Statement by the Research Network “Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism” in the European Sociological Association
We, the board of the Research Network on “Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism” in the European Sociological Association, unequivocally condemn the genocidal actions and declaration of war against Israel by the terrorist organisation Hamas.
As an academic research network specialising in the study of racism and antisemitism, we have devoted almost two decades to understanding the complexities of contemporary antisemitism and have warned against the modernised forms of Israel-related antisemitism. Yet the actions of Hamas have made it clear to the world that most of today’s antizionism cannot be separated from antisemitism.
Alarmingly, there are a deeply disturbing number of individuals and groups who have not only failed to condemn Hamas’ targeted killings of Jews, but have justified or even glorified them. We assert that such behaviour constitutes a form of endorsement of antisemitism that is genocidal both in intent and in execution. Hamas’s organised and premeditated attacks on Jews are without doubt the gravest instances of antisemitic violence since the Holocaust.
As scholars, we know that Hamas has never been discreet about its intentions to annihilate Jews. Founded to sabotage peace and rooted in genocidal antisemitism, Hamas has demonstrated the horrific reality of its founding principles.
While it may be futile to argue with antisemites, as the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once argued, we emphasise the need to express our solidarity with Jews facing this horrific onslaught. Like all victims of genocidal attacks, Jews have the fundamental right to resist their annihilation.
About the Research Network
RN31 – Ethnic Relations, Racism and Antisemitism
The network’s perspective is to bridge an exclusive divide between the understanding of antisemitism and of racism, exploring the correspondences and affinities, but also the differences and contrasts.
This research network is the only international network that gathers social scientists who research on racism and antisemitism altogether. Since its creation in 2008, it has become an important ESA networks in terms of quantity of members and sessions it organises.
The network’s perspective is to bridge an exclusive divide between the understanding of antisemitism and of racism, exploring the correspondences and affinities, but also the differences and contrasts. Our over-arching question is to understand the material conditions and the social, political and historical contexts shaping variations of antisemitism and racism across time and across different European and global contexts.