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Dirty Laundry: Dissent and Self-Criticism in 20th-Century Jewish Politics

This research investigates the political and ethical tensions underlying the practice of public self-criticism in modern Jewish politics. It historicises the assumption that words and actions of individuals belonging to a minority group can impact the image and safety of other group members. The changing structures and contexts of Jewish politics in the 20th century offer a powerful case study for examining the fluid and contested boundaries of legitimate self-critique. My project examines how antisemitism, the Holocaust, and the establishment of the State of Israel affected the handling of questions of freedom of speech, political power, violence and self-censorship.

Contact: Marc Volovici, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism and Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London.

Image credit: 21st Zionist Congress, Geneva, 1939

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The Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism explores the pattern of antisemitism both today and in the past. We connect research on antisemitism to the wider study of racialization and intolerance.

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