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anti-Semitism

Since the Holocaust

The end of persecution did not mean the end of anti-Semitism, as the sporadic attacks on synagogues in many countries since the end of World War II indicate. In the USSR and Eastern European countries, where anti-Semitism was officially outlawed, it continued to reappear in new forms. From the late 1940s until Joseph Stalin's death in 1953, anti-Semitic persecution took the form of deportations, jailings, and the suppression of Jewish publications and cultural institutions. Although anti-Semitism in these countries receded during the 1950s, it reappeared in the 1960s and 70s, when synagogues were periodically closed, particularly in the upsurge of anti-Semitism that followed the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. With Gorbachev's glasnost and the breakup of the Soviet Union, however, increasing numbers of Jews have emigrated. International anti-Semitism has been so accepted that the United Nations did not condemn it as racism until 1999.

The existence of anti-Semitism has complicated internal Israeli politics as well as political opposition in other countries to Israeli policies. Arab and Islamic anti-Semitism has increased because of resentment over Israel's existence and its treatment of Arab Palestinians. Right-wing nationalistic movements, which are generally anti-Semitic, became vocal in the republics of the former Soviet Union, in Germany, and other European countries in the 1990s. In the United States, anti-Semitism has never been an instrument of national policy, but in certain communities and regions it resulted in the exclusion of Jews from membership in certain private clubs, schools, and housing.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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