How do you define anti-Semitism today?
Arutz Sheva spoke with Professor Ze'ev Hanin, Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and professor at Bar Ilan University and the University of Ariel, at a Jewish Agency ceremony held Tuesday morning in Jerusalem over the issue.
"There is a classical definition of anti-Semitism," Hanin said. "Anti-Semitism is a complex of ways to damage the Jewish people."
He added that whereas before the "most critical" concept for the Jews was the Jewish religion, now the State of Israel has become the prime target.
However, that does not discount other forms of anti-Semitism, he said – which includes damaging the Jews, in the Diaspora or in the State of Israel, politically and economically, as well as "encouraging Jews not to show their Jewishness," i.e. damaging a sense of Jewish identity.
"I would say that we have two forms of anti-Semitism at the moment," he said. "We have anti-Semitism that people could live with, and anti-Semitism that people are unable to live with." The distinction varies from place to place, he added.
Hanin also maintained that if anti-Semitism is bad enough where remarks against Jews can cause real harm, Jews living in those countries should leave and come home to Israel. On the other hand, he said, there are places where even physical threats are not enough reason to leave.
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement fits the definition of an anti-Semitic institution, he noted, stating that the anti-Israel front has creeped its way into the normal public opinion in European countries "as a way to realize their anti-Semitic implications."
Hanin also connected an upsurge in anti-Semitism with the Oslo Accords, noting that anti-Semitism there is expressed at targeting criticisms for their failures exclusively at Israel.