rights for Palestinians in Israel are “extremists” and equated liberal critics  
of Israel with white supremacists.  
On May 26, 2016, the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance  
Alliance (IHRA), of which the U.S. is a member, adopted a non-legally binding  
“working definition” of antisemitism at its plenary in Bucharest. It declared  
that “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as  
hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are  
directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward  
Jewish institutions and religious facilities.”  
Its provisions about rhetoric dealing with Israel has sparked growing debate. It  
provides a number of examples of what it calls antisemitism, including:  
*Accusing Jews of being more loyal to Israel or to a global Jewish agenda than  
to their home countries.  
*Denying Jews the right to self-determination or calling Israel “a racist  
*Applying a double standard to Israel that isn’t applied to other countries.  
*Applying classic antisemitic smears, like the blood libel, to Israel.  
*Comparing Israel to the Nazis.  
*Holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s actions.  
Chilling Effect On Debate  
The Council of the European Union has invited the bloc’s 27 member states to  
adopt this definition. Twenty-eight countries, mostly in Europe, have already  
done so. Opponents say its clauses on Israel will have a chilling effect on  
debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A coalition of American Jewish  
groups committed to Palestinian rights declared that, “The effort to combat  
antisemitism is being misused and exploited to suppress free speech, criticism  
of Israeli government actions and advocacy for Palestinian rights.”  
Israel itself has welcomed this redefinition of antisemitism. It has for many  
years used the term to characterize its critics, including its Jewish critics.  
Some Israelis admit that this is a tactic to silence criticism. Shulamit Aloni,  
a former Minister of education and a winner of the Israel Prize, describes how  
this works: “It’s a trick. We always use it. When from Europe, somebody  
criticizes Israel, we bring up the Holocaust. When, in the United States,  
people are critical of Israel, then they are antisemitic.”  
Early Israeli leaders promoted this idea even before the state was established.  
Abba Eban, who served as Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and the U.N. from 1949  
to 1959, expanded the definition of antisemitism when he said that, “One of the  
chief tasks of any dialogue with the Gentile world is to prove that the  
distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism is not a distinction at all.”  
Important New Book  
In an important new book, “Whatever Happened to Antisemitism?” All of this is  
examined by Antony Lerman, a British specialist on Jewish affairs who has served  
as director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and a founding member of  
the Jewish Forum for Justice and Human Rights. He is now Senior Fellow at the  
Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue in Vienna and Honorary Fellow of  
the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations at Southampton  
University. He is the author of “The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist: A  
Personal and Political Journey.”  
Discussing his background, Lerman notes that he is “... a Jew who has  
experienced antisemitism since childhood and whose commitment to Zionism in the  
1960s led me to emigrate to Israel and become an Israeli citizen (I returned to  
the UK in 1972) ... Antisemitism is a highly emotive subject and there is a  
close relationship between the personal and the political... I bring more than  
my Jewish identity to the table. I have worked in the field of contemporary  
antisemitism and racism studies for over 40 years, witnessing and charting the  
significant developments and changes over this period... In 1985, I wrote an  
editorial entitled ‘The Politics of Antisemitism,’ which criticized communal  
policy and the growing tendency to treat Arab opposition to Israel as  
antisemitic. The editorial sparked a furor... I was vilified as an anti-Zionist  
and ‘a self-hating Jew.’..the affair marked for me the beginning of a more  
critical approach to the study of contemporary antisemitism which I have  
followed to this day.”  
Israel As The “Collective Jew”  
At the core of the so-called “new antisemitism,” Lerman points out, “... is the  
claim that Israel is the persecuted) ‘collective Jew among the nations.’ In  
other words, it is argued, that the classic or pre-Israel anti-Semitism was  
hatred, discrimination, ostracization from society and ultimately mass murder  
directed at Jews. Since the establishment of the Jewish state, antisemitism has  
taken the form of hatred, discrimination, ostracization from the community of  
nations and, ultimately, plans for the destruction of Israel. Expressions of  
this are said to include the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement;  
accusations that Israel, as a Jewish state, is a racist endeavor; arguing that  
Israel has no right to exist; proposing that the entire area of what was  
Mandate Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River should become one  
single, democratic, secular state; charging Israel with responsibility for the  
naqba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in the 1948 war and  
subsequent wars; singling out Israel for criticism in a manner that would never  
apply to other states; and holding all Jews responsible for acts of military  
aggression undertaken by Israel.”  
