In the last decade, a shocking increase of antisemitism both in Europe and world-wide can be observed. Jew-hatred is not restricted anymore to the radical right wing margins of the political spectrum and Islamic extremists. While the roots of antisemitism reach back to antiquity and continued to manifest themselves both in the Islamic and western worlds, today the conflict about the State of Israel, – often expressed with antisemitic motives, plays a role not only in the Islamic world but has an ever increasing presence in antisemitic agitation as a whole. Even in democratic societies and among academics antisemitic resentments are widespread again. The spectrum of antisemitic activities ranges from physical violence against and persecution of Jews via discrimination, slander, and verbal abuse to the structural antisemitism of many societies and cultures. Several European countries und even the United States have sadly become hotspots of antisemitism and antisemitic violence. In addition, in Israel, in particular, Jews suffer from the antisemitic violence and antisemitic slander by Muslim terrorists. In many other countries of the world the various forms of religious, racist, and political antisemitism are on the rise as well. Sometimes, anti-Israel attitudes as well as demands for boycotting Israel (BDS) may morph into antisemitism, adding another dangerous factor. Neither the critical study nor the attempts to suppress antisemitism can thus be restricted to Europe. Satellite-TV, the internet, and worldwide waves of migration make antisemitism a global phenomenon that needs to be fought on a global scale in all countries of the western and Muslim worlds but even inside Israel.

On May 13, 2014, the Anti-Defamation League published the results of the first global survey investigating the attitude towards Jews based on polling 53,100 people in 100 countries. According to this survey, approximately 1.09 billion people worldwide hold anti-Semitic prejudices. The recent report on Antisemitism the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University lists for the year 2014 766 cases of violence against Jews with an antisemitic background. France heads this list with 164 cases followed by the UK (141 incidents) and Germany (76 incidents). The total number of antisemitic acts is much higher. For Austria the report lists 255 acts of antisemitism in the year 2014. This and other surveys show that the attempt to fight antisemitism by means of education alone had only limited success and needs to be supported by further measures.

The first conference that researched antisemitism critically convened in 1944 in San Francisco. This conference, “Antisemitism - a Social Disease,” was groundbreaking in its sociological and psychological approach to antisemitism. Nevertheless, even based on this approach, the study of antisemitism was not able to develop effective strategies for the eradication of Jew-hatred. This problem is the focal point of the Vienna conference, “An End to Antisemitism.” Beyond the study of the history of antisemitism and education about it, it will develop a catalogue of policies against antisemitism addressed to politicians, religious dignitaries, and other decision makers and leading figures in our societies. The aim will be to establish specific strategies and recommendations for large-scale, concrete action. The recommendations contained in this catalogue are intended to help extinguish or least to suppress antisemitism globally. One major recommendation we are already considering is the adoption of the Working Definition of Antisemitism, a central tool that defines both antisemitism and the antizionism that is actually antisemitism.


The conference “An End to Antisemitism” will be based on the Working Definition of Antisemitism and wants to address its topic in its full breadth and historical framework, from the ancient roots of Jew-hatred until today. For this purpose, the below fields of study need to be involved. Each of these fields will be represented at the conference with one panel headed by one or two field chairs.

  1. Ancient History (Benjamin Isaac, Tel Aviv University)
  2. Medieval History (Simha Goldin, The Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University)
  3. Bible, Christianity and Antisemitism (Karin Finsterbusch, University of Koblenz-Landau, and Armin Lange, University of Vienna)
  4. Islam and Antisemitism (Esther Webman, Tel Aviv University)
  5. Modern History (Klaus Davidowicz, University of Vienna)
  6. Contemporary Period (Dina Porat, Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry, Tel Aviv University)
  7. Judaism, Jewish Studies and Antisemitism (Lawrence H. Schiffman, New York University)
  8. Israel Studies (Evyatar Friesel, Hebrew University Jerusalem)
  9. Philosophy and Ethics (Julius Schoeps, Moses Mendelsohn Center, Potsdam)
  10. Sociology and Social Sciences (Eliezer Ben Raphael, Tel Aviv University)
  11. Psychology (Florette Cohen, City University of New York)
  12. Pedagogy (Martin Rothgangel, University of Vienna)
  13. Media Studies, Journalism and Visual Cultures (Frank Stern, University of Vienna)
  14. Internet and Antisemitism (Monika Schwarz-Friesel, Technische Universität Berlin)
  15. Jurisprudence (Aleksandra Glizczynska-Grabias, Poznan Human Rights Centre, Institute of Legal Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences)
  16. Political Studies (Stephan Grigat and Karin Stögner, University of Vienna)


The conference aims to bring together and into cooperation academics, religious dignitaries, political leaders, and other decision-makers. Many academics have already accepted our invitation in addition to field chairs including the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. Among the decision makers are, in alphabetical order, Michael Bünker (Bishop of the Protestant Church of Austria), Hassen Chalgoumi (Imam of Drancy), Irwin Cotler (former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada), Abraham Skorka (Rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano), Katharina von Schnurbein (European Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism), and Natan Sharansky (Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel).

Furthermore, 150 international presenters from various academic field of study have been invited to join together at the conference in both studying the phenomenon and in formulating feasible specific public policy proposals, rooted in the research presented at the conference. The participants will be invited to discuss how the recommendations of the conference can be applied to help eradicate and suppress antisemitism in all its forms.


The conference is held February 18 - 22, 2018 at the University of Vienna. Find out more about dates and venues here.


Written versions of all presentations will be distributed by the conference organizers to all lecturers to ascertain their interconnectedness two months before the conference. Based on this exchange of presentations, all presenters will be asked to submit written suggestions to the conference
organizers for strategies to fight antisemitism, at the latest one month before the conference. These written suggestions will be compiled into a draft catalogue of proposed measures against antisemitism that will be distributed and debated at the conference itself.

The Conference is generously funded by