Annual Assessments

2020 Annual Assessment

Situation and Dynamics of the Jewish People

Annual Assessment

תש”פ | 2020


Project Head

Shmuel Rosner


Avinoam Bar-Yosef, Dan Feferman, Shlomo Fischer, Avi Gil,
Inbal Hakman, Michael Herzog, Gitit Levy-Paz, Dov Maimon, Steven Popper, Uzi Rebhun, John Ruskay, Adar Schiber, Noah Slepkov, Shalom Salomon Wald


Barry Geltman
Rami Tal

2020 Annual Assessment

Confronted with increased domestic and international instability, political leaders of Western democracies have become increasingly aware of the hidden motivations of various anti-system actors who disagree on all issues except the utility of Jew hatred. Many radical actors who target Jews as easy prey aim to destabilize the liberal world order.

Thus, in 2019, more Western democracies systematically committed themselves to legal frameworks to mitigate anti-Semitism. From Donald Trump’s December 2019 executive order targeting anti-Semitism on US college campuses to Emmanuel Macron’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism that same month, and from the appointment of special anti-Semitism envoys in a series of Western countries to an unexpectedly unequivocal UN report on anti-Semitism, we observe a change in confronting anti-Jewish hatred.

It appears that Western democracies have come to one or more of the following interconnected understandings: (1) Jews cannot mitigate anti-Semitism without state intervention; (2) those who viscerally hate the Jews likely also despise the liberal state; (3) Jews are perceived by anti-liberal actors as the epitome of the liberal state and attacking them is a way to undermine the liberal order. (4) Among anti-Semites are actors, sometimes supported by non-democratic regimes, who aim to destabilize Western democracies. Therefore, anti-Semitism is not just a social matter but a national security issue. (5) Confronting anti-Semitism requires top-level state intervention frameworks (legislative, juridical, enforcement, etc.).