Resurgences of anti-Semitism: Realities, Fictions, Uses

12 December 2018 - 13 December 2018


44 Avenue Jeanne 1050


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Event date & Times

Resurgences of anti-Semitism: Realities, Fictions, Uses
International Symposium - ULB - December 12 and 13 2018

a)Raison d'être, content and purpose of the project

In recent years, violent events in France and Belgium have brought to light the deadly nature of the anti-Semitic hatred still present in Europe.

Beyond the basic condemnation of acts and criminal speeches, a debate rages around their interpretations, such as the recent controversy in France around the call against the "new anti-Semitism".

Also, in Belgium, when the ULB granted Ken Loach with the Dr Honoris Causa, it unleashed controversial passions.

We felt the need to reawaken and deepen the reflection on anti-Semitism by approaching it frontally and along three distinct axes - the facts, the representations, the strategies - wherever this notion is to be encountered.

b)Insertion of the project within the framework of the activities of the Marcel Liebman Institute

In line with Marcel Liebman's concerns, the issue of anti-Semitism today is a major challenge for the Marcel Liebman Institute. Marcel Liebman has written numerous articles on the subject, all of these have been collected in: Figures de l’antisémitisme, (éditions Aden, 2009, 232p.). The M.L. Institute organized a study day in December 2006 on the theme "Should Holocaust denial be penalized? « This Symposium was a success and led to the publication of a DVD containing the interventions and debates of the day.

Our present symposium’s aim is to provide a critical analysis of the resurgence of anti-Semitism today, through a series of papers presented by Belgian and International specialists concerning facts, representations and uses of anti-Semitism in our contemporary societies both in Europe and outside Europe. In keeping with our specific approach to current societal problems, particular attention to historical dimensions will shed light on contemporary issues of anti-Semitism.


Resurgences of anti-Semitism: Realities, Fictions, Uses
International Symposium - ULB - December 12 and 13, 2018

Wednesday, December 12th :

I. Contemporary Realities of Anti-Semitic Hate

- 10:00-10:30 Reception of participants

- 10:30-11:00 Alt-right, anti-Semitism and the French far right. An update - Stéphane François (Doctor of Political Science, GSRL - EPHE / CNRS)

- 11:00-11:30 Anti-Semitism on the left - Michel Dreyfus (research director at the CNRS at the Social History Center of the 20th century, University Paris I)

- 11:30-12:00 Discussion with the audience

- 12:00-13:30 Lunch break

- 13:30-14:00 Anti-Semitism in the Arab world - Gilbert Achcar (professor at SOAS, University of London)

- 14:00-14:30 Facing up to antisemitism – real, denied and invented : a view from Britain - David Rosenberg (Author of Battle for the East End (2011) and Rebel Footprints (2015), National Committee member, Jewish Socialists’ Group)

- 14:30-15:00 Discussion with the audience

- 15:00-15:30 Coffee break

- 15:30-17:00 Round table - debate on the Ken Loach affair - Jean Vogel (Marcel Liebman Institute), Nicolas Zomerzstajn (Centre Communautaire Laïque Juif) and Vincent Engel (professor of contemporary literature at UC Louvain, author and columnist).

Thursday, December 13 th :

II. Past and contemporary fiction around anti-Semitism
- 9:30-9:45 Reception of participants
- 9.45-10:15 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: anti-Semitism or colonial and national antagonisms -
- 10:15-10:45 Repression and criminalization of solidarity with Palestine: the persecution of BDS in France - Julien Salingue (à confirmer)
- 10:45-11:00 Coffee break
- 11:00-11:30 Still fighting the Zionist Machia-villains: continuities of anti-Semitic defenses of good capitalism from bad - Marcel Stoetzler (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Bangor University, United Kingdom)
- 11:30-12:15 Discussion-debate with the room (morning presentations)
- 12:15-13:15 Lunch break

III. Contemporary Uses of the Reference to Anti-Semitism

- 13:15-13:45 Definition of anti-Semitism a lock thought ? - Jacques Aron (honorary professor, author of numerous essays on the Jewish condition in modern Europe)
- 13:45-14:15 IHRA's definition of anti-Semitism: a threat to freedom of expression? - François Dubuisson (International Law Center, ULB)
- 14:15-14:45 What is the purpose of the denunciation of the "new anti-Semitism" ? - Esther Benbassa (Ecologist senator of Paris, Director of studies at EPHE - Sorbonne)
- 14:45-15:00 Coffee break
- 15:00-15:30 Charging Corbyn: How 'Antisemitism' Was Weaponised Against the Left - Jamie Stern-Weiner (PhD candidate in Area Studies at the University of Oxford).
- 15:30-16:15 Discussion with the audience (afternoon presentations)
- 16:30-18:00 Round table - debate on the contemporary realities of anti-Semitism in Belgium: Muriel Sacco (sociologist, ULB), Mark Elchardus (sociologist, VUB), Patrick Charlier (co-director of Unia, ex-Center for equal opportunities and the fight against racism), Andrea Rea (sociologists, ULB) and Simone Susskind (sociologist, Senator of Brussels)..

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