The Peculiar Appeal of the ‘Jewish Question’: The Case of Left Antisemitism

Lars Rensmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Antisemitism on the left remains a controversial subject of scholarly research. Analyzing recent studies by David Hirsh, Robert Fine and Philip Spencer, the article examines their contribution to a critical understanding of (debates about) left antisemitism, past and present, as well as its origins and historical and ideational trajectories. The studies illuminate the specific patterns of justification, rationalization and distorted universalism by which anti-Jewish hostility could emerge and develop in left-wing contexts, shedding light on the particular ways the “Jewish question” has recurringly been posed on the left. Moreover, this research shows how leftist antisemitism and antisemitism denial, cloaked in discourses of progressivism, have helped facilitate what Hirsh calls “the mainstreaming of antisemitism” today.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)343-371
    Number of pages29
    JournalAntisemitism Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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