Readjusting cultural codes: Reflections on anti-semitism and anti-zionism

Shulamit Volkov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article I seek to apply the notion of anti-Semitism as a cultural code, which I initially developed 25 years ago with relation to the antimodernist trends in late-nineteenth-century Germany, to the phenomena of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism today. From the 1960s anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism formed part of a larger ideological package consisting of anticolonialism, anticapitalism, and a deep suspicion of US policies. In the eyes of members of the developing countries, Jews became a symbol of the West and legitimate targets for hatred. Thus, the position on the Jewish question, even if not in itself of paramount importance, came to indicate a belonging to a larger camp, a political stand and an overall cultural choice. The question is whether the position towards Israel today, which has become a central issue for the European left, can still be considered a cultural code or whether it rather indicates a more direct anti-Jewish attack, above all as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


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