Is Antisemitism Still Relevant?

With Jews making up a mere 0.2% of the world’s population, one might reasonably wonder, “Why should we give antisemitism so much attention?” But as professor Walter Russell Mead explains, “Societies that tolerate antisemitism…take a fateful step towards the loss of both freedom and prosperity.” History has shown that societies suffer where antisemitism is prevalent. When the focus is on blaming the Jews, the real causes of society’s problems go overlooked. This makes antisemitism more than just a problem for the Jews, but actually something we all should be concerned about.

  1. Jews make up _____ % of the world population.
    • 10%
    • 5%
    • 0.2%
    • 20%
  2. Antisemitism often takes the form of a conspiracy theory that Jews control the world’s:
    • Economy
    • Politics
    • Social problems
    • All of the above
  3. How did the Nazis refer to Albert Einstein’s physics?
    • Mathematical physics
    • Jewish physics
    • German physics
    • Aryan physics
  4. In many cases, by blaming Jews for their society’s problems, the country’s antisemites:
    • Made them worse off for generations to come
    • Improved their society’s issues
    • Became smarter
    • Became closer with the Jewish community
  5. A 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research study found that families living in historically antisemitic German areas were less likely to:
    • Invest in the stock market
    • Hate Jews
    • Work regular jobs
    • Discourage marriage to Jews
  1. How do the conspiracy theories associated with antisemitism make it a unique form of hatred?
  2. What did slavery in the United States and antisemitism have in common and how did they differ? Give an example of each.
  3. Eric K. Ward, a Black civil rights leader in the United States wrote “Antisemitism is an effective conspiracy theory that dehumanizes all of us.” How does antisemitism dehumanize people who are not Jewish?
  4. How could society at large benefit from rooting out antisemitic assumptions?
  1. According to the FBI’s annual report on hate crimes, Jews were the most targeted religious group in the United States. Approximately 60% of religiously motivated hate crimes committed in the U.S. targeted Jews in 2020 (a decrease from the previous year). Jews make up less than 2% of the overall population in the United States. In small groups, develop and present a five-step plan for decreasing antisemitism in your country.
  2. Watch our video about the “Conspiracy of the Origin of Ashkenazi Jews” and answer the following questions:
    • Why do antisemites and anti-Zionists push the Khazar theory? What goal are many trying to achieve by pushing this false theory?
    • How is the Khazar theory used to delegitimize the Jewish claims to the land of Israel?
    • What is the best way to respond to false conspiracy theories?
  3. Play our Kahoot about “Is Antisemitism Still Relevant?”
  1. Do you think the focus on antisemitism is overblown, does it not get enough attention or does it get the right amount of attention?
  2. In Bamidbar 23:9, the Jewish people are described as a nation that dwells alone. There are multiple interpretations of this verse. Are the Jewish people destined to always be alone? Is antisemitism simply the nature of the world, is it solvable or something that just needs to be reduced? Depending on what you think, what are the appropriate next steps?
  3. If somebody asked you why antisemitism is still relevant in the 21st century, how would you respond?
  4. Why do you think people are so fascinated by conspiracy theories? Are there conspiracy theories that you are intrigued by? What about them captures your imagination?

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