On Antisemitism

Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice

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About the Book
A collection of essays on antisemitism, edited by Jewish Voice for Peace.

With Trump and Bannon in the White House, empowering antisemites while claiming their love for Israel, how do we talk about antisemitism in the present moment?

How have false charges of antisemitism been used to stifle criticism of Israeli policy and support for Palestinian human rights?

What is the relationship between antisemitism and other forms of bigotry and oppression?

How can we further the global progressive fight for justice for all peoples?

In this collection of essays curated by Jewish Voice for Peace, a broad range of activists, movement theorists, and public figures grapple with these critical questions about contemporary antisemitism. It provides an essential tool for Palestinian solidarity activists, educators, and Jewish communities. Featuring contributions from Omar Barghouti, Judith Butler, and Rebecca Vilkomerson, as well as other activists, scholars, students, and cultural workers, On Antisemitism includes the voices of those who are often marginalized in mainstream discussions of antisemitism.

Table of Contents
Preface by Judith Butler


Introduction by Rebecca Vilkomerson


Part I: Histories and Theories of Antisemitism

Antisemitism Redefined: Israel’s Imagined National Narrative of Endless External Threat by Antony Lerman

Palestinian Activism and Christian Antisemitism in the Church  by Walt Davis

Black and Palestinian Lives Matter: Black and Jewish America in the Twenty-First Century by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Intersections of Antisemitism, Racism, and Nationalism: A Sephardi/Mizrahi Perspective by  Ilise Benshushan Cohen

On Antisemitism and Its Uses by Shaul Magid

Antisemitism, Palestine, and the Mizrahi Question by Tallie Ben Daniel


Part II: Confronting Antisemitism and Islamophobia

Trump, the Alt-right, Antisemitism, and Zionism  by Arthur Goldwag

Our Liberation Is Intertwined”: An Interview with Linda Sarsour

Centering Our Work on Challenging Islamophobia by Donna Nevel

Who Am I to Speak? by Aurora Levins Morales

Captured Narratives by Rev. Graylan Hagler

“We’re Here Because You Were There”: Refugee Rights Advocacy and Antisemitism by Rachel Ida Buff

European Antisemitism: Is It “Happening Again”? by Rabbi Brant Rosen


Part III: Fighting False Charges of Antisemitism

Two Degrees of Separation: Israel, Its Palestinian Victims, and the Fraudulent Use of Antisemitism by Omar Barghouti

A Double-Edged Sword: Palestine Activism and Antisemitism on College Campuses by Kelsey Waxman

This Campus Will Divest! The Specter of Antisemitism and the Stifling of Dissent on College Campuses by Ben Lorber

Antisemitism on the American College Campus in the Age of Corporate Education, Identity Politics, and Power-Blindness by Orian Zakai

Chilling and Censoring of Palestine Advocacy in the United States by Dima Khalidi



Let the Semites End the World! On Decolonial Resistance, Solidarity, and Pluriversal Struggle by Alexander Abbasi

Building toward the Next World by Rabbi Alissa Wise

Book Events

JVP's National Member Meeting, Chicago, March 31-April 2

On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine

Watch the panel discussion from some of our contributors at Jewish Voice for Peace’s National Member Meeting in Chicago, IL.

Philadelphia, May 11

At the Big Blue Marble Bookstore, 551 Carpenter Ln, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119

Philadelphia Leil Tikkun Shavuot, May 30th

Antisemitism in the Trump Era
Rabbi Alissa Wise, Kol Tzedek
An exploration of how antisemitism is operating in the Trump era and as connected to Islamophobia, racism, and broader struggles for justice. Will include discussion of recently released anthology, “On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice.”

