Hello Reddit!

I’m Deborah E. Lipstadt author of the new book ANTISEMITISM: Here and Now.

My new book focuses on the current incarnations of antisemitism on both the political right and left: from white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, to mainstream enablers of antisemitism such as Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn, to a gay pride march in Chicago that expelled a group of women for carrying a Star of David banner.

Ask me anything!

Proof: https://twitter.com/deborahlipstadt/status/1095050058905587712

Thanks so much for the good questions. I will try to come back to answer more questions later. But for now, s'long.

Comments: 1253 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

hannasf407 karma

How do you differentiate between Antisemitism and disapproval for the policies of Israel? I know there is a difference and one can be critical of policies and not an antisemite. But how do you discern their motives?

deborahlipstadt304 karma

if someone disagrees with Israel's policies, that is NOT antisemitism. you can see such disagreements every day in the Israeli press (the only completely free press in the region, with the possible exception of Jordan). But if you

  1. focus on israel to the exclusion of all other parties in the region
  2. claim israel alone is responsible for all the wrongs
  3. argue that Israeli should not exist because it is a theocracy (while ignoring the fact that it is surrounded by countries that are far more theocratic than it is)
  4. if you believe Jews have no right to a national homeland but other people do (that does not mean you have to agree with particular boundaries of the state)
  5. Then you have crossed the line from criticism to myopic obsession with Israel as the wrongdoer and have entered the realm of antisemitism.

hannasf26 karma

Thank you. Sometimes it is hard to discern motives. I am not Jewish. At the risk of sounding like an idiot I have known and loved many Jewish people. I have enormous concerns about antisemitism creeping back into social norms. I care about my loved ones. I do care about the issue.

deborahlipstadt38 karma

i don't think this is an issue that should only be of concern to Jews or people who are close to/related to Jews. Nor should it be a concern only to people who hate prejudice of all kinds. if you value democracy then you should be appalled by and frightened by antisemitism. No healthy democracy can tolerate the conspiracy theory that is antisemitism in its midst and be considered "healthy."

You don't sound like an idiot at all. I am glad you care about the issue. Without being self-serving, I think there is a lot in ANTISEMTISIM HERE AND NOW that will be useful to you. it is written as letters and one of my correspondents is a Jewish student and the other is a non-Jewish colleague.

vviz234 karma

Hello Deborah!

  1. Are you still against mixed marriages between Jewish people and non Jewish people? I'll always stand with someone who speaks out against antisemitism but I'm not really sure about this one Deborah.

  2. How should the Israel-Palestine conflict be resolved?

  3. What exactly makes Jeremy Corbyn anti semitic? Surely people can criticize Israel's far right government and its actions without being anti semitic?


deborahlipstadt11 karma

  1. I hope Jews marry Jews because that is the way of continuing Jewish tradition in all its manifestation. Of course, if the person converts to Judaism there is no issue, i.e. this is not about race or genetics. It's about continuing of tradition. Studies show -- repeatedly -- that Jewish tradition is more likely to be maintained in a home where a Jew is married to a Jew. having said that, i also know of homes in which one partner is not Jewish and yet Jewish tradition is maintained and valued.
  2. i wish i knew.... not my area of expertise.
  3. Long section on this in the book

SockEmGlockers75 karma

What did you make of Ilhan Omar's comments on Twitter yesterday?

deborahlipstadt29 karma

She just unequivocally apologized. but it seems to me that we have been through that dance before. Just a few weeks ago. I think she just does not get it. to here all Jews are white and powerful and rich and therefore just cannot be victims.... it's a common progressive view of Jews

AncientEstablishment19 karma

Hi Professor Lipstadt,

How can we fight the new online forms of Holocaust denial, mainly trivialization through humour and memes?

deborahlipstadt14 karma

we have to challenge people when they engage in this kind of antisemitism. we also have to consider that some of them may not realize (hard as that is to believe) that what they are saying is antisemitic.

AncientEstablishment17 karma

How do you challenge the anonymous sharing of memes though?