It is Lerman’s view that referring to Israel as, somehow, the “collective Jew”  
is without any basis in reality: “... a state cannot have the attributes of a  
human being. Second, it is a heretical corruption of Judaism because it entails  
an idolatrous deification and worship of the state. Third, it is an antisemitic  
construct because it treats being Jewish as a singular: ‘all Jews are the  
More than a decade ago, Irwin Cotler, a leading Zionist and former Minister of  
Justice and Attorney General of Canada, developed the concept of Israel as the  
“collective Jew” among the nations. This formulation was given further public  
exposure when in November 2002, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute  
published a pamphlet by Cotler titled “The New Anti-Jewishness” with this text  
on the front cover: “The new anti-Jewishness consists of the discrimination  
against, or denial of, the right of the Jewish people to live as equal members  
of the family of nations.”  
“Substituting hate for the Jewish Person With Hate for the Jewish State”  
In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2012, Cotler declared:  
“since the start of the 21st century, the world has been witnessing a new and  
escalating, globalizing, virulent and even lethal antisemitism... one which  
substitutes hate for the Jewish person with hate for the Jewish state. We had  
moved from the discrimination against Jews as individuals, to the discrimination  
against Jews as a people, to Israel as the targeted collective ‘Jew among the  
As criticism of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians grew on the part of groups  
such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which characterized it as  
“apartheid,” Israel and its supporters became increasingly comfortable using the  
term “antisemitism” to characterize such critics. “This,” writes Lerman,  
“brought more solace to Israel advocacy groups, Israel lobbying organizations  
and an Israeli government that was increasingly convinced of the usefulness of  
antisemitism accusations as a shield against external criticism of its actions.”  
Israeli historian Neve Gordon said that, “The Israeli government needs the ‘new  
antisemitism’ to justify its actions and to protect it from international and  
domestic condemnation. Antisemitism is effectively weaponized, not only to  
stifle free speech... but also to suppress a politics of liberation.” Gordon is  
professor of international law and human rights at Queen Mary University in  
London and was formerly on the faculty of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in  
Redefinition of Anti-Zionism as Antisemitism  
Israel’s use of the new definition of antisemitism is increasingly understood by  
observers of developments in the Middle East. Joshua Leifer, an editor of  
Dissent, provided this assessment in 2019: “The Jsraeli government long ago  
adjusted its public relations strategy for the post-two-state reality... so that  
today, the Israeli hasbara apparatus’s most active front is the attempted  
redefinition of anti-Zionism as antisemitism, with the goal of rendering any  
opposition to the occupation or Zionism −or even simply Israeli policies  
themselves−beyond the pale of mainstream sensibility.”  
Lerman shows that, “In recent years, Israeli officials have enthusiastically  
embraced the ‘new antisemitism’ framework in their attacks on Palestine  
solidarity activism.” He cites an interview with Ayelet Shaked, a member of the  
Knesset who served as Minister of Interior, who told the Washington Post in  
2016, “In the past, we saw European leaders speaking against the Jews. Now, we  
see them speaking against Israel. It is the same antisemitism of blood  
libels... brainwashing people into hating Israel and the Jews.” Of supporters  
of BDS, she said, “They are using the same kind of antisemitism but instead of  
saying they are against the Jews, they say they are against Israel.”  
