On May 14, 2023, the European Jewish Association held its annual conference in Porto, Portugal, where it adopted a resolution calling for antisemitism to be “treated separately from other forms of hate and discrimination.”

The EJA is urging “other Jewish organizations to reject ‘intersectionality,’” a conceptual framework that tends to categorize groups as being either “privileged” or “oppressed.” According to the EJA, “antisemitism is unique and must be treated as such,” on the grounds that it is “state-sanctioned in many countries,” “given cover by the United Nations,” and not always regarded as a form of racism by other groups affected by hate.

But why are intersectionality and the demarcation between the privileged and the oppressed problematic from a Jewish standpoint? Generally speaking, intersectionality is a useful concept in social theory and practical analysis. When we consider particular individuals or groups, we discover that their experiences of oppression or privilege reflect a wide array of diverse factors.