Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


The New Anti-Semitism: What Business Needs to Know

6 Jun, 2021

Antisemitism has mutated over time and appears today in many different forms and among all parts of society.

With the recent rise in antisemitic attacks, the topic of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s July 1st faith-and-belief ERG community call is a discussion on the new antisemitism with Prof. Asher Maoz and Google’s Nicole Rahimzadeh.

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities. – working definition, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)

Professor Asher Maoz is the Founding Dean of the Peres Academic Center Law School. He was for many years on the Faculty of Law at Tel-Aviv University, where he taught Constitutional Law, State and Religion, Freedom of Speech, Family Law, and Succession Law. Professor Maoz holds the degrees LLB and LLM, both summa cum laude (Hebrew University), M Comp L (University of Chicago), JSD (Tel-Aviv University) and Doctor Honoris Causa (Ovidius University, Romania).

See prepared comments by Prof. Asher Maoz, Founding Dean of the Peres Academic Center Law School.

Nicole Rahimzadeh is an Administrative Business Partner at Google and part of the leadership in the Jewglers (Jewish Googlers), part of Google’s Inter Belief Network.

Summary of recommendations by Nicole Rahimzadeh:

— Adopt a consistent approach to tackling and condemning all forms of hate against all minorities, including antisemitism.

— Make it clear what constitutes antisemitism and take a consistent clear stand against it when it shows up (e.g. adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism can help, and consult AJC or ADLfor advice).

— Include antisemitism in any ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ discussions and trainings for the HR team and employees. Education is key.

— Create an ERG (Employee Resource Group) for Jewish employees:

– The ERG can support and be there for each other during the spikes of antisemitism attacks.

– ERGs help to amplify and hear the voices of the Jewish employees – especially important when specific issues arise in the company affecting the group directly.

According to IHRA, contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • — Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  • — Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • — Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • — Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • — Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • — Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • — Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • — Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
  • — Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
  • — Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
  • — Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.