Keith Kahn Harris

professionally curious, communally engaged

Tag Archive: books
  1. My New Book – Strange Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and the Limits of Diversity

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    Published by Repeater Books, 11 June 2019

    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

    Recorded talks:

    RSA talk, 28 September 2019, audio and video 


    Little Atoms

    The Bagel



    Review 31

    The Battleground, 15 November

    Harry’s Place, 1 July 2019

    Jewish Chronicle, 18 June

  2. Long overdue update

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    Over the last few months I have appeared on various radio programmes, podcasts and events talking about my book Denial: The Unspeakable Truth. Here is an updated list, including links to downloads, streaming videos etc…

    Articles and videos

    What’s behind denialism? BBC Ideas video, 5 November 2018

    ‘Denialism: what drives people to reject the truth’ Guardian Long Read 3 August 2018 Also available as a podcast


    RSA Polarised podcast, March 21, 2019

    Featured in several episodes of BBC Radio 4 series The Age of Denial, March 2019

    On Conflict podcast, 30 January 2019

    With Kevin Barrett, 3 January 2019

    Serious Inquiries Only podcast, 19 December 2018

    Thale’s Well podcast, 30 November 2018

    Middle Way Society podcast, 25 September 2018 [Also available here]

    CBC Radio, 16 August 2018

    Tel Aviv Review podcast, 6 August 2018

    Talks about the book [Note: I have only included talks that were recorded in this list]

    Panelist on ‘Is Humanity in Denial’ at Jewish Book Week 2019, 7 March 2019. Video of panel here

    Panelist on ‘Challenging Denial: from Slavery to the Holocaust’ at Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck College, 7 November 2018. Audio recording of panel here

    ‘Denialism, Post-Denialism and the Boundaries of the Speakable’, at CRASSH, Cambridge University, 11 June 2018. Watch video of talk here.

  3. New Project: My Impossible Books

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    Over the last few years, I’ve been building up more and more ideas for books I’d like to write. It’s unlikely I’ll ever publish more than a fraction of them, so I wanted to find a way to ‘let go’ on my ‘impossible’ books.

    I’ve started ‘publishing’ these books (including covers by Gus Condeixa) on Medium. At the time of writing I’ve produced 10 and plenty more will follow. I intend to cross post them on this site but will need to create a new page to do so and haven’t yet worked out how to do it. For the time being, check out the publication page here:

    The Impossible Books of Keith Kahn-Harris

    And here’s the rationale for the whole series:

    My Impossible Books: An Introduction


  4. My new book: Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community

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    Final front cover


    I’m excited to announce that my new book Uncivil War: The Israel Conflict in the Jewish Community will be published by David Paul Books on 12 March 2014 and is available for pre-order now.

    The book will be launched at JW3 London at 7:30 on 12 March.

    Here’s the book blurb:

    “The relationship between Anglo-Jewry and Israel is perilous, complex terrain – and there are few better placed to navigate it than Keith Kahn-Harris.” Jonathan Freedland

    Diaspora Jews are no longer unified in their support for Israel.

    The author, a sociologist. Jewish and a committed left-of-centre Zionist, explores the causes of the conflicts and describes his own innovative efforts at conflict resolution. Analysing the various groupings – left, right, secular and religious, pro and anti-Zionist – in Britain and the USA, Keith Kahn-Harris looks at the history of civility in society and examines the different methods used by international organisations and groups involved in developing dialogue within Jewish communities.

    He describes, how using these techniques and with expert help, he brought together more than seventy prominent diverse British Jews for a series of encounters. He concludes that dialogue and civility is possible. But with no change in behaviour there will be serious consequences for the Jewish communities of the world.

    “A masterful and thoughtful analysis of the various existing positions of Jews and Israel advocates on Israel. This book might just give us the language, the insights – and the pause – for us to do something a little more sensible, before it’s, stupidly, too late.” Clive Lawton – Jewish educator

    “I applaud Keith Kahn-Harris for having the courage to examine this vexatious debate in his richly textured book.” Gabrielle Rifkind – Oxford Research Group’s Middle East conflict resolution specialist