What Is "Corporate Antisemitism?"

Corporate antisemitism is when a corporation or business promotes or enables hatred and discrimination against Jewish people individually or as a group. The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism is the internationally accepted standard we use to determine whether a corporation falls into this category.

Corporate antisemitism is not new and has taken many forms. Henry Ford, who founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903, was one of the most prominent sources of anti-Jewish propaganda in the United States. Volkswagen, a company established under Nazi rule in Germany, used Jews to do forced labor in its factories and operated four concentration camps and eight forced-labor camps on its property (they have since taken significant steps to atone for this history). In the 1970s and 1980s, numerous Japanese car companies and other corporations refused to do business in Israel because they were afraid of economic punishment from the Arab League. The Arab League was engaged in a boycott of Israel, aimed at destroying the one Jewish state in the world.

Today, anti-Israel activists are still pressuring companies to boycott Israel in order to advance the same antisemitic goal. Another form of modern corporate antisemitism is when companies provide a platform for people to spread hatred against Jews, and do little or nothing to prevent it. Additionally, there are companies which donate to organizations that engage in antisemitic rhetoric or behavior. Lastly, there have been lawsuits brought against companies for directly discriminating against Jewish employees.

Unilever is a corporation that has enabled antisemitism