Antisemitism has again reared its ugliness. Jews have experienced antisemitism throughout history on a spectrum from everyday slights to genocide. Today, old misconceptions are propelled by social media and controversies over Israel. A small minority, Jews have been an easy target and scapegoat for provoking anger and hatred by those motivated for power and influence. Plagued through history’s continuation of myths about Jews, how do we come to understand that scapegoating others ultimately undermines democracy? What would be a road map to change?
Dr. Kurt Braddock is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at American University, where he is also a faculty fellow at the Center for Media and Social Impact. Dr. Braddock’s research focuses on understanding the psychological effects of extremist communication, as well as how those effects can be undermined to prevent violence. His work has been published in several security and communication journals, including Terrorism and Political Violence, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Communication Monographs, and New Media and Society. He has also appeared as a commentator on issues related to terrorism and violent extremism on CNN, NBC News, Politico, Vox, and others. Dr. Braddock’s first book, Weaponized Words: The Strategic Use of Persuasion in Violent Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. He advises several national and international organizations, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of State, the UK Home Office, Public Safety Canada, and the UN Office for Counter Terrorism.
Cathy Buerger is the Director of Research at the Dangerous Speech Project. She studies the relationship between speech and intergroup violence as well as civil society responses to dangerous and hateful speech online. She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut, where she remains a Research Affiliate of the university’s Economic and Social Rights Research Group. She is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Human Rights.
Dr. Jeffrey Herbst has been president of American Jewish University since July 2018. He was previously president and CEO of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC. From 2010 to 2015, he was president of Colgate University. Before that, he served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio. For 18 years, he taught at Princeton University, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in 1983. Herbst earned a doctorate in 1987 from Yale. He is the author of the award-winning “States and Power in Africa” and many other books and articles. He has also published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Jerusalem Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other papers across the world. He has received two Fulbright Scholarships and a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Roger Berkowitz, discussant/moderator, is Founder and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Human Rights at Bard College. Professor Berkowitz authored The Gift of Science: Leibniz and the Modern Legal Tradition (Harvard, 2005; Fordham, 2010; Chinese Law Press, 2011). Berkowitz is editor of The Perils of Invention: Lying, Technology, and the Human Condition (forthcoming 2020) and co-editor of Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics (2009), The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis (2012) and Artifacts of Thinking: Reading Hannah Arendt’s Denktagebuch (2017). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The American Interest, Bookforum, The Forward, The Paris Review Online, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, and many other publications. Berkowitz edits HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center and the weekly newsletter Amor Mundi. He is the winner of the 2019 Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought given by the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Bremen, Germany.