David Hirsh, BSc MA PhD

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Department Sociology
Email d.hirsh (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7730
David Hirsh, BSc MA PhD

David has been in the sociology department at Goldsmiths since 2003.  He studied Sociology at City University, London; he did an MA in Philosophy and Social Theory at Warwick; and he wrote his PhD there on Crimes Against Humanity and International Law.

He was the holder of the Sociological Review Fellowship which enabled him to write Law against Genocide: cosmopolitan trials. This book was awarded the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Prize for the best first book in sociology in 2004. By focusing on two trials from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the trial of Andrei Sawoniuk for crimes committed during the Holocaust, and the David Irving libel case, the book comes to some tentative conclusions about the possibility of the emergence of cosmopolitan law.

David’s new book, out in September 2017, is ‘Contemporary Left Antisemitism