Where are you? With Artists Against Antisemitism

Where are you? With Artists Against Antisemitism


norman lebrecht

June 04, 2021

Some 500 German musicians have formed an online group to combat rising Jew-hatred in the world.

Here’s their test of whether you are an anti-semite:

The so-called 3D rule can be used to determine whether an utterance is merely a criticism of Israel’s policy or whether the line to anti-Semitism is exceeded: This is the case when double standards , delegitimization or demonization of Israel are involved. The rapid test was developed in 2004 by the Israeli politician and scientist Nathan Sharansky i to systematically check texts and statements to determine whether they are anti-Semitic. It has since proven itself in science and especially in politics and civil society ii. Monika Schwarz-Friesel and Jehuda Reinharz, who research current anti-Semitism, however, criticize the fact that the three criteria must be concretized iii . They cite the five application features spelled out in 2004 by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia EUMC. These can also be found in the examples of the IHRA definition:

1 Deprivation of Israel’s right to exist and to self-determination
2 Comparison or equation of Israel with National Socialism
3 Apply different standards to Israel than to other countries
4 Making Jews from all over the world accountable for the governance of Israel
5 References to Israel or Israelis with anti-Semitic images, symbols or phrases.
Schwarz-Friesel and Reinharz introduce a fourth “D” in relation to Israel-related anti-Semitism, namely de-realization . This means that the representation of Israel is very distorted and deviates greatly from factual reality.

You, too, can join the group here.



  • nameless says:

    Number 3 might have some caveats. 1) In many cases, an expectation of a higher standard of behavior in individuals, organizations, or countries is a sign of respect and trust. Anti-Semitism could just as easily be *not* expecting a higher standard of behavior. 2) Do Americans have a right to demand a different standard from countries that the USA gives massive military aid to? ($4 billion yearly to Israel.) The funding is governed by laws that forbid specific uses of the funds, such as the abuse of human rights. Expected standards of behavior are inherent in the aid. 3) Do we have a right to expect higher standards of behavior from a country we are massively supporting not only financially, but also politically and morally?

    • Brettermeier says:


      Sorry, still laughing. 😀

    • Nijinsky says:

      I really wonder why this isn’t more understood. Expecting Israel to behave in a way that non violently promotes peace, not only is this expecting more of them in comparison, which only can be a compliment instead of comparing them unfairly to other countries: It’s also promoting what would bring peace by ceasing to added to the excuses that extremism has on the other side. No matter what they say now, it leads more to them losing the power to convince people to respond violently, leads more to them changing their minds.

      People who live in a ghetto that struggle to get food, basic necessities, have their environment broken apart from living in a war zone, they are going to over react, be desperate. But do something to show you care rather than perpetuating what tears their lives apart, that makes a difference. And again, this isn’t antisemitic to not expect that from other countries (countries that say they support those who live in the ghetto, but also turn it into a war zone, don’t harbor refugees etc.), other countries I won’t list, it is complimenting Israel that one even could expect that of them. And to request that of Israel IS a compliment. And by expect, rather than that’s chastising or inflammatory, it means to believe that it’s feasible and see how it would help when the current situation doesn’t.

  • Anonymous says:

    Why illustrate this article with a photo from Belsize Park?

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    I am totally against Israel’s appalling behaviour to Palestinians. That does not make me anti-semitic just anti disgusting politicians like Netenyahu. To use the cliche, some of my best friends are Jewish and feel equally disgusted about Israeli politicians

    • Ellingtonia says:

      You have obviously not read the UN report confirming that Hamas strategically places rocket launchers at the side of schools and hospitals. So that when the inevitable Israeli response to the unprovoked attack on Israel happens they are willing to sacrifice their own people for propaganda purposes. You might also want to have a look at the Hamas Charter, two of its key points are:- Israel has no right to exist and All Jews should be hunted down and killed. So before you come on here lecturing us and virtue signalling do a bit of historical research and educate yourself eg. ask why all the millions of dollars in aid to Palestine has been spent on arms leaving the country in a parlous economic state.

      • Elizabeth Owen says:

        If Jewish/Israeli people were treated the way Palestinians are you would not be writing this, just think about it instead of knee jerk reactions.

        • Adrienne says:

          You’re right, what do Jewish people know about mistreatment?

