Czech Republic: anti-Semitism vs. "anti-Gypsism"
The Centre of Middle Eastern Studies The University of West Bohemia Pilsen, Czech Republic
Since the Czech society appears to be indifferent towards Jews, some radical movements and anti-Semitic political parties are trying to abuse the issue of social excluded minority (i.e. the Gypsies) to gain public support. What is the difference between the attitudes towards Jews and Gypsies in the Czech society? Are there any differences in the way of how and where is the hate manifested? Does the hate against Gypsies pose any threat to Jews as well? Why should be the issue of Eastern-European Gypsies included into framework of anti-Semitism combating movements? What led to the November 17th riots in Janov neighborhood, which are considered to be the most violent in the post-communist Czech Republic? We will analyze and compare recent anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy events in order to illustrate the dangerous schism in the way of how is the term "racism" comprehended in Czech society. By combining the data from monitoring of "cyberspace" and the field observations, this paper seeks to analyze the recent development in attitude towards two different ethnic minorities.
Thematic areas covered by the paper: - European racism and antisemitism: common trends and variations - Global and local aspects of racism and anti-Semitism - Racism against ethnic and religious minorities - Transformations of racism and anti-Semitism