Blaming the Jews

Blaming the Jews

Politics and Delusion
Bernard Harrison
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04991-9
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In recent years Western countries have seen a proliferation of antisemitic material in social media and other online outlets and in violent attacks on Jews. The evidence is undeniable, ranging from FBI hate-crime statistics to the attack on Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. In Blaming the Jews, author Bernard Harrison offers a new and unique analysis of the nature 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 on unrecognized or unchecked, antisemitism is potentially damaging to us all. In a world where rhetoric is fashioned on stereotypes, Harrison argues it is our responsibility to be vigilant in exposing the delusions of antisemitism that have potentially appalling consequences for Jews and non-Jews alike.

Author Bio

Bernard Harrison is Emeritus E. E. Eriksen Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah and Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Sussex. He is author of What is Fiction For? and The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and Liberal Opinion.


""In the carefully explained distinction he draws between social and political antisemtism, 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"

 (Indiana University Press)

""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"

 (Indiana University Press)

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Table of Contents

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