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On the return of the Jewish question

Universalism has acted as a stimulus for Jewish emancipation, that is, for civil, political and social inclusion. It has also been a source of anti-Jewish prejudice up to and beyond the classic antisemitism of the modern period. While the experience of Jews is by no means unique in this respect, one of the peculiarities of the 'anti-Judaic' tradition has been to represent Jews in some important regard as the 'other' of the universal: as the personification either of a particularism opposed to the universal, or of a false universalism concealing Jewish self-interest. The former contrasts the particularism of the Jews to the universality of bourgeois civil society. The latter contrasts the bad universalism of the 'rootless cosmopolitan Jew' to the good universalism of whatever universal is advanced: nation, race or class. This book explores debates over Jewish emancipation within the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, contrasting the work of two leading protagonists of Jewish emancipation: Christian von Dohm and Moses Mendelssohn. It discusses the emancipatory power of Karl Marx's critique of Bruno Bauer's opposition to Jewish emancipation and endorsement of The Jewish Question. Marxist debates over the growth of anti-Semitism; Hannah Arendt's critique of three types of Jewish responsiveness--assimilationism, Zionism and cosmopolitanism-- to anti-Semitism; and the endeavours of a leading postwar critical theorist, Jurgen Habermas are also discussed. Finally, the book focuses its critique on left antizionists who threaten to reinstate the Jewish question when they identify Israel and Zionism as the enemies of universalism.

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Ben Cohen and Eve Garrard

prejudice – these things have long served to attract Jews to organisations and movements of the left, and they still do. Israel as alibi At the same time, that affinity has now been compromised by the existence of a new climate of antisemitic opinion within the left. This climate of opinion affects a section of the left only, and not the whole of it. But it is a substantial section. Its convenient alibi is the state of Israel – by which I mean that Israel is standardly invoked to deflect the charge that there is anything of antisemitism at work. Israel, so the story

in The Norman Geras Reader
Paul Kelemen

6 A new anti-semitism? The research underpinning the historical account in the previous chapter turned up no evidence to suggest that anti-semitism has played a part in the British left’s change of perception of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Yet, there have been persistent allegations that pro-Palestinian sympathy on the left is motivated by anti-semitism. At the 1982 Labour Party conference, Denis Healey, the party’s deputy leader, chided delegates for the prominence they gave in the debate on foreign affairs to Israel’s bombardment of West Beirut and its

in The British left and Zionism
Thomas Linehan

A number of points are in need of clarification before we proceed any farther. Firstly, there is no necessary or natural correlation between fascism and anti-semitism. As Zeev Sternhell has noted, racism was not a ‘necessary condition for the existence of fascism’, but was, on the contrary, a factor in fascist ‘eclecticism’. 1 Although the majority of inter war Britain’s fascist parties and groups professed anti-semitic beliefs, there were some that did not. Of the major parties, both the BUF and the IFL adopted an official anti-Jewish policy. For almost the

in British Fascism 1918-39
Robert Fine and Philip Spencer

3 Antisemitism, critical theory and the ambivalences of Marxism Citizens, let us think of the basic principle of the International: Solidarity. Only when we have established this life-giving principle on a sound basis among the numerous workers of all countries will we attain the great final goal which we have set ourselves. (Karl Marx – a speech given following a congress of the First International, 8

in Antisemitism and the left
Ben Cohen and Eve Garrard

(This article was first published on ‘Normblog’, 13 May 2009) I’ve never understood the inclination of certain Marxists, as well as others who admire aspects of Marx’s work, to deny the antisemitic material there is in his essay On the Jewish Question. Michael Ezra cites the work in a post at the blog “Harry’s Place” discussing whether Marx was an anti-Semite. Michael refers also to an opinion of Gertrude Himmelfarb’s to the effect that Marx expressed views there that ‘were part of the classic repertoire of antisemitism’. This is plainly and undeniably so

in The Norman Geras Reader
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
A study of the Christian Social movement

Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites engages with and challenges some key narratives of one of the darkest periods in the history of Vienna; the rise and sustained presence of organised, politically directed antisemitism in the city between the late nineteenth century and the middle of the twentieth. Sketching out first the longer-term background, it then focuses on central players in the antisemitic Christian Social movement, which flourished through an ideology of exclusion and prejudice. The work is built on considerable original research into both bourgeois social organisations and activists from the lower clergy, but it also exposes the role played in the development of antisemitism by the senior clergy in Vienna. In addition to a close examination of the antisemitic aspects of the Christian Socials, it analyses how other major social debates in this period impacted on their development as a group: national struggles, especially the desire for German unification; responses to the waves of poverty and social unrest that swept over Europe; and conservative and clerical reactions to modernity, such as liberalism and democracy – debates with a resonance far beyond Vienna. Vienna’s ‘respectable’ antisemites tells its story across this long period, and for the first time in such detail, to give room to the gestation in ‘respectable’ society of antisemitism, an ideology that seemed to be dying in the 1860s, but which was revived and given new strength from the 1880s onwards, even surviving challenges from the more widely known Red Vienna of the 1920s and 1930s.

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Polish theatre and the political
Author: Bryce Lease

This monograph takes as its subject the dynamic new range of performance practices that have been developed since the demise of communism in the flourishing theatrical landscape of Poland. After 1989, Lease argues, the theatre has retained its historical role as the crucial space for debating and interrogating cultural and political identities. Providing access to scholarship and criticism not readily accessible to an English-speaking readership, this study surveys the rebirth of the theatre as a site of public intervention and social criticism since the establishment of democracy and the proliferation of theatre makers that have flaunted cultural commonplaces and begged new questions of Polish culture. Lease suggests that a radical democratic pluralism is only tenable through the destabilization of attempts to essentialize Polish national identity, focusing on the development of new theatre practices that interrogate the rise of nationalism, alternative sexual identities and forms of kinship, gender equality, contested histories of antisemitism, and postcolonial encounters. Lease elaborates a new theory of political theatre as part of the public sphere. The main contention is that the most significant change in performance practice after 1989 has been from opposition to the state to a more pluralistic practice that engages with marginalized identities purposefully left out of the rhetoric of freedom and independence.