It is Lerman’s view that attempting to redefine antisemitism in this way has had  
unexpected ramifications: “By making Israel ever more central to what is defined  
as hatred of Jews and legitimizing the corollary that support or ‘love’ of  
Israel has become the test of what being pro-Jewish means, it could be said that  
the definition of an antisemite has been transformed from someone who hates Jews  
to someone whom Jews hate. Or another way of characterizing this is that (some)  
Jews are saying ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’−where the principal enemy is not  
just anyone who is judged to have criticized Israel unfairly, but also anyone  
who advocates for the national and human rights of the Palestinians, for redress  
and justice for the ethnic cleansing they suffered, for the end of the  
occupation of Palestinian land, for full equality for all who live in the  
Palestine-Israel area. So, what has become central to the ‘war’ on antisemitism  
is not a set of anti-racist principles, a fundamental belief in the inherent  
ethical and moral wrong of racism, of which antisemitism is an integral part−in  
short, the full panoply of human rights−but rather the defense of a powerful  
state on the grounds that it confers special protected status on itself by  
virtue of self-defining as ‘the Jewish state.’”  
Attack on Human Rights Advocacy  
Human rights advocacy has, Lerman shows us, become the major adversary of those  
who are engaged in fighting what they call “the new antisemitism.” He cites a  
book by Jonathan Neumann, “To Heal The World: How the Jewish Left Corrupts  
Judaism and Endangers Israel.” Neumann, a prominent Zionist advocate, attacks  
the concept of tikkun olam (repair the world), which has been for many Jews the  
inspiration for their commitment to the cause of human rights. It is Neumann’s  
view that tikkun olam has no basis in Judaism and is harmful to it because it  
stresses universal values rather than what he calls “Jewish particularism.”  
This is a view that is shared by many Zionists. British columnist Melanie  
Phillips has called Jews who are critical of Israel “Jews for genocide.”  
The Israeli government, Lerman notes, “... continues to present itself as  
isolated and under threat. At the fifth gathering of the Global Forum for  
Combating Antisemitism in 2015, Netanyahu spoke of the current ‘treatment of  
Israel as no different from that of our forebears. The Jewish state is being  
treated among the nations the way the Jewish people were treated for  
generations’−a repetition of the eternalist ‘new antisemitism’ mantra.”  
Israel and its advocates continue to characterize the country as the only true  
democracy in the region, an open and tolerant society. In reality, Lerman  
argues, “... it occupies a place closely aligned with the states driven by  
perpetual striving to realize an ethno-nationalist, illiberal agenda... this is  
a zero-sum game in which the Palestinians are the perpetual losers... There is  
precious little sympathy in Jewish Israeli society for the plight of the  
Palestinians. Zionism saw Arabs as ambiguous figures: at best, capable of  
being ‘civilized’ by the ‘new Jew’... Many centuries of Palestine as their home  
undermined Jews’ exclusive, biblically based claim to the land... As  
Palestinians increasingly developed their ability to tell their own national  
story... and... demonstrated that they would not accept their dispossession,  
Jewish Israelis came to explain Palestinian stubbornness by branding it a form  
of antisemitism. With the development of the ‘new antisemitism’ theory it was  
easy to slot Palestinian ‘hatred’ of Jews into the eternalist understanding of  
antisemitism−their total opposition to Zionism and a Jewish state was simply a  
form of delegitimization... denial of the right of the ‘collective Jew’ to self-  
determination and national self-expression −just as the individual Jew was  
demonized and persecuted throughout Jewish history.”  
Not Judaism But Idolatry  
The “new antisemitism” definition, Lerman believes, represents not any sort of  
Judaism but, instead, a form of idolatry, replacing God with the State of Israel  
as a virtual object of worship. He writes: “The central tenet of ‘new  
antisemitism,’ that Israel is the ‘collective Jew among the nations,’ is a myth.  
A state cannot possibly have the attributes of a living person. Moreover, there  
are no grounds in Judaism for deifying the state. It is a form of idolatry.  
And by reducing Jews to a singularity, it validates the antisemitic construct of  
‘the Jew.’ Zionism is a political movement that was originally in conflict with  
religious Judaism.”  
Lerman shows that the redefinition of antisemitism flies the face of traditional  
Jewish thinking. He points to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the distinguished  
theologian who marched for civil rights with the Rev. Martin Luther King,Jr., in  
Selma, Alabama in 1965, who warned against worshipping the two fundamentals of  
Zionism. Heschel declared: “Judaism is not a religion of space and does not  
worship the soil. So, too, the state of Israel is not the climax of Jewish  
The European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) in 2005  
produced a working definition of antisemitism which largely consisted of deeming  
as antisemitism a whole range of critical speech about Israel and Zionism. At  
the same time, Lerman points out, “The Israeli government... was allocating  
increasing resources to combat what they defined as antisemitism but was in fact  
political action and speech opposing Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.  
