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The Banality of Anti-Jewish "Hate Crime"

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)


Publication date2009
Host publicationHate Crime Offenders
EditorsRandy Blazak, Barbara Perry
Place of PublicationWestport, Connecticut
PublisherPraeger Publishers
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-0-275-99577-5
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameHate Crimes


The problem of incidents against Jews, although acknowledged in the international policy literature, has largely to date escaped the attention of scholars concerned with racist violence and hate crime more generally. Given this lack of attention to the problem this chapter uses police data on anti-Jewish incidents to argue against what has been the accepted wisdom in the policy literature that many incidents are committed by 'extremists' of one political shade or another. In taking the accepted wisdom to task the chapter argues that many anti-Jewish incidents are committed by 'ordinary' people in the context of their 'everyday' lives. It concludes that much anti-Jewish hate crime is an indicator of the banality of antisemitism, in that many offenders are not prompted by a particular ideological conviction or volition, but instead unthinkingly manifest a common-sense antisemitism.