The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC EventsHistory Program Events

February 5 – The Socialism of Fools: Reflections on the Rise of Left-Wing Anti-Semitism

A lecture by Richard Wolin with a response by Leora Batnitzky

February 5, 6:30 pm, Martin E. Segal Theatre

This event is free, and admission is first-come, first-served; no registration required.


The genocidal nature of racial anti-Semitism, which emerged in the late nineteenth century and culminated in the Holocaust, has, since 1945, been exhaustively studied and politically contained. Less well known – yet, potentially, just as lethal – is the phenomenon of left-wing anti-Semitism. Although its origins date from the mid-nineteenth century, since the 1960s it has become a central rallying cry among activists who combine anti-Zionism with exaggerated fears about Jewish influence and Jewish power. In this respect, like traditional anti-Semitism, it inflates anti-Jewish prejudice to the point where it takes on the character of an ideological obsession that is impervious to reason, evidence, or counter-argument.


Richard Wolin is distinguished professor of history, political science, and comparative literature at the Graduate Center.


Leora Batnitzky is a professor of religion and Jewish studies at Princeton University.

Co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in History, the Center for Jewish Studies, CUNY Academy, and the Ph.D. Program in Political Science.


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