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Re: Anti-antisemitic Hitmen and the New Judeophobia I was frankly astonished to come across Jonathan Judaken's polemic against so called "Anti-antisemitic Hitmen" published in the Huffington Post, 5 February 2013; there I discover that, together with Alvin Rosenfeld, I am described as having launched "the heavy artillery in this academic war zone under the label of a rising "new antisemitism"". Subsequently, it would appear (though the point is not entirely clear) that both of us are "new antisemitism theorists" who reject the links between rising antisemitism and the Arab-Israel conflict; or any link between Jew hatred and the experiences of Muslims in contemporary western Europe. This is simply untrue. For example, in my 1200 page book, _A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad_ I have devoted several hundred pages to the interaction between the Middle East conflict, pro-Palestinianism, the confrontation between Islam and the West and the current waves of antisemitism. In the past 25 years it had in fact been a central theme in my scholarly work. What I do not accept is the simplistic claim that Israel's policies are solely or primarily to blame for either Muslim or other forms of contemporary antisemitism. Israel's policies are only one strand in a much larger causal complex. Judaken is off the mark in his depiction of me as a "new antisemitism" theorist. To fully appreciate this I do recommend to readers of H-Antisemitism to examine my piece in Commentary (March 2013) on "The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism" which provides a conceptual prism for examining the metamorphoses that anti-Jewish ideologies have undergone over time. Far from advocating any of the things which Judaken reductively attributes to "new antisemitism theorists", my work has consistently focused on the remarkable adaptability and capacity of Judeophobia to mutate in accordance with changing circumstances. I must also take issue with the inflated notion that there is a "high-stakes, scholarly turf war going on over the meaning of antisemitism". This strikes me as a very artificial and exaggerated description of the true situation. Clarity will not be achieved by inventing a largely fictitious "war" among scholars over questions of definition. The real difference of opinion seems to me to lie in our sharply divergent assessments of the gravity of antisemitism in today's world. Beyond such differences, I am particularly surprised that a scholar like Judaken, who wishes to position himself as the voice of reason on the right side of the debate which he is seeking to promote, should employ such inflammatory labels, like "anti-antisemitic hitmen". Hitmen are usually defined as contract killers or hired murderers. Surely Judaken cannot be suggesting that either Rosenfeld or myself fall into this category. Different views and analyses of antisemitism are inevitable and to be welcomed but the use of incendiary rhetoric and reductive labels is most unhelpful. Prof. Robert S. Wistrich, Director The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism - SICSA Tel. 972-2-588 2494 Fax.972-2-588 1002 http://sicsa.huji.ac.il -- Yocheved "Yo" Menashe H-Net Certified Editor H-Antisemitism H-Holocaust H-Net Networks Committee