Undue Stress on American Anti-Semitism?

By Steven M. Cohen

CLAL: the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, September 1, 1989

In the last two years, or so, American Jews' anxieties about American anti-Semitism have mounted considerably. Some major community relations agencies advance the view that Jewish interests are seriously threatened by American anti-Semitism. They argue that anti-Semitism is a potent and growing force in American society; that anti-Semitic motives underlie the behavior of the most powerful opponents of our communal agenda; that anti-Semitic stereotypes among the public can readily influence the policies of important institutions; and that anti-Semitic attitudes invariably lead to anti-Jewish behavior. I want to argue here that each of these propositions is demonstrably false. But more critically, I also want to argue that the price of an undue emphasis on anti-Semitism is not merely superfluous vigilance; it also means that we exert less influence on American society than we might otherwise.

Topic: Antisemitism

Name of Publication: Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas

Volume/Issue: Vol.19/no.376

Page Number(s): 113-115

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Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Cohen, Steven M. Undue Stress on American Anti-Semitism?. Sh'ma: A Journal of Jewish Ideas. CLAL: the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership. 1 September 1989: 113-115. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=184


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