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The Discourse of ‘Holocaust Inversion’ in Britain During the 2014 Gaza Conflict: Contexts, Presences and Meaning

Pears Institute Lunchtime Seminar

Event Information

13th June, 2016
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Birkbeck, University of London
Alan Johnson, Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre

‘Holocaust Inversion’ is the portrayal of Israel, Israelis and Jews as modern-day Nazis, and Palestinians as the new Holocaust-era Jews. This paper examines Holocaust Inversion discourse in the UK during Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014.  In this talk Alan Johnson  will map the contexts and the presences of the discourse during Operation Protective Edge, before examining a debate that took place in the UK about the meaning of the discourse; specifically, whether the Inversion should be considered merely offensive and hurtful or, also, as antisemitic discourse. He argues that Inversion discourse ‘works’ in antisemitic ways, has antisemitic consequences, and forms a nodal point of antisemitic anti-Zionism. 

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