Program Details

Antisemitism in Socio-Historical Perspective - Boca Raton

Luis Fleischman

Course Description

Antisemitism is a category of hostility or hate that is very peculiar. It appeared for the first time in the ancient world, then in Christendom and Muslim countries. As the enlightenment broke with religion and traditional life, a new antisemitism emerged due to nationalism and liberalism. It later evolved into racism and genocide. The victorious Soviet Union and the rule of Stalin brought a new antisemitism associated with hostility to the State of Israel, which affected the Western left. Anti-Zionism gained significant intensity and hostility in the Arab world. Antisemitism in the western world has reappeared, particularly in academia and sectors of the Western left, primarily associated with the State of Israel. Likewise, there is currently an awakening of right-wing antisemitism. The course will analyze, in general terms, antisemitism from ancient times to these days.


  1. What is Antisemitism? The Historical Roots of Antisemitism: Early Christianity and the Middle Ages.
  2. Antisemitism after Jewish Emancipation during the French Revolution.
  3. The 19th-Century Rise of Conspiracy and Racial Theories: From religious anti-Judaism to racist and nationalist antisemitism in late 19th century Germany and Russia.
  4. Antisemitism in the Arab and Muslim World: From Arab nationalism to Radical Islam.
  5.  Left-wing Antisemitism and anti-Zionism: The Soviet tradition. 
  6. Contemporary Antisemitism: The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel: Western apathy to the Jewish plea; and the rise of antisemitic right-wing groups in the United States.

About the Instructor

  • Luis Fleischman, Ph.D., earned his master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from the New School for Social Research in New York City and a bachelor's degree in political science from Tel Aviv University. He is currently a professor of sociology at Palm Beach State College. Previously he worked for the Jewish Federations of Palm Beach County as Vice President for Community and Political Relations, where he worked on issues related to the Middle East, U.S. national security, and domestic issues. Fleischman is the author of “Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era: The Threat to the U.S. Security”; and “The Middle East Riddle: A Study of the Middle East Peace Process and Israeli-Arab Relations in Changing Times”, (2021). He is the founding co-president of the Palm Beach Center for Democracy and Policy Research.