Research Interests

Diaspora-Homeland Politics, Hate Crimes, Anti-Semitism, Middle Eastern Politics, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Ethnic Politics




The Diaspora-Homeland Nexus: How Israeli Behavior Affects Its Diaspora and Alters Diaspora-Homeland Reciprocity



Marijke Breuning (chair), Regina Branton, J. Michael Greig and John Ishiyama



Why does the number of anti-Semitic incidents vary considerably within states? What causes dramatic spikes in anti-Semitic hate crime? Most research argues modern anti-Semitic attitudes are the result of religious anti-Judaic beliefs, subscription to one or a combination of grandiose Jewish conspiracies, secondary anti-Semitic beliefs and victimhood competition. Recently, scholars have articulated an additional source of anti-Semitic attitudes: intensely negative perceptions of Israel. Problematically, most anti-Semitism research is attitudinal and does not systematically test how anti-Semitic beliefs manifest into behavior. To my knowledge, my research is the first of its kind to aggregate anti-Semitic hate crime incidents around the globe and test the factors and contexts leading to spikes in anti-Semitic incidents. My models reveal that Israel’s engagement in violent conflict resulting in over 100 fatalities is the single greatest predictor of surges in anti-Semitic hate crime across the Western World since 2001. Using an original survey and embedded experiment, I argue diaspora Jews encountering anti-Israel motivated anti-Semitism are more likely to view Israel as “important” or “essential,” but the intensity of this change will depend on the strength of one’s Jewish identity. Lastly, using survey research, focus groups, and elite interviews in Israel, I contend that Israeli’s knowledge of anti-Israel motivated anti-Semitism increases their sense of obligation to the diaspora. However, this will vary substantially as a result of differences in strength of Jewish identity, political ideology, and diaspora links or origins. My dissertation sheds new light on the effects of anti-Semitism and uncovers an ongoing reciprocal relationship between diaspora and homeland.


Questions Explored In My Dissertation

What are the critical factors and contexts that result in anti-Semitic incidents?

What characteristics varying within a state make anti-Semitic incidents more likely to occur in that state?

Why do anti-Semitic incidents vary considerably across states?

How does knowledge of and exposure to anti-Semitism affect the Jewish diaspora’s perceptions of and behavior toward Israel?

Does Israel target countries and areas that suffer a high number and/or considerably intense anti-Semitic incidents for Jewish diaspora emigration recruitment?

Considering the intensity of anti-Israel motivations in contemporary anti-Semitism, do Israelis feel obligated to lobby for or provide resources and protections to Jewish diaspora communities suffering a high number and/or considerably intense anti-Semitic incidents?

Does knowledge of anti-Israel motivations in explaining certain intense anti-Semitic incidents affect Israeli perceptions of their own state behavior and alter preferences of their domestic and foreign policy behavior?