        • Ellingtonia says:

          Do try and read the full Hamas Charter, read the UN report on rocket launchers strategically placed by Hamas, ask why Hamas keep launching unprovoked attacks on Israeli civilians, ask why Palestine is in such dire financial straits after all the money that has been poured into the state, ask why Arafat walked away from a deal on a two state solution at Camp David after initially agreeing to it, ask why Hamas keep murdering any political opposition to them. As regards your comment about the way Jews are treated, I defer to a much more subtle but devastating comment by Adrienne below.

    • Allen says:

      How do you feel about rockets? And I don’t mean the “Standard Fireworks” variety.

    • Adrienne says:

      I’m sure that, given the choice, Israelis would prefer to be working towards their 13th Nobel prize rather than hiding from thousands of Palestinian/Iranian rockets.

    • Emess:
      Before Israel, there was a British mandate, not a Palestinian state .
      * Before the British Mandate, there was the Ottoman Empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Ottoman Empire, there was the Islamic state of the Mamluks of Egypt, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Islamic state of the Mamluks of Egypt, there was the Ayubid-Kurdish Empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Ayubid Empire, there was the Crusader Frankish and Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Kingdom of Jerusalem, there was the Umayyad and Fatimid empires, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Umayyad and Fatimid empires, there was the Byzantine empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Byzantine Empire, there were the Sassanid-Persian Empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Sassanid-Persian Empire, there was the Byzantine Empire again, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Byzantine Empire, there was the Roman Empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Roman Empire, there was the Jewish Hasmonean state, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Jewish Hasmonean state, there was the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, there was the empire of Alexander the Great, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the empire of Alexander the Great, there was the Persian empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Persian Empire, there was the Babylonian Empire, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Babylonian Empire, there were the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, there was the Kingdom of Israel, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the kingdom of Israel, there was the theocracy of the twelve tribes of Israel, not a Palestinian state.
      * Before the theocracy of the twelve tribes of Israel, there was an agglomeration of independent Canaanite city-kingdoms, not a Palestinian state.

      • John Borstlap says:

        When European Jews began to land in the area, there were mainly Arabs living there. They tried to survive like everybody else, and were not responsible neither for their governments nor for their ancestors.

      • V.Lind says:

        who has ever claimed that a Palestinian state was wiped out? It was all you say. The quest is to FORM a Palestinian state — a quest sought by Palestinians, who DO exist and DID exist, and in that area of land. Its occupation by the European (and other) survivors of a particularly bitter horror in a history that has been redolent of horror was, while understandable, necessarily dismissive of the people already living there.

        Reactions to that initial undertaking have been with us ever since. Intransigence on both sides has plagued the history of the region and threatened the peace of the world ever since.

        I am no fan of Netnyahu, but I dread what comes after him — I understand leaders of the putative government are determined at all costs to prevent a Palestinian state, ever.

        With that attitude, there is no chance of peace or even moving forward. In 1993, the PLO (remember them? they seem like saints now) forsook on behalf of the Palestinian people their long-held opposition to Israel’s right to exist. There was a chance, while Arafat and Rabin were there. Arafat dies of natural causes. Rabin was murdered — by a fanatic Israeli, of whom there are far too many — who was so anti-Palestinian that he dreaded peace.

        Israel must protect its borders (though it may NOT choose them). But until another Israeli leader is prepared to face a Palestinian leader — and vice versa — with each respecting the humanity of each other’s people, there is no hope of moving out of this backward-looking, historically-obsessed, fanaticism on both sides.

  • Akutagawa says:

    1 Deprivation of Israel’s right to exist and to self-determination

    Fine. But within what borders?

    2 Comparison or equation of Israel with National Socialism

    Totally agree. South Africa’s a better fit anyway.

    3 Apply different standards to Israel than to other countries

    What countries? San Marino? The Turks and Caicos?

    4 Making Jews from all over the world accountable for the governance of Israel

    I wouldn’t dream of making Mr Lebrecht accountable for anything.

    5 References to Israel or Israelis with anti-Semitic images, symbols or phrases.


    Gut shabbos

    • CSOA Insider says:

      Do you even know what shabbos mean? But thank you for validating the article thesis.

      Tragically, antisemitism is alive and kicking everywhere, also in the US.

