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Anti-Semitism, Past and Present

By Eric Eiden, student correspondent

Anti-Semitism, Past and Present
Mark Cohen, Ph.D., presents the Judaic Studies lecture titled "Modern Myths of Muslim Anti-Semitism"

“Anti-Semitism is defined as a religiously based complex of irrational, mythical and stereotypical beliefs about the diabolical, malevolent and all-powerful Jew infused in its modern secular form with racism and the belief that there is a Jewish conspiracy against mankind,” said Mark Cohen, Ph.D., the Khedouri A. Zilkha professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East, Emeritus, and professor of Near Eastern Studies, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He spoke at the Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute lecture in May.

Dr. Cohen presented his views on the past and present state of Muslim-Jewish relations by addressing Islamic views of the Jewish community in the Middle Ages at the lecture titled “Modern Myths of Muslim Anti-Semitism.”

“I can say with a great deal of confidence, in agreement with other seasoned scholars, that such anti-Semitism did not exist in the Islamic world in the Middle Ages,” Dr. Cohen said. “Of course, we should not make the mistake of thinking Jews lived in the Middle Ages as equals of Muslims.”

The Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute was created in 1979 through an endowment funded by the local Jewish community and fosters a better understanding and appreciation of Judaism, Israel and their histories. It supports visits to the University by Jewish scholars and writers and supports library acquisitions, publications, faculty research, travel and other scholarly endeavors. The institute’s work was further enhanced by a $1 million gift from Harry Weinberg in 1990.

Read about this and other campus lectures here.

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