Kempf, Wilhelm

Criticism of Israel, modern anti-Semitism and the media




Umfang & Ausstattung
ISSN & Heft-No. 1611-1818_70


There is increasing criticism of Israeli policies in the German public that in political discourse is frequently attributed to a resurgence of anti-Semitic attitudes. As one of the factors assumed to be responsible for this, publicists have pointed to the impact of media reportage. Scholars have criticized the coverage of the Middle East conflict as biased in favor of the Palestinians, and even documentaries about the Holocaust have been accused of reproducing the “Nazi view” of the Jews and thus of encouraging anti-Semitic stereotypes.
This criticism should be taken seriously. Nevertheless, there is little empirical research on how criticism of Israel is related to anti-Semitism, how the media report on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, how media audiences react to this media coverage, and whether Holocaust documentaries actually have a “boomerang effect” that encourages anti-Semitism. The present paper outlines the theoretical and methodological basis and design of an ongoing research project intended to answer these and other research questions.