Italian historian Manuela Consonni has been appointed as Director of the International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In an interview with journalist Alain Elkann published in the Italian daily La Stampa, she explains her vision for the fight against Anti-Semitism in the 21st century.
“Despite the fact that Jews are integrated into the societies they live in, this doesn’t negate the rise of anti-Jewish prejudice in moments of tension, conflict, and crisis like the one we are experiencing today,” Consonni said.
Among the examples of current manifestations of anti-Semitism, she mentioned “the idea that there’s a worldwide Jewish lobby that influences the politics of the U.S. government to try to not obligate Israel to participate in the peace process is built on a classic idea tied to prejudice against Jews,” whereas, at the same time, “no one thinks about the political interests of the U.S. in having a divided Middle East.” She also talked about the issue of the academic boycott.
“In the academic boycott phenomenon, for example, legitimate criticism against the policies of the Israeli government is influenced by dangerous tendencies that have elements of anti-Jewish prejudice. The BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions) movement, which began in the English-speaking world, is spreading across Europe, and it’s a phenomenon that must not be underestimated.”