Sign up and find out more at: http://centercityjews.org/shavuot/

June 24th, St. Paul Reading Group
WHEN:    Saturday, June 24th, 2-4 PM
WHERE:  1st floor meeting room, Highland Park Library, Saint Paul  http://www.sppl.org/about/locations/highland-park
Located on Highland Parkway, the library can be reached via public transit from both Minneapolis & Saint Paul.
Join us to discuss the first section of the book.  Water and cookies provided.
Bay Area Author Panel and Discussion, June 11

Join Aurora Levins-Morales, Walt Davis, Kelsey Waxman, and Tallie Ben Daniel for a discussion and Q&A about the book.

Sunday, June 11 from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison Street, Berkeley CA 94704

Sponsored by JVP-Bay Area.

Facebook event here! 

Philadelphia Reading Group, June 8th

Join JVP Philly to discuss selected essays from Jewish Voice for Peace’s new volume, just out from Haymarket Books, On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice in Palestine. RSVP to philly@jewishvoiceforpeace.org if you plan to attend and we’ll send you the location.

Find out more at: http://www.jvpphilly.org/events/2017/6/8/jvp-reading-group-on-antisemitism


New York, TBA

Date and Time to be announced

Chicago, TBA

Date and Time to be announced

Are you interested in putting on a book event? Please contact Tallie at tallie@jvp.org!

The Contributors

Alexander Abbasi

Alexander Abbasi is a Calistinian (Palestinian + Californian) born and raised in Los Angeles, Khaliphaztlán. Currently a PhD candidate in Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa where he focuses on Islamic liberation theology and decolonial theory. Somewhere between an academic in activist clothing, and an activist in academic clothing.

Judith Butler

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also active in gender and sexual politics and human rights, anti-war politics, and serves on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Reverend Graylan Hagler

Reverend Graylan Hagler has served as the Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, Washington, DC since 1992.  He is also the Executive Director of Faith Strategies, an organizing body and think tank of clergy since 2012 that advises labor, social and political campaigns on ways to embrace and engage the faith communities in social movements.

Ben Lorber

Ben Lorber works as Campus Coordinator with Jewish Voice for Peace, supporting student activists across the country in their movement for justice in Israel/Palestine. He has written for a variety of online and print publications, and has also organized in the labor and migrant justice movements. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Rabbi Brant Rosen

Rabbi Brant Rosen is the Midwestern Regional Director of the American Friends Service Committee and the Rabbi of the congregation, Tzedek Chicago. He is the co-founder of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council and the author of the book “Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity, published in 2012 by Just World Books.”

Rabbi Alissa Wise

Rabbi Alissa Wise is Deputy Director at Jewish Voice for Peace.  Alissa was the founding co-chair of the JVP Rabbinical Council and the co-founder of the Facing the Nakba, which offers educational resources to an American audience about the history of the Nakba and its implications in Palestine/Israel today.

Omar Barghouti

Omar Barghouti is a Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the Palestinian-led BDS movement. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, NY, and a master’s in Philosophy (ethics) from Tel Aviv University. He is the author of, BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (Haymarket: 2011).

Rachel Ida Buff

Rachel Ida Buff is co-coordinator and a founding member of Milwaukee Jewish Voice for Peace. She teaches history and comparative ethnic studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Her book, Against the Deportation Terror, will appear in 2017; she is also completing a novel. She blogs on politics and other stuff at https://atlasofadifficult.wordpress.com/ .

Dima Khalidi

Dima Khalidi is the founder and Director of Palestine Legal and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Founded in 2012, Palestine Legal is the only legal organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to supporting the movement for Palestinian rights.

Shaul Magid

Shaul Magid is the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Professor of Jewish Studies, Kogod Senior Research Fellow at The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and rabbi of the Fire Island Synagogue in Sea View, NY. He is not a member of JVP and does not support BDS.

Linda Sarsour

 Linda Sarsour is the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York and co-founder of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPOWER Change. A Palestinian Muslim American woman, racial justice and civil rights activist, and mother of three, she has been at the forefront of major civil rights campaigns including calling for an end to unwarranted surveillance of New York’s Muslim communities and ending police policies like stop and frisk.

