Localised tropes of antisemitism and the Holocaust in East-Asian political discourses: three case studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the ways in which concepts and tropes of the Holocaust are used as political instruments in a part of the world that was not immediately affected by its events. It reviews the use of these concepts in selected cases from areas of political conflict in South Korea, Malaysia, and China and compares them with a view to finding a common denominator specific to these Asian countries. The article questions the futility of the current attempt to regulate definitions of antisemitism and its detachment from the realities of politics and academic and public discourse, especially in Asia. Finally, it demonstrates that the semantics of the Holocaust in the selected cases seldom signify anti-Jewish sentiment but are used for other rhetorical and political purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-184
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


This work was supported by the Seed Program for Korean Studies of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service at the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2022-INC-2230013). In addition, participation in the International Research Workshop, ‘The Holocaust and Asia: Refugees, Memory, and Material Culture,’ at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies contributed significantly to the development of the research presented in this article.

FundersFunder number
Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Ministry of EducationAKS-2022-INC-2230013


    • China
    • East Asia
    • Holocaust
    • Japan
    • Korea
    • Malaysia
    • Xinjiang
    • antisemitism


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