Hundreds of millions of shekels were being devoted to fighting BDS campaigns,  
supporting attempts to introduce laws outlawing boycott actions and apartheid  
weeks on campuses, as well as strengthening Jewish support and lobbying for  
Israel in communities worldwide...”  
Attacking Jews Who Oppose Zionism  
Attacking Jews who oppose Zionism has become a key feature of the campaign  
against the “new antisemitism.” An example Lerman points to is a history of  
antisemitism written by the prominent British Jewish lawyer Anthony Julius.  
Entitled “Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Antisemitism in England,” in  
which Julius devoted over a quarter of his history since the medieval period to  
contemporary anti-Zionism, dedicating more pages to his critique of Jewish  
opposition to Zionism than to either the Muslim or Christian variants. Julius  
describes these Jews as “fellow travelers of antisemitism.”  
It saddens Lerman that the “new antisemitism” is “predicated on the notion that  
the state can do no wrong.” But, he points out, “... the deification of the  
Jewish state is a heresy, tantamount to idolatry. This does not seem to disturb  
religious Jews who increasingly see the state doing God’s work by ‘repossessing’  
the ‘land of Israel,’ working to formally annex the West Bank, denying equal  
rights to Palestinians and making them strangers in their own land in order to  
secure a Jewish majority in perpetuity and hasten the coming of the Messiah.”  
For Lerman, “... this fetishization of the state” is “a corruption of Judaism.”  
He points out that antisemitism, in reality, nurtured and empowered Zionism: “It  
was mobilized for the sake of the Zionist project. Herzl wrote in his diary:  
‘The antisemites will become our most loyal friends, the antisemitic nations  
will become our allies.’... The affinity in the outlook of antsemites and  
Zionists is undoubtedly disturbing, and the fact that it is not just historical  
but has contemporary relevance through the antisemitic resonances of the myth of  
‘Israel as the collective Jew among the nations’ does not bode well for the  
future. This is a stark conclusion. Challenging the promotion of the concept  
of ‘new antisemitism’ and revealing the bankruptcy of the myth of Israel being  
the ‘collective Jew among the nations’ is an uphill struggle... But things never  
stay the same and resistance is not just an option but is a necessity. This  
book is intended as a contribution to that resistance and to encourage others to  
do the same.”  
Affinity Between Israel and Illiberal States  
At the present time there seems to be a growing affinity between Israel and a  
number of European states which seem to be moving in an increasingly illiberal  
direction, including Poland, Hungary and Turkey, as well as Israel’s improved  
relations with such non-democracies as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab  
Emirates. Lerman writes: “As politics in many countries took a turn towards  
illiberal populism, some governments, in Europe particularly, but not only, were  
openly encouraging the spread of classic antisemitic propaganda. This did not  
prevent the Israeli government from developing close relations with these  
governments and turning a blind eye to their tolerance of antisemitism on the  
grounds of close affinity as regards illiberal domestic policies, opposition to  
migration (except from their ethno-national diaspora communities), Islamophobic,  
denigration of human rights organizations and general authoritarian governance.  
And particularly because these governments never offered more than token  
criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and barely raised any  
objection to the creeping annexation of Palestinian land in the occupied  
Palestinian territories. The Palestinian issue was parked in the lot marked  
‘Two state solution at some unspecified date in the future.’”  
Since Antony Lerman completed his book, there has been increasing discussion of  
the so-called “new antisemitism.” In a widely discussed article in The New York  
Times (Aug. 26, 2022), Peter Beinart, an editor of Jewish Currents and professor  
of journalism and political science at the City University of New York,  
headlined his piece, “Has Antisemitism Lost Its Way?”  
