Highlighted research

The dynamics of contemporary antisemitism in a globalising context. 'The Jew' as a framing model in the Netherlands, Morocco, Poland and Turkey

Jews have a long history of being represented as the quintessential ‘Other’. Consequently, the stereotypical Jew has been made the incarnation of conflict. ‘The Jew’ in all guises has provided a meaningful frame for a wide variety of discontented people to analyse frustrating and threatening events in their lives, environments, nations, and in the world at large.

Antisemitism brings the complexity of reality back to a clear, unambiguous model, offering a superficial but powerful explanation of all evil.

This project examines the dynamics of contemporary antisemitism in a globalising context, with the Netherlands as the point of departure.

Project leader: Prof. dr. Evelien Gans
Researchers: dr. Remco Ensel, dr. Iwona Gusc, dr. Annemarike Stremmelaar
Duration: 2010-2014
Publications: Haatspraak. Antisemitisme - een 21e-eeuwse geschiedenis (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2014), www.antisemitisme.nu, Histories of Antisemitism and ‘the Jew’ in Postwar Dutch Society (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press)
Cooperation: Anne Frank Stichting

More information

The NWO-programme The dynamics of contemporary antisemitism in a globalising context consists of four separate yet closely interconnected projects. These aim to investigate the transfer and appropriation of representations of Jews between and within communities, taking Dutch society as a departure point, yet with a clear view of the global aspects of antisemitism.

It focuses on stereotypical images of Jews and examines when and how certain stereotypes are introduced and at which point the frame turns antisemitic. Researchers will investigate the history of antisemitism in the Netherlands since 1945 among the native Dutch population and among migrant communities from Morocco, Turkey and Poland.

The project:

  • analyses the chemistry between Dutch ‘traditional’ and post-Holocaust anti-Jewish stereotypes and those within the Moroccan, Turkish and Polish communities
  • explores various expressions of antisemitism in relation to anti-Zionism, criticism of Israel, and Holocaust denial
  • takes a globalised approach moving from the Netherlands to Morocco, Poland, and Turkey and back again
  • relates these issues to the ongoing debate on antisemitism pursued by, among others, journalists, opinion leaders, and academics

Furthermore, the programme focuses on contemporary debates in public forums where citizenship is expressed and contested: the opinion-producing and reproducing media, old and new media (general and group-oriented newspapers, magazines, internet discussion groups, blogs and forums; political institutions (on the local, national and international levels), groups of stakeholders and scholars, and scholarly institutions.

The research will pinpoint public, semi-public, and candid contributions to debate, and will explore the mobilisation of opinion and social influence across communities and across borders.