Sussex Weidenfeld Institute of Jewish Studies launches new podcast series 'Antisemitism and the Left'
Posted on behalf of: School of Media, Arts and Humanities
Last updated: Friday, 16 April 2021
A new podcast series, 'Antisemitism and the Left', has been launched by the Sussex Weidenfeld Institute of Jewish Studies.
This online seminar series deals with antisemitism and the left in a historical, political and comparative perspective. Professor Ivor Gaber, Dr David Jünger and Professor Gideon Reuveni are presenting a series of on-screen seminars involving a range of scholars who will talk about the long-lasting legacy of left antisemitism in countries such as Great Britain, Germany, the United States, France, Poland and Russia. Also included are Jewish and non-Jewish politicians and civil society activists, who will discuss their own experiences in fighting left and right-wing antisemitism.
Antisemitism, for very obvious reasons, is more usually regarded as a problem associated with right-wing politics. However, the issue of left antisemitism, which has come to prominence in the UK, the US and elsewhere in recent years, has long existed but has received far less attention.
Although left antisemitism continues to be marginal, as compared to its right-wing incarnation, it is arguably intellectually more disturbing and politically dangerous. Left-wing politics has always prioritised fighting injustice, prejudice and racism, regarding all people as equal and not pre-destined by racial, ethnic or any other essentialist factors. In Western democracies, the fight against racism – including antisemitism – has been of paramount concern for most left-wing movements. Thus, the existence of antisemitism in left-wing politics is disturbing and apparently counter-intuitive.
It is important to recognise that the subject matter is highly charged and hence the debate has to be handled with discretion but without shying away from confronting problematic issues. These seminars seek to contribute to lowering the political temperature by spreading a scholarly light aimed at defusing the political heat that this topic often generates.
The first edition, 'Antisemitism and the Left: The British Experience', with Dr Dave Rich and Dr Matt Bolton is now available.