“Anti-Semitism” as Political Weapon Is Now Backfiring

EDITORIAL, 8 Nov 2021

#718 | Johan Galtung – TRANSCEND Media Service

Not only that, it is producing more anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiment; in search of anti-Semitism as legitimation also where there is none. I, for instance, am a peace researcher deeply concerned with avoiding genocides like the shoa, realizing Zionist dreams of Israel with a Jewish character, and fighting anti-Semitism.  For this academic freedom and freedom of speech are indispensable; no micro-management of writing and speech.

Constructive answers include exploring German-Jewish relations for what went wrong, German economic-cultural uplift, economic boycott of Nazism, abrogating the Versailles Treaty, massive non-violence; a Middle East Community with the Arab neighbors modeled on the 1958 European Community, giving up hard Zionist expansion-occupation-siege in favor of 1967 borders with swaps; and not confirming anti-Jewish prejudices like getting others in debt bondage and controlling media.

All debatable; not anti-Semitic.  Violence is rooted in bad relations; peace in good relations, rejected by anti-Semites and self-appointed anti-Semitism certifiers will never make me one.  But their narratives are based only on innocent victims and evil perpetrators.

A New Testament theology professor–the life of Christ–at Basel University refuses dialogue, essential for democracy, using smear campaigns and pressure to cancel lectures and conferences and to sever ties with me.  A few give in, most do not; more invitations than ever.

We are at a turning point in this attack on democracy.  Examples: the strong reactions in International Herald Tribune (27/28 December, 8 January) on “self-destructive extremism” by a “minority of zealots”; the German magazine Der Spiegel on how Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Wiesenthal Center (“The 10 Top Anti-Semites of 2012”) refuses direct debate; and the Austrian Rabbi-editor (NU) Peter Manasse in a recent book arguing that Jews must abandon the victim role and look forward.

          So, please, stop this labeling. Join dialogue democracy instead.


  • For more details, see Johan Galtung, 50 Years, 100 Peace & Conflict Perspectives, Ch. 16, TRANSCEND University Press.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of TRANSCEND International and rector of TRANSCEND Peace University. He was awarded among others the 1987 Right Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. Galtung has mediated in over 150 conflicts in more than 150 countries, and written more than 170 books on peace and related issues, 96 as the sole author. More than 40 have been translated to other languages, including 50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives published by TRANSCEND University Press. His book, Transcend and Transform, was translated to 25 languages. He has published more than 1700 articles and book chapters and over 500 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service. More information about Prof. Galtung and all of his publications can be found at transcend.org/galtung.

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