Conceptualising and theorising antisemitism and racism – new paper

Conceptualising and Theorising Antisemitism and Racism: The Structural Context of Israel-Palestine, Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies 14.2 (2015): 149–164 (pdf available).


This paper provides a basis for re-examining the contemporary connections of antisemitism and racism through an examination of the conceptual and theoretical parameters of the concept of racism. It argues that racism is a broad and dynamic category, the forms of which must be seen as varied and constantly changing. Thus although ‘new antisemitism’ arguments are wrong to propose a strong connection between opposition to Israel and antisemitism, they are correct to argue that antisemitism has changed and that its current forms are connected to the changes that Israel has brought about for the position of Jews. However, examining antisemitism as a variety of racism requires us to investigate racism in general in the conflicts in, and surrounding, Israel-Palestine. The paper argues for a structural concept of racism in these conflicts. While criticising the ‘apartheid’ framing of Israeli racism, it argues that anti-Palestinian racism is structurally embedded in Israeli society at many levels, and that recent wars have exacerbated this racism on a much larger scale than the antisemitism which they have also stimulated.

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