He writes: “Over the past 18 months, America’s most prominent Jewish  
organizations have done something extraordinary. They have accused the world’s  
leading human rights organizations of promoting hatred of Jews. Last April,  
after Human Rights Watch issued a report accusing Israel of ‘the crimes of  
apartheid and persecution,’ the American Jewish Committee (AJC) claimed the  
report’s arguments ‘sometimes border on antisemitism.’ In January, after  
Amnesty International issued its own study alleging that Israel practiced  
apartheid and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) predicted that it will ‘likely  
lead to intensified antisemitism.’ The AJC and ADL also published a statement  
with four other well-known American Jewish groups that didn’t just accuse the  
report of being biased and inaccurate, but also claimed that Amnesty’s report  
‘fuels those antisemites around the world who seek to undermine the only Jewish  
country on earth.’”  
Those Who Defend Oppressive Regimes  
Beinart points out that those who defend repressive regimes often try to  
discredit human rights organizations. A month before the AJC accused Human  
Rights Watch of flirting with antisemitism, the Chinese Communist Party  
newspaper, Global Times, accused it of being “anti-China.” In 2019, a spokesman  
for Iran accused Amnesty International of being “biased” against that country.  
In the past, American Jewish groups argued that opposing antisemitism and the  
struggle for universal human rights were intertwined. When the ADL was founded  
in 1913 it declared that its “ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair  
treatment for all citizens.”  
In the past, Beinart notes, the AJC repeatedly criticized Israel for  
discriminating against its Palestinian citizens. In 1960, the head of its  
Israel committee said that it hoped to eliminate “anti-democratic practices and  
attitudes” in Israel so that the group could be more credible in advocating  
“principles of human rights and practices in our country and abroad.” This  
began to change after the 1967 war and Israel’s conquest of the West Bank and  
Gaza Strip, with a population of over a million stateless Palestinians.  
The result, Beinart writes, “... was an ideological transformation. In 1974,  
two ADL leaders wrote a book arguing that Jews were increasingly menaced by a  
‘new antisemitism,’ directed not against individual Jews but against the Jewish  
state. Almost a half-century later, that premise now dominates mainstream  
organized American Jewish life. Largely as a result of lobbying by Jewish  
organizations, the American government has embraced the proposition too.”  
The Fight Against Antisemitism Has Lost Its Way  
The fight against antisemitism has lost its way, in Beinart’s view. He  
concludes: “In a terrible irony, the campaign against ‘antisemitism’ as waged by  
influential Jewish groups and the U.S. Government has become a threat to  
freedom. It is wielded as a weapon against the world’s most respected human  
rights organizations and as a shield for some of the world’s most repressive  
regimes. We need a different struggle against antisemitism. It should pursue  
Jewish equality, not Jewish supremacy, and embed the cause of Jewish rights in a  
movement for the rights of all. In its effort to defend the indefensible in  
Israel, the American Jewish establishment has abandoned these principles. It’s  
time to affirm them again.”  
The effort to redefine antisemitism has a long history. In 1974, Benjamin  
Epstein, the national director of the ADL co-authored “The New Antisemitism,” a  
book whose argument was repeated in 1982 by his successor at ADL, Nathan  
Perlmutter, in a book entitled “The Real Antisemitism in America.” After World  
War ll, Epstein argued, guilt over the Holocaust kept antisemitism at bay. But  
as memories of the Holocaust faded, antisemitism had returned−this time in the  
form of hostility to Israel. The reason: Israel represented Jewish power.  
“Jews are tolerable, acceptable in their particularity, only as victims,” wrote  
Epstein and his ADL colleague Arnold Forster, “and when their situation changes  
so that they are no longer victims, or appear not to be, the non-Jewish world  
finds this so hard to take that the effort is begun to render them victims  
Nathan Perlmutter embarked upon a campaign to redefine antisemitism. He  
declared: “The search for peace in the Middle East is littered with minefields  
for Jewish interests... Jewish concerns are confronted by the Semitically  
neutral postures of those who believe that if only Israel would yield this or  
that, the Middle East would become tranquil and the West’s highway to its  
strategic interests and profits in the Persian Gulf would be secure. But at  
what cost to Israel’s security? Israel’s security, plainly said, means more to  
Jews today than their standing in the opinion polls.”  
