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Goodbye to all that

Europe has a more balanced debate than America about the extent and causes of today's antisemitism. But in both places we must defend a firewall between criticism of Israeli governments and antisemitism

By Tony Judt   December 2004

Antisemitism today is a genuine problem. It is also an illusory problem. The distinction between the two is one of those contemporary issues that most divides Europe from the US. The overwhelming majority of Europeans abhors recent attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions and takes them very seriously. But it is generally recognised in Europe that these attacks are the product of local circumstances and are closely tied to contemporary political developments in Europe and the middle east. Thus the increase in anti-Jewish incidents in France or Belgium is correctly attributed to young men, frequently of Muslim or Arab background:…

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