Keith Kahn Harris

professionally curious, communally engaged

Strange Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and the Limits of Diversity

Published by Repeater Books, 11 June 2019 [Scroll down for reviews and articles by me about the book]

How did antisemitism get so strange? How did hate become so clouded in controversy? And what does the strange hate of antisemitism tell us about racism and the politics of diversity today?

Life-long anti-racists accused of antisemitism, life-long Jew haters declaring their love of Israel… Today, antisemitism has become selective. Non-Jews celebrate the “good Jews” and reject the “bad Jews”. And its not just antisemitism that’s becoming selective, racists and anti-racists alike are starting to choose the minorities they love and hate.

In this passionate yet closely-argued polemic from a writer with an intimate knowledge of the antisemitism controversy, Keith Kahn-Harris argues that the emergence of strange hatreds shows how far we are from understanding what living in diverse societies really means.

Strange Hate calls for us to abandon selective anti-racism and rethink how we view not just Jews and antisemitism, but the challenge of living with diversity.

Praise for Strange Hate:

“I can’t be alone in feeling immense gratitude for this provocative, judicious and ultimately generous book. I wish everyone currently trapped inside an echo chamber would come offline and read it. Strange Hate reveals how we’re all too often selective anti-racists, loving some members of a group only to hate the rest in the name of politics rather than prejudice. But Kahn-Harris not only identifies the persistent problems and blind spots to have bedevilled anti-racism, he dares to imagine practical solutions to them as well. Could there be a more timely intervention? Even if you don’t agree with every move he makes, you’ll surely want to applaud him for writing it.” – Dr Devorah Baum, author of Feeling Jewish (A Book For Just About Anyone)

“Kahn-Harris performs the essential task of providing an entire glossary of terms of reference for the latest evolution of the most ancient hatred. This is a concise and elegantly written guide to antisemitism in the 21st century which excels in being both humorous and deadly serious at the same time. Essential to understanding how Western society must confront racism in the age of Trump and Corbyn.” – Anshel Pfeffer, author of Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu

“I try and read everything Keith Kahn-Harris writes on British Jews and this intelligent book, on how anti-racists have lost their way, and how they can find their way back, is no exception.” – Ben Judah, author This Is London

“Few issues have been more vexing for today’s left than the question of antisemitism. Jews have many different definitions and approaches to the issue, and non-Jews pick and chose which Jews to follow on it. Unlike other books, Strange Hate offers no clearcut definition of antisemitism, but instead shows how this question unsettles the Left’s own notions of liberation, oppression, hatred, and tolerance.” – Dr Spencer Sunshine, Associate Fellow at Political Research Associates

Extracts from the book:

Extract in Booklaunch

2 Extracts in Tablet Magazine here and here

Articles by me about the book:

Getting the bad reviews in early, 18 June, 2019

Don’t Fall For Selective Anti-Semites Just Because You’re Their ‘Good’ Jew in The Forward, 11 June, 2019

A dull sort of ache in Boundless, 11 June, 2019

“All the world is a very narrow bridge” — A correction, an apology, a reflection on irony

If you are the ‘right kind of Jew’, you’re empowering racists in The Jewish Chronicle, 7 June, 2019

How a radical new form of anti-racism can save Labour in The Guardian, May 29, 2019

Removing certain kinds of Jews from anti-racist protection is wrong in Fathom Journal, May 2019

Podcast interviews:

Little Atoms

The Bagel

Reviews:

Harry’s Place, 1 July 2019

Jewish Chronicle, 18 June