The Return of the Oldest Hatred: Understanding Contemporary Antisemitism

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The Return of the Oldest Hatred: Understanding Contemporary Antisemitism

16 April @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Ever since the Hamas pogroms of October 7, 2023, which sparked the ongoing war in Gaza, there has been a huge rise in antisemitism in the United Kingdom. In the last year alone, there was a 589% increase in antisemitic incidents in the country, according to the Community Security Trust (CST), a Jewish charity. That translates to a total of 4,103 incidents, or about 11 per day. It is the highest figure ever recorded by CST since it started collecting data forty years ago.

Antisemitic speech on social media has risen dramatically since the Hamas attacks. On X, in the week following October 7 alone, there was a 919% surge in anti-Jewish posts. Other platforms have seen similar trends.

Worrying about antisemitism, or denouncing it, is not enough. We need to understand it. More specifically, we need to understand it not in the abstract but in the current context. What are the contemporary sources of antisemitism? And what could be the solutions to stem them?

HJS is releasing a research brief to inform the debate, exploring the different facets of contemporary antisemitism and identifying how we might start to tackle them. It will be launched at the House of Lords. The panel will be chaired by Lord Pickles, the United Kingdom’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues, and will feature Alex Hearn, Director of Labour Against Antisemitism, and Dr Theo Zenou, a research fellow at HJS.

By kind invitation of Rt Hon Lord Pickles PC, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to welcome you to a discussion with the distinguished experts about the findings of the new brief.



Dr Theo Zenou is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society. He has a PhD in history from Cambridge University and has written for The Washington Post, The Economist and Sunday Times.



Alex Hearn is a director of the campaign group Labour Against Antisemitism (LAAS) and a newspaper columnist. He is an expert on contemporary antisemitism and has spoken at the European Parliament on the subject.

Alex has appeared on Sky News, BBC Radio, Talk TV, LBC and had a video interview published by the Daily Mirror for Holocaust Memorial Day. He is widely quoted by the press such as Newsweek.

With LAAS Alex was involved in submitting evidence for inquiries regarding antisemitism in the Labour Party and the National Union of Students.


This photo is a property of KCL


Dr Charlie Laderman is Senior Lecturer in International History. He is part of the core team responsible for directing the Centre for Grand Strategy. Before joining KCL, he was a research fellow at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, where he remains a senior research associate. In 2016–17, he was a Harrington Faculty Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin and in 2021-22, he was a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

His latest book is Hitler’s American Gamble: Pearl Harbor and Germany’s March to Global War (Basic Books, 2021). Co-written with Brendan Simms, it explores the most crucial period in 20th-century diplomatic history, the days between Japan’s assault on Pearl Harbor and Adolf Hitler’s declaration of war on the United States. It was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and has been shortlisted for the Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History. It has also been reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman and Foreign Affairs.

His first monograph, Sharing the Burden (Oxford University Press, 2019), explored the American and British response to the Armenian Genocide. It offers a window into America’s rise to great-power status, the decline of the British Empire, and the emergence of a new Anglo-American-led international order after World War I. It was awarded the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era’s H. Wayne Morgan Prize in Political History, and the Arthur Miller Institute Prize from the British Association for American Studies. It was short-listed for the Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize in British History and received highly distinguished entry citation for the Transatlantic Studies Association book prize. He is also co-author, with Brendan Simms, of Donald Trump: The Making of a Worldview (I.B. Tauris, 2017), which was reviewed and cited in The Financial Times, The Irish Times, The Atlantic, Politico and National Interest.

Throughout his time at KCL he has worked to apply deep historical knowledge to contemporary political concerns. He has published articles on global affairs in The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, History Today and The New Statesman, among other publications, and provided commentary for the BBC.

Laderman completed his undergraduate studies in history and politics at the University of Nottingham. He won the University of Cambridge’s Member’s History Prize for best MPhil dissertation before completing his PhD at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. During his PhD studies, he was a Fox International Fellow and a Smith Richardson Fellow in International Security Studies, both at Yale University, and an AHRC Fellow at the Kluge Center, Library of Congress.




Lord Pickles was appointed as the next Conservative Party nominee to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments in July 2019 and was subsequently appointed as Chair following an open competition, in line with the Cabinet Office Governance Code, taking up the role in April 2020. His appointment was approved following pre-appointment scrutiny by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee.

Lord Pickles was appointed Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues in September 2015, replacing Sir Andrew Burns. Lord Pickles works closely with the wide range of Holocaust academics, survivors and educational and social organisations in the UK.

Along with the former Labour Cabinet Minister, Ed Balls, he CoChairs the United Kingdom’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

He was made a Life Peer in 2018. First elected to Parliament in 1992 he retired as MP for Brentwood and Ongar at the 2017 general election. He was previously Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.


This event can only be watched In-Person. To register your interest please kindly submit your details in the form below.






16 April
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Committee Room 1, House of Lords
London, SW1A 0AA United Kingdom


Dr Theo Zenou, Alex Hearn


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