January 8, 13
- The term – originally formed by Wilhelm Marr – to combat the Jews
from seeping into the German race
- Marr thought of Jews primarily in biological terms as a race not as a
people who identified with a religion.
- Meant to replace the older term Jew-Hatred
- Thus the Jewish problem could not be solved from conversion.
- This is why he chose the term anti-Semitism – they were seen as
posing a social problem.
- This social problem is not what Marr identified, it was positive in the
beginning – positive solution to the Jewish problem – now the
problem is anti-Semitism.
- Anti-Semitism is seen as a latent psychological attitude – what is
going on in the hearts of the people.
- Different from an ideology.
- The term today is used to chastise the people for their behavior.
- This term designates the Jews but in terms of semantics it
encompasses more of a group.
January 15, 13
- Violence, discrimination, etc.. against Jews – not the question of
what but what they have to do with each other.
- Is there a relation or a connection between all these types of
- What is anti-Semitism? – opposition towards Jews
- When it first occurred?
- Why it first occurred?
- Under what conditions does it occur?
- Intensional(?) definition differs from an existential(?) definition
- Nature of the term itself – politically charged term.
- Anti-Semite – paranoia of persecution
- Part of this tendency is a product which happens in the wake of the
Holocaust – a situation which was already there but blown up.
- This brings another problem – they would make the association that
Nazis are the worst anti-Semite.
- There were Nazis who were not anti-Semites and there were people
who were not Nazis who were anti-Semites.
- Another political problem in the background are our attitudes of
cultural distinctiveness – ideals towards social unity.
- Social/emotional distancing – if you presuppose a society where
you don't want this.
- Assumptions about personal vs social responsibility.
- Personal responsibility for everyone’s own beliefs but also, people
are victims of their environment – it is on the society. – learned
behavior over personal preferences
- There must be some reason there are anti-Semites out there –
Jews are responsible for people not to like them.
- Or all anti-Semites are jealous of Jews.
- Traditional religious accounts: Jewish religious accounts (to keep
Jews separate) and the Christian story (G-d punishing the Jews
because of their failure to accept that Jesus is their savior).
- Legal/political institutions – what should they do. EUMC – working a
definition of anti-Semitism.
- Academic definition – Heavily influenced by how it emerges and
discussed (Engle article).
- Look at Section 2 Diagram
- Jews threatened nationalism, undermined…., cant be integrated into
the culture, wont be fully German, etc…
- In religious, racial, socialist terms the definition of the Jew starts to
change. Can range from a minor fringe lunatic group, to a threat to
the political force.
- Extrinsic/Intrinsic reasons – identity of the anti-Semite.
- The different ways people have used the term – and use those into
this definition – without privileging the other. – Minor to major
- What do you want your definition to do? – exclusive (small number
of cases) – where will you begin? – the most extreme model and
then look for other models. Ex. Nazism
- Or you can be more inclusive – minor insults and behaviors –
lowest common denominator in all parts of anti-Semitism.
- What you want this definition to do.
- The specificity towards the hostility towards the Jews.
- People who have hatred towards one usually have hatred towards
another group – Halpern article page 49 – “personally I like the
Danes very much…”
- Halpern – group rejection (group rejecting? Or group rejects?) likely
the first but he doesn't cite individual sources.
- Specifically post-holocaust problem.
- How can one group treat another with such hostility and violence.
- To describe the UNFOUNDED belief that some people have about
the capacities and abilities of certain people.
- Pre-judging – we need these categories
- If you didn't want to pre-judge you cant associate anyone with their
- Pre-judging is normal
- You need some objective criteria and standard to take away an ok
prejudice to something more.
- Any negative judgment towards a group is an abnormal type of
prejudice – what counts as negative.
- Xenophobic, Chimeric(?), Realistic.
- Realistic – A negative judgment/attitude about an out-group
(minority) proceeded by an objective analysis.
- Ex. too many social groups will change the way we live. Want to
protect certain interest from out-groups.
- Based on real analysis.
- Xenophobic assertions – have a sense of reality – to infer
something about some members of a group to all members of a
group – this leads to “the Jew”.
- This has a certain function – it enables the Xenophobe to avoid
understanding a complex reality/situation, as well, it provides a
psychological relief/release of this social threat (wont solve).
- Ex. The claim that Jews are “Christ Killers”. – Not ALL Jews were
there and shouldn’t be blamed for.
- A way to deflect from one’s own doubts.
- Chimeric(?) – Jews being cannibals or blood libels.
- No necessary relation to being realistic.
- Engle – no anti-Semitism has never been successful
- We should get rid of the term anti-Semitism
January 22, 13
- Why less emphasis on Philosemitism?
- Exclusion of out-groups is a problem and vise versa isn’t
- Studied less – less historically – not many cases fall under
- Scholars and their assumptions – ignore or neglect the phenomena
- 1) Lachrymose view of Jewish history. (sad, tragic, tear-stained
view of J-hist).
- 2) Zionist view of history – Zionists share the view that Jews can
never be accepted or assimilated.
- 3) All of European history ends with the Holocaust – and the
extermination of the Jewish community.
- What are our own presuppositions?
- Why not study P-S?
- To study – when studying A-S its good to know its opposite.
- But is it the opposite of A-S
- Counts as a form of A-S
The term originally formed by wilhelm marr to combat the jews from seeping into the german race. Marr thought of jews primarily in biological terms as a race not as a people who identified with a religion. Meant to replace the older term jew-hatred. Thus the jewish problem could not be solved from conversion. This is why he chose the term anti-semitism they were seen as posing a social problem. This social problem is not what marr identified, it was positive in the beginning positive solution to the jewish problem now the problem is anti-semitism. Anti-semitism is seen as a latent psychological attitude what is going on in the hearts of the people. The term today is used to chastise the people for their behavior. This term designates the jews but in terms of semantics it encompasses more of a group. Violence, discrimination, etc against jews not the question of what but what they have to do with each other.