Kempf, Wilhelm

Antisemitismus und Israelkritik: Eine methodologische Herausforderung für die Friedensforschung




Umfang & Ausstattung 11 S.
Erschienen 06/2012
ISSN & Heft-No. 1611-1818_73


One of the merits of anti-Semitism research is it’s sensibility for the various way, how anti-Semitism may manifest itself beyond traditional prejudice hostile to Jews. This has lead to the distinction of various facets of modern Anti-Semitism that range from traditional prejudice (manifest anti-Semitism) via secondary anti-Semitism and latent anti-Semitism to anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic criticism of Israel. One of the shortcomings of anti-Semitism research, however, is its neglecting of alternative
motivations that may lead to utterances that are suspected of having an anti-Semitic content. This is particularly problematic in the investigation of the relation between anti-Semitism and the criticism of Israel.
Mere correlation studies – and even experimental studies that demonstrate an increase of attitudes critical of Israel when anti- Semitism is stimulated – cannot give a satisfying answer to this problem. Participants who unconditionally support Israeli policy will certainly not harbor long-held anti-Semitic attitudes, and dyed-in-the-wool anti-Semites will not sympathize with Israeli policy. Factor analysis, which as is often applied in order to study the relation between the various facets of anti-Semitism
cannot give a satisfying answer either.
The farewell lecture reflects on the methodological deficits of these approaches and introduces Latent-Class-Analysis as an alternative methodology. An application to data from a recent survey in Germany indicates that manifest, secondary and latent anti-Semitism are different expressions of one and the same anti-Semitic attitude plain and simple. Criticism of Israel and anti- Zionism, on the other hand, may be motivated by other factors like pacifism and/or human rights considerations as well. Unlike correlation studies, Latent-Class-Analysis does not only demonstrate this fact but distinguishes between different groups of participants and thus allows discriminating between those who criticise Israel out of anti-Semitic attitudes and those who do not.