Orian Zakai

Orian Zakai is a visiting assistant professor of Modern Hebrew at Middlebury College. She has completed her PhD at the department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan in August 2012. Her research and teaching interests include women and gender in Modern Hebrew literature, the interrelations between Hebrew literature and nationalism, intersections of gender, nationality and ethnicity in contemporary Israeli culture, and post-colonial and feminist theories. Orian has published articles on gender and nationalism in Nashim and Prooftexts. Her collection of short fiction Hashlem et he-haser (Fill in the Blanks) was published in Hebrew in 2010 by Keter Books. She is a member of Jewish Voice for Peace’s Academic Advisory Council academic council.

Tallie Ben Daniel

Tallie Ben Daniel is the Academic Program Manager for Jewish Voice for Peace. She completed her PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of California, Davis in 2014. She is currently working on a book titled Gay Capital: San Francisco, Tel Aviv and the Politics of Settler Colonialism.

Walt Davis

Walt Davis is a Presbyterian minister and professor emeritus of the Sociology of Religion at San Francisco Theological Seminary. He holds an M. Div.degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Social Ethics from Boston University. From 2008 to 2014 he was chair of the education committee of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Antony Lerman

Antony Lerman is Senior Fellow at the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, Vienna, and Honorary Fellow at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations, Southampton University. He was founding Editor of Antisemitism World Report 1992-98 and is Associate Editor of the international academic journal Patterns of Prejudice.

Donna Nevel

Donna Nevel a community psychologist and educator, is a coordinator of PARCEO, a participatory action research center. She has been an organizer for justice in Palestine; against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism; and for justice in public education.

Rebecca Vilkomerson

Rebecca Vilkomerson is the Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace. She has been a member of JVP since 2001. In 2010 she was named one of the 50 most influential Jewish American leaders by the Forward, and was named one of “14 Women to Watch” in 2014. She lived with her family in Israel from 2006-2009.

Kelsey Waxman

Kelsey Waxman graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 with a B.A. in History and Arabic Language and Literature, where she co-founded the Jewish Voice for Peace campus chapter. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she now works for a human rights law practice in San Francisco, California.

Ilise Benshushan Cohen

An Atlanta native, Ilise is a Sephardic-Mizrahi Jewish scholar, teacher, activist and mom. She leads JVP-Atlanta and is a member of the Jews of Color/Sephardi/Mizrahi caucus. She is an IFPB (Interfaith Peace-Builders) delegation leader, board member, and former chair. She is committed to justice for Palestinians, decolonization and building authentic community.

Arthur Goldwag

Arthur Goldwag is the author of The Beliefnet Guide to Kabbalah, Isms & Ologies, Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies, and most recently The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right. His political commentary has appeared in Salon, The Atlantic, Boing Boing, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Spectator, the SPLC’s Hate Watch blog and Intelligence Report, and The New York Times.

Aurora Levins-Morales

Aurora Levins Morales is a Puerto Rican Ashkenazi Jewish feminist writer and is a 6th generation radical. She has been part of many social justice movements, including the women’s movement of the 1960s-70s, the Puerto Rican independence movement, and movements for  Latin America solidarity, environmental justice, disability justice and Middle East peace and justice. She as a member of New Jewish Agenda, and has been a member of Jewish Voice for Peace since soon after its founding.  She is active in the JVP Artists Council and Jews of Color in Solidarity with Palestine which works in close collaboration with JVP.  She worked as an elder and poet in residence with Jews for Racial and Economic Justice in New York City in 2015-2016.   She can be reached at www.auroralevinsmorales.com.

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is a researcher in theoretical physics. Of Afro-Caribbean and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is the child and grandchild of Palestine solidarity activists. She first began to confront the problem of Israel and the exclusion of Black Jews from conversations about Zionism and American Judaism when, early in her time at university, the Second Intifada began. Dr. Prescod-Weinstein is a proud member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Academic Advisory Council.

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