In twenty-first century America, antisemitism is on the rise, especially on the extreme left, the radical right, and within political Islamism. Expressions of this oldest hatred are also increasingly prevalent in popular culture, where they are spread by politicians, entertainers and celebrities, the media, social justice activists, and religious leaders, as well as in universities, in schools, on the streets, and even, in some instances, by Jews. Once, Jews regarded the United States as die Goldene Medina–the Golden Land–where they could escape persecution and finally be free. However, this dream has not been realized and major trends are moving in the opposite direction. InPoisoning the Wells, leading scholars analyze contemporary antisemitism in the United States.
Charles Asher Small, Founder and Executive Director of ISGAP
Introduction: The End of Jewish Innocence: Antisemitism in Contemporary America Corinne E. Blackmer and Andrew Pessin
1. Antisemitism in Jewish American Academia Edward Alexander
2. Pinkwashing Antisemitism: The Origins of Queer Anti-Israel Discourse R. Amy Elman
3. Left Antisemitism: The Rhetoric and Activism of Jewish Voice for Peace Miriam F. Elman
4. Holocaust Denial on the Web: Confronting the Future of Antisemitism Joel Finkelstein, Corinne E. Blackmer, and Charles Rubin
5. Intersectionality and the Jews: Theory and Praxis Elliot Kaufman
6. The Rise of Black Antisemitism: An All Too Familiar Tension Returns James Kirchick
7. Why So Many Social Scientists Misunderstand Contemporary Antisemitism Neil J. Kressel
8. “Falling Down a Rabbit Hole:” Antisemitism Becomes the New Normal at Oberlin College Melissa Landa
9. Micro-Boycotts: Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism in the Personal Boycott Movement Cary Nelson
10. “Happy Dhimmis, Happy Darkeys”: Myths Past and Present Eunice G. Pollack and Steven H. Norwood
11. Crusaders for Armageddon: Christian Zionism and Antisemitism in the United States Molly Benjamin Patterson
12. Epistemic Antisemitism, or “Good People Gone Wild:” How Decent People Can Be Antisemites and Not Even Know It Andrew Pessin
13. The Perpetual Scapegoat: Antisemitism in the Ideology and Activities of Hate Groups in the United States before and after Trump’s Election
Ashley V. Reichelmann, Stanislav Vysotsky, and Jack Levin
14. Antisemitism, Soft Jihad, and Extremism in US and Canadian Universities: The Contextualization of National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)
Charles Asher Small and David Patterson
15. Israel as the Repugnant Other: Anti-Zionism in Liberal Protestant Denominations
Dexter Van Zile
16. The University of California Principles against Intolerance: Efforts to Integrate Them into Campus Policy and Practice
Corinne E. Blackmer is Professor of English and Director of Judaic Studies at Southern Connecticut State University. She has authored numerous works, includingQueering Anti-Zionism: Academic Freedom, LGBTQ Intellectuals, Israel/Palestine Campus Activism. She is currently working on a memoir of her grandmother, My Grandmother as an Abortionist before Roe.
Andrew Pessin is Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College and Campus Bureau Editor at the Algemeiner. He is author or editor of (among others) Anti-Zionism on Campus and The Jewish God Questionas well as of three novels, his most recent being Nevergreen, a satirical account of campus cancel culture and its deleterious impact on the Jews. More information about him and his work may be found at www.andrewpessin.com.
“Erudite and insightful, this timely anthology explores the age-old prejudice in its traditional guise and the modern cloak of anti-Zionism. In Poisoning the Wells, scholars from diverse backgrounds and disciplines shed light on the reemergence and strengthening of antisemitism in modern culture and society. A must read.”
— Doron Ben-Atar, Professor of History, Fordham University
"In the now large scholarship on contemporary antisemitism, Corinne E. Blackmer and Andrew Pessin's Poisoning the Wells stands out for its focus on the way in which hatred of Jews, and of Israel, has achieved a certain academic respectability in the United States. Originally published in 2021, this updated version offers essays by sixteen different contributors and co-authors on the range of topics that have been at the center of controversy, including: intersectionality, anti-racism, and antisemitsm; black antisemitism; antisemitism among hate groups of the far right; Holocaust denial; antisemitic arguments that support boycotts against Israel; ‘pinkwashing,’ and queer theory; myths of a benign history of African-Americans under slavery as well as of Jews as dhimmis in the lands of Islam; shortcomings in social science research; and essays that offer episodes of antisemitism both at small liberal arts colleges, and at large research universities, and of university administrative responses to these developments. The essays combine theory and empirical findings. It is a needed, and understandably sobering volume for fellow scholars, students, policy makers, and a general audience."
— Jeffrey Herf, Professor of History, University of Maryland