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Race, Racism and Social WorkContemporary issues and debates$
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Michael Lavalette and Laura Penketh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307082

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307082.001.0001

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Antisemitism and anti-racist social work

Antisemitism and anti-racist social work

Chapter:
(p.85) Five Antisemitism and anti-racist social work
Source:
Race, Racism and Social Work
Author(s):

Barrie Levine

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447307082.003.0006

There is a notable growth of racism across Europe including expressions of antisemitism. Social work literature has a strong basis in anti-racist theory and practice; however it largely excludes the issue of antisemitism. This chapter explores why this might be the case and develops an historical and theoretical understanding of antisemitism to address this gap in social work theory. It argues for a distinction to be made between ‘old’ antisemitism which is based on hatred towards Jews and ‘new’ antisemitism which conflates anti-Zionism or criticism of Israel with being antisemitic. Lessons for social work are drawn out which focus on the inclusion of Jewish experience and identity as part of a broader approach to diversity and multiculturalism alongside a recognition of the politics of antisemitism and how to fight it.

Keywords:   Anti-racism, Antisemitism, Social Work, Fascism, Multiculturalism

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