home Menasseh ben Israel
home Menasseh ben Israel


Wed 12-05-2010



The Dynamics of Contemporary anti- Semitism in a Globalizing Context

Only since the Shoah (Holocaust) anti-Semitism has become an object of serious, academic studies. Nowadays one can fill up libraries with books and articles on the topic. However, the academic debate (which has a strong socio-political dimension) on how to define anti-Semitism, the reason of its durability and its appearances and  functions in various historical contexts, has by no means come to an end. Obviously, an important issue is how relevant anti-Semitism is since 1945. Much research has been done in Germany and Austria on how active and passive national-socialists and their children dealt with feelings of both  guilt and resentment towards Jewish victims and survivors.  In the world of the Islam anti-Jewish persecutions used to be exceptional, unlike in the Christian sphere of influence. Nowadays a pressing question is to what degree the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a relentless political strife in which Jewish Israelis constitute the occupying force, and to what extent Israel is demonized as the Satan of the World. The symposium ‘THE JEW’ AS A MULTIFUNCTIONAL PROJECTION SCREEN will engage in these debates focusing on the most recent forms of anti-Semitism.

Four speakers will elaborate on differing  types of contemporary anti-Semitism.  Prof dr Werner Bergmann (Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung, Berlin) will present a paper on Secondary Anti-Semitism – a new form of anti-Semitism after the Shoah. Prof dr Moishe Postone (University of Chicago) will conduct a lecture on Modern anti-Semitism and Global Capitalism, and Dr. Esther Webman (University of Tel Aviv) will lecture on Arab anti-Semitic Discourse. Dr. David Wertheim (Menasseh ben Israel Instituut, Amsterdam) will read a paper on the Philosemitism of the Dutch Right Wing Populist Politician Geert Wilders.

The symposium will be chaired by Prof. dr Evelien Gans (University of Amsterdam & NIOD). Gans’ master students at the University of Amsterdam will present the provisional results of their research on contemporary anti-Semitism in The Netherlands.

Language: English


Time and place: Wedesday 12th of  May 2010.  10.15 - 17.15


Location: Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231, Amsterdam.

Entrance-fee € 10,- (Free for : students, Friends of the Menasseh ben Israel Institute and visitors of the lecture by Yirmiyahu YovelMystics and Wanderers: the Marranos' Impact on Spanish Culture in the Golden Age’ in the evening of the 12th of May at ‘De Balie’)


Reservations (please let us know if you wish to attend both the symposium and the lecture, or the symposium only) can be made here or by phone: 020-5310325





-          The dynamics of contemporary antisemitism in a globalizing context  -



10.15 – 10.45 Tea & coffee 


10.45 – 11.00 Introduction  - Evelien Gans


11.00 – 12.00  Werner Bergmann (lecture & questions)

“Banishing the Accuser,

Secondary Antisemitism: A New Form of anti-Semitism after the Holocaust”


12.00 – 13.00   Moishe Postone (lecture & questions)

Modern Antisemitism, Historical Helplessness, and Global Capitalism"


13.00– 13.45 Lunch

13.45 - 14.45 Students & Posters

14.45 – 15.45 Esther Webman (lecture & questions)

"Arab anti-Semitic Discourse - Importation, Internalization and Recycling."


15.45– 16.00 Tea

16.00 – 16.30 David Wertheim (lecture & questions)

 “Geert Wilders and the politics of philo-Semitism”


16.30 – 17.15 Closing panel & discussion, followed by drinks