Jurisprudence of the New Anti-Semitism

60 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2009

See all articles by Kenneth L. Marcus

Kenneth L. Marcus

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law

Date Written: April 10, 2009


What is wrong with the new anti-Semitism which is now resurgent across the globe, including on American college campuses? The question is deceptively simple, but it carries considerable resonance. Numerous governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, scholars, and civil rights practitioners have documented the dangers inherent in anti-Semitism's recent manifestations, both globally and on United States college campuses. Yet many critics still deny its existence, severity, newness, anti-Semitism, or difference from mere criticism of Israeli policies. Moreover, some argue that it is a stratagem devised to silence opposition to these policies. For this reason, it is necessary to demonstrate that persons subjected to the new anti-Semitism are harmed in a manner which should be cognizable to the law. Specifically, it must be shown how some incidents of the new anti-Semitism, which may appear to target Israel rather than individual Jews as such, nevertheless constitute prohibited forms of discrimination against Jewish Americans. Under the conventional rubrics, the question amounts to whether the new anti-Semitism abrogates anti-differentiation or anti-subordination principles. Ultimately, the answer will turn on the extent to which this new phenomenon demeans Jews, encourages anti-Jewish prejudice, and derogates Jews as morally inferior. This Article argues that the new Anti-Semitism achieves these results in part through reracialization processes which stigmatize Jews as morally blameworthy and which mark them for reprisal.

Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Judeophobia, Jewish, Discrimination, Harassment, Civil Rights, Anti-Zionism, Israel

JEL Classification: J71, J78

Suggested Citation

Marcus, Kenneth L., Jurisprudence of the New Anti-Semitism (April 10, 2009). Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 44, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1376592

Kenneth L. Marcus (Contact Author)

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law ( email )

1776 I Street, N.W., Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006
United States

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