I'm loathe to call memes that make light of the Holocaust satire, but they are hard to combat for the same reasons that satire is. How do we combat a 16 year old's sense of humour without reinforcing the taboo that the memes exploit?

deborahlipstadt19 karma

Excellent and difficult question. I think that 16 year olds are old enough to learn that some things fly and some don't, that somethings are arenas for humor and some are not. i know it's easy for me to say, sitting here typing away and not having to deal with a 16 year old face to face. but i guess it's what we call education (by parents and the home as much as -- if not more so -- than school)

deborahlipstadt13 karma

i recently heard an incident where two colleagues went out for drinks and one was Jewish, the other not. The second one knew the woman was Jewish. When the bartender poured a drink the non-Jew said: "Thats a very Jewish measure. Add a bit more." when my friend called him on it, he was amazed that what he said was antisemitic, thought about it, and acknowledged it. BTW, this was a well educated person.

dildosaurusrex_4 karma

Deborah, my question for you is: do you have a different approach for countering anti-Semitism from the left versus the right? If so, what is it?

deborahlipstadt3 karma

In both cases expose the conspiratorial, delusional nature of the attacks.

Steaknkidney453 karma

Hi, Deborah. Do you see any realistic prospects of peace between Israel and the Arab world?

deborahlipstadt2 karma

Sadly not in the near future

FiremanMills3 karma

Hi Professor Lipstadt,

Picked up your book the other day and read it in one sitting. It was brilliant. As a UK citizen and member of the Labour Party in the UK the Corbyn section was of particular interest.

On that note my question is about him. Obviously there is an apathy about antisemitism from Corbyn, I saw it for myself at a Labour Party meeting. Two questions really, do you think a change in leadership is needed to sufficiently deal with this issue in the Labour party or is it so intrinsically part of the structure of the hard left that it will not matter and the damage has been done.

Secondly, in the UK the Holocaust is one of the few things that is a crucial part of the curriculum. However I know that a lot of my BDS supporting friends have only got their information on the Arab-Israeli conflict through this movement. Do you think more needs to be done to inform about this conflict and the issues that surround it from as politically neutral a standpoint as possible?

Thanks for the great read, I had not heard of your works before but intend on picking up more of your books in the future.

Best Wishes

deborahlipstadt8 karma

Wow, thanks for that great vote of confidence. i was in London this past week and found some really positive responses to the book.

Now, i am loath to enter the weeds and reeds of Uk politics. Having said that, i wonder how much the Corbyn "group" represent the long time members' (and some newer ones) views. i just don't know. what i did see during my visit was the pain so many long time members are experiencing as a result of this situation. one woman said to me at one presentation:" I have been Labour all my life. My parents were Labour. My kids are Labour. Where do we go?"

I could not answer her. But her pain was clear to see.

PtyP5071 karma

I had a friend who has since passed away. He used to argue that Anti-Semitism was a sort of Freudian subconscious phenomenon wherein the world wants to rebel against God (the figure of the father or parent) and do away with the Law (and we Jews who represent it by extension). Do you believe there is any sort of comprehensive such theory of Anti-Semitism? Or do you think it is just an irrational hatred? Why does it seem to be the hatred that never dies through the millenia?

deborahlipstadt6 karma

I don't necessarily accept the Freudian theory you describe. i do believe that it is the longest and oldest hatred and is so deeply embedded in society -- not just western -- that it is hard to eradicate. People who don't think of themselves as antisemitic will say "don't Jew me down" or "i am ok financially because my financial advisor or accountant is Jewish." the latter may seem to be a positive remark but it is rooted in antisemitism.... when the market goes down or the advisor suggests a bad trade the good Jewish advisor becomes the nefarious Jew.

lolomich53-3 karma

have you considered speaking with AOC? She got lots of flack online for sounding happy about chatting w Corbin the other day.

deborahlipstadt6 karma

if she wants to talk with me, i am always happy to do so....

morphogenes-9 karma

What do you think of the recent outbreak of anti-Semitism in the US House of Representatives? I thought obviously it would be Republicans doing it, but to my great surprise it was progressive Democrats.

deborahlipstadt3 karma

i would not call it an outbreak of antisemitism among the Democrats in toto. many have been appalled by some of the recent comments. I do think that some of these comments were/are unequivocally antisemitic.