In recent years Western countries have seen a proliferation of antisemitic material in social media, and attacks on Jews such as that on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. Much of this has stemmed, not from personal hostility to Jews on the part of this or that individual, but from a resurgence in groups at both ends of politics of the ancient delusion that "the Jews" collectively dominate world affairs and lie at the root of all the world's evils.
In Blaming the Jews author Bernard Harrison, offers a new and unique analysis of this second and far more dangerous form of antisemitism and its persistence as a cultural phenomenon. Questioning the assumption that antisemitism affects or targets only Jews, he demonstrates that, allowed to go unrecognised or unchecked, antisemitism is potentially damaging to us all.
In a world where rhetoric is fashioned on stereotypes and driven by political ideology, Harrison argues it is our responsibility to be vigilant in exposing the delusions of antisemitism and their consequences for Jews and non-Jews alike.
I. Varieties of Antisemitism
1. Hamas Addresses the Jewish Question
2. "Profiting" from the Holocaust
3. Questions of Definition
II. Why the Jews?
4. The Disease Metaphor
5. An Obstinate People
III. Is Israel "illegitimate"?
6. Accusation and Narrative
7. Narrative and Reality
8. The Legacy of 1967
9. Is "Anti-Zionism" Antisemitic?
10. Israel, the Left and the Universities
IV. Judaism Defaced
11. A Primitive Religion?
12. Mitzva and Moral Theory.
13. What's Wrong With Universalism?
V. Antisemitism as a Problem for Non-Jews
14. Jew-Baiting on Campus
15. Defamation Disguised
16. Judgement Unhinged
"In the carefully explained distinction he draws between social and political antisemitism, and in the painstaking care with which he disposes of all the various main charges against the State of Israel levelled at it by its Palestinian Arab and western anti-Zionist detractors, Bernard Harrison makes an outstandingly important contribution to the fields of study of antisemitism in general and of the Middle East in particular. Harrison is gifted with the ability, singularly rare among academic philosophers today, of being able to expound and discuss abstruse and difficult concepts in the plainest, most accessible everyday language."—David Conway, author of The Rediscovery of Wisdom
"Blaming the Jews has several ambitious aims: to define antisemitism accurately; to show that it comes in two varieties, social and political, of which the latter is the dangerous kind; to distinguish political antisemitism from legitimate criticism of Israel; to show that the 'new' appearances of political antisemitism are not new but belong to the classic genre; to show that antisemitism misses and misunderstands its target, Judaism; and finally to show that it serves a projective function—costly to it perpetrators hold on reality and threatening to the health and survival of the society that harbors it. To an extraordinary degree, Bernard Harrison actually accomplishes his far-reaching aims."—Abigail L. Rosenthal, author of A Good Look at Evil
"Harrison's book, in short, offers great insight into the feverish hate and hysteria displayed by the hardcore anti-Israel crowd. Those interested in the phenomenon of anti-Zionism/anti-Israelism, scholars and laypersons alike, should definitely consult their eye-opening work."—David Rodman, Israel Affairs
"Bernard Harrison's book is crucial, essential, and indispens- able to understanding: 1) the nature of antisemitism; 2) the immi- nent threat of antisemitism; and, 3) the connections between Jew hatred for the hatred of the other to the connections between Jew hatred and the hatred of the other. This book is required reading for anyone who wants to understand antisemitism."—David Pattterson - University of Texas, Antisemitism Studies
"Bernard Harrison's [Blaming the Jews] is a real tour de force."—Elhanan Yakira, Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism