Robert Fine – Fighting with phantoms: a contribution to the debate on antisemitism in Europe

Fine, R  (2009) ‘Fighting with phantoms: a contribution to the debate on antisemitism in Europe’, Patterns of Prejudice vol 43 issue 5, London: Taylor and Francis.

Author: Robert Fine  is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. He is co-convenor of the European Sociological Network on Racism and Antisemitism. He has published widely on Marxism and critical social theory, as well as on human rights and class struggles against racism, and his most recent book is Cosmopolitanism (Routledge 2007). His current research interests include European antisemitism and the sociology of human rights

Abstract

The point of departure of this paper is the polarization of ways of thinking about antisemitism in Europe, between those who see its recent resurgence and those that affirm its empirical marginalization and normative delegitimation. The historical question raised by this polarization of discourses is this: what has happened to the antisemitism that once haunted Europe? Both the current camps—’alarmists’ and ‘deniers’, as they are sometimes known, or, perhaps more accurately, new antisemitism theorists and their critics—have the strength to challenge celebratory views of European civilization. One camp sees the return to Europe of an old antisemitism in a new and mediated guise. The other sees the return to Europe of a rhetoric of antisemitism that is not only anachronistic but also delusory and deceptive. Overshadowing this debate is the memory of the Holocaust and the continuing presence of the Israel-Palestine conflict. The aim of this paper is to get inside these discourses and deconstruct the dualism that generates homogenizing and stigmatizing typifications on either side. The spirit of Hannah Arendt hovers over this work and the question of the meaning of her legacy runs through the text.

Unfortunately we are unable at the moment to link to the full text of this article from the Engage website but it can be downloaded from most university computers via the journal’s website, here.


10 Responses to “Robert Fine – Fighting with phantoms: a contribution to the debate on antisemitism in Europe”

  1. Raphael Says:

    The link did not work for me eventhough my institution has acces; a better way to link is to use the doi:

    http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1080/00313220903339006

  2. Yoni Says:

    I managed to read the article. Amazing! Here is an Op Ed from Israel’s most read daily that nicely supports the author’s thesis:

    Open letter to Europeans, who killed Jews and are now contending with radical Islam
    Avi Rath

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3966017,00.html

  3. Robert Fine responds to Desmond Tutu’s call for a boycott of Israel in the South African Mail & Guardian « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] Click here for Robert Fine’s paper: ‘Fighting with phantoms: a contribution to the debate on antisemitism in Europe.’ [...]

  4. Two important reads on discourse about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict « Greens Engage Says:

    [...] second paper is: Fine, R  (2009). Fighting with phantoms: a contribution to the debate on antisemitism in Europe. Patterns of [...]

  5. Engage serves as “‘useful idiots’ for Israeli state propaganda” – Ran Greenstein « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] engagement with Desmond Tutu here and his analysis of the debate in Europe about antisemitism here.  Fine [...]

  6. Portia, Shylock and the exclusion of Israeli actors from the global cultural community – David Hirsh « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism Says:

    [...] Some people who love London’s relaxed, diverse, antiracism look for an ‘other’ against which to define themselves.  They find Israel.  They make it symbolise everything against which they define themselves: ethnic nationalism, racism, apartheid, colonialism.  London’s shameful past, not to mention in some ways its present, is cast out and thrust upon Israel.  London was within a few thousand votes last month of re-electing a mayor, Ken Livingstone, who embraced this kind of scapegoating.  [For more on post-national Europe's use of Israel as its nationalist 'other', see Robert Fine.] [...]

  7. Robert Fine: Blame Game Won't Lead to Peace - BDS News, Letters from our Readers - SPME Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Says:

    […] Click here for Robert Fine’s paper: ‘Fighting with phantoms: a contribution to the debate on antisemitism in Europe.’ […]


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