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Anti-semitism is defined by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews” (Campaign Against Anti-semitism 2017). The definition is extremely broad, with no clarification as to what “a certain perception” entails. This “perception” could easily mean prejudices towards Jews, preconceived and discriminatory beliefs that place Jews as inferiors, as is  commonly done to blacks or homosexuals. However, it is possible to claim that anti-semitism is different from other forms of discrimination, because it is not a prejudice but a world- view. Thus, it is possible to generate a distinction between the anti-semitic worldview, which is the all encompassing philosophy in which everything negative that occurs can be justified by Jews running the world, and prejudice, which implies disliking and discriminating against a Jews for religious, cultural or ethnic reasons. These two types of anti-semitism are not mutually exclusive as it is generally true that individuals that promote an anti-semitic world-view also discriminates against them, but generally a world-view will dominate the conscience of those who hold one. Looking at anti-semitism in the USA makes an interesting case study to understand exactly what hatred towards Jews is. The United States stand out as being a country with low levels of anti-semitism in general yet has recently been under the influence of extremely anti-semitic groups such as the Alt-right. The Alt-right (short for Alternative Right) is not a fixed group but rather a collective of right wing groups that have their main collective presence online and came to prominence during the Trump election campaign. It brings together different branches of White nationalism, including “scientific” racists, sections of the neo-Nazi movement, and adherents of European New Right ideology (The Economist Explains 2016). The Alt-right leaders tend to be editors of online publications dedicated to right-winged news such as Richard Spencer, editor of Radix and Steve Bannon, editor of Breitbart News. Analysing the history of anti-semitism in America it is clear to see that what began as hidden prejudices against jews grew to the point that anti-establishment group were already predisposed to latch on to conspiracy theories brought from the continent. Therefore, anti-semitic prejudices and world-views are intrinsically linked as the former acts as the foundation of the latter. The Alt-right’s stance also causes a confusion as to whether their anti-semitism is a worldview, since, despite believing in conspiracies about Jews, Alt-rightist have been quite lenient in collaborating with Jews. For this reason, it is clear to see that anti-semitic world-views are much more flexible than how they are perceived and may easily slip into reserved prejudice when beneficial for anti-semites. Therefore anti-semitism can exist as world-view, but, as its underpinnings lay upon prejudices, it can easily flow between extreme conspiracies and simple discrimination, meaning that anti-semitism is predominantly a prejudice.

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