Other, not Hostile: On Allosemitism, Identitarianism, Marranism and the Two Visions of Jewish Diaspora
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This essay has two parts. In the first, I focus on the dangers of what Zygmunt Bauman called allosemitism. I draw on recent Polish history and paint a dynamic portrait of diasporic life in contemporary Poland, which has become divided into two opposite and often warring camps: the one convinced that those who claim Jewish descent should embrace »pure Jewish identity,« understood in religious terms, versus the other, which still leans towards assimilation and experiments with a mixed form of allegiance and »identitarian concessions.« In the second part, I analyze the case of Jacques Derrida as the paradigmatic example of the »impure« Jewish (non)identity, which I endorse and propose as the way out of the dilemmas confronting diasporic Jews today, who are caught in the net of the dominant identitarian categories.