Substituting “Jewish Interests” For “Israeli Interests”  
Perlmutter substituted the term “Jewish interests” for what were, in reality,  
“Israeli interests.” By changing the terms of the debate, he helped create a  
situation in which anyone who is critical of Israel becomes, ipso facto, “anti-  
The tactic of using the term “antisemitism” as a weapon against dissenters from  
Israeli policies is not new. Dorothy Thompson, the distinguished American  
journalist recently highlighted in the Ken Burns documentary about the U.S. and  
the Holocaust, is an example. Thompson interviewed Hitler, became the first  
American journalist expelled from Nazi Germany, and became one of the earliest  
enemies of Nazism. Later, she was critical of Israel’s policies toward the  
Palestinians, and became an associate of Rabbi Elmer Berger of the American  
Council for Judaism. Despite her valiant crusade against Hitler, she, too, was  
subject to the charge of antisemitism.  
In a letter to the Jewish Newsletter (April 6, 1951) she wrote: “Really, I think  
continued emphasis should be put upon the extreme damage to the Jewish community  
of branding people like myself as antisemitic... The State of Israel has got to  
learn to live in the same atmosphere of free criticism which every other state  
in the world must endure... There are many subjects on which writers in this  
country are, because of these pressures, becoming craven and mealy-mouthed. But  
people don’t like to be craven and mealy-mouthed. every time one yields to such  
pressure, one is filled with self-contempt and this self-contempt works itself  
out in resentment of those who caused it.”  
Attack On John Kerry  
A list of those who have been falsely accused of antisemitism because of their  
criticism of Israel would be a long one. In 2014, Jerusalem Post columnist  
Caroline Glick declared that Secretary of State John Kerry is “antisemitic.”  
According to Glick, “Kerry is obsessed with Israel’s economic success... The  
antisemitic undertones of Kerry’s constant chatter about Jews and money are  
obvious.” At the same time, Moti Yogev, a Knesset member in the governing  
coalition, said that Kerry’s efforts at achieving a peace agreement between  
Israelis and Palestinians had “an undertone of antisemitism.”  
Writing in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Cameron Kerry, brother of the  
then-Secretary of State and formerly general counsel to the U.S. Department of  
Commerce, declared that charges of “antisemitism” against his brother “would be  
ridiculous if they were not so vile.” Cameron Kerry, a convert to Judaism,  
recalled relatives who died in the Holocaust. The Kerry paternal grandparents  
were Jewish.  
Professor David Feldman, director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Study of  
Antisemitism at London University, began a lecture on “The Meaning of  
Antisemitism” saying: “The starting point... is our present confusion over what  
antisemitism is... When it comes to antisemitism many of us literally don’t know  
what we’re talking about... And as for the rest of us, who think we do know what  
antisemitism is, we are congenitally unable to agree among ourselves.”  
30 Year Process of Redefining Antisemitism  
In his thoughtful and thoroughly documented book, Antony Lerman examines a 30-  
year process of redefining the meaning of the term antisemitism and redefining  
the phenomenon by casting Israel as the persecuted “collective Jew” and the main  
victim of antisemitism. The redefinition of antisemitism by the IHRA has  
empowered a diverse international network, including the Israeli government,  
Israel advocacy groups, Zionist organizations, Jewish communal and defense  
bodies, governments and university administrations in fighting a war that  
principally targets those who are critical of Israel.  
Professor Neve Gordon, the respected Israeli historian, says that, “This is the  
best book I have read on why anti-Zionism has been equated with antisemitism and  
how the ‘new antisemitism’ has been mobilized for political gain in a variety of  
arenas.” Rebecca Vilkomerson, former executive director of Jewish Voice for  
Peace, says that, “We desperately need this book... An essential tool to  
understand the weaponization of antisemitism and its dangerous impact on free  
speech, Palestinian rights, and the very real threat of actual antisemitism.”  
The consequences of this redefinition of antisemitism, Lerman argues  
persuasively, are alarming. They include suppressing free speech on  
Israel/Palestine, legitimizing Islamophobic forces, and making Jews more, not  
less, vulnerable. Hopefully, this book will help lead to a widespread  
examination of the real nature of antisemitism and a careful consideration of  
what it is and what it is not. *

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