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How Anti-Semitism Became a Social Movement

Anyone can join—even Jews.

A protester displays a burning Israeli flag during a demonstration in Paris on July 26, 2014. AP Photo/Benjamin Girette.

A protester displays a burning Israeli flag during a demonstration in Paris on July 26, 2014. AP Photo/Benjamin Girette.

Response
Oct. 20 2014
About the author

Ben Cohen, a New York-based writer, has recently co-edited The Norman Geras Reader: What’s There Is There (Manchester University Press).


“Anti-Semitism was born in modern societies because the Jew did not assimilate himself,” wrote the French-Jewish thinker Bernard Lazare in 1894, a few months after the arrest of Captain Alfred Dreyfus on charges of treason. “But,” Lazare continued, “when anti-Semitism ascertained that the Jew was not assimilated,” it reacted in two conflicting directions, simultaneously “reproach[ing] him for it and . . . [taking] all necessary measures to prevent his assimilation in the future.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Bernard Lazare, European Jewry