      I am signing up …

      • Akutagawa says:


        Actually, bubele, my dad’s jewish, which makes me a jew in the eyes of some people, albeit probably not the majority of jews themselves. Being an antisemite would involve hating half the relatives, which would be kind of dumb.

        If I dislike West Bank settlers, it’s not because I’m an antisemite, but because they’re assholes.

        Anyway, back to the bacon and brown sauce baigels. Breakfast of mamzer champions.

    • Hilary says:


  • I signed up and spread the word on social media outlets. a very positive move on bringing the elephant to public recognition especially by artists who share in the responsibility and culpability of their forefathers.

    • V.Lind says:

      The sins of the fathers? What an appalling outlook. Nobody is innocent?

      Textbook victimology. I admire these young Germans for looking at what is happening all around them, recognising their own country’s history, and standing up and being counted as on the side of decency and justice. And all you want to do is BLAME them? God, I’m glad I don’t know you.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Seems to be a good initiative, but nrs 1 and 3 are very problematic, because of the founding of Israel in a territory – i.e. Europeans landing into a mainly Arab culture and society – where they were not particularly welcome. For the Arabs, they were Europeans. For the Jews, they returned to the lands of their ancestors. So, ‘existence’ is not a simple matter but a complex knot of contradictions and mutually-exclusive claims. I cannot think of a contemporary country that came into being through gradual immigration, war mongering, expulsion of locals, etc. – apart from the USA.


    This NOT an antisemitic utterance.

    I am NOT Jewish but could as well have been.

    • you can’t have it both ways. either you are an anti-Semite or not, just like not being a little pregnant.

    • Roberto says:

      The Arabs were living there. But they did not have a country. It was a British Territory. The Zionists purchased their land. They did not invade.

      Morally speaking, there are 22 Arab countries in the world. There is only one Jewish. Saying that the Jewish does not have the right of self-determination (while the Arabs in these 22 countries have) are undoubtedly anti-Semitic.
      There is no cultural binding between the people in Gaza and West Bank. The Palestinians in the West Bank already have a country called Jordan.

      Last but not least, this obsession with Israel and Palestinians is indeed anti-Semitic at the core. It seems that it is the only conflict in the world.

      The biggest misperception is that Europeans believe that an eventual peace between Israel and Palestinians will make the Arabs less radical in their countries. It will not. Europe made a great deal: Kicked off and murdered the Jews and invited the Arabas to live in their country. It seems absurd but that’s exactly what they did. That’s psycho delusion. What credibility do they have?

      • V.Lind says:

        A lot of people, many of them European, were trying to help find peace between Israel and the Palestinians long before radical Islamism reared its ugly head. Back in the day, it was known as an Arab-Israeli conflict. If asked, people would probably have known that most of the Palestinians were Muslim, but it was NEVER the issue — it was the ARABS that everyone talked about.

        So I do not think anyone in Europe, having seen the effects of the Holocaust, was thinking ahead to a day when its hope would be to de-radicalise Islamic extremists.

        It was a European initiative, the Oslo back channel, that led to the peace agreement signed — and sealed with a handshake — between Israel (Rabin) and the Palestinians (Arafat). What a pity they all blew it, but the assassination of Rabin, by an Israeli extremist, smashed it to smithereens. And nobody has really tried mending it since — not enough votes in it?

  • FP says:

    Do I really need to join a group to proclaim I’m AGAINST this?

  • PaulD says:

    This is timely, since the now-former head of Google’s diversity team, Kamau Bobb, has been outed as an anti-Semite by some enterprising data miners. He believes that Jews have “an insatiable appetite for war.” He hasn’t been fired, though, just reassigned.

  • JimmyL says:

    Anti semitism is alive and well in the states. I work in a professional orchestra and heard enough disgusting stereotypical anti Jewish comments from colleagues.
    That has nothing to do with the Israeli prime minister starting a war for his political survival, war that caused terrible death and horror from both sides.

  • Saxon says:

    1 Deprivation of Israel’s right to exist and to self-determination.

    Some of us don’t necessarily think any group has a right to “self-determination”. For instance, does Catalonia have a right “to exist and to self-determination”? Does Texas? Many would claim they do not. But if not, then why does Israel have this right?

    What would be wrong is to uniquely question the right of Israel to exist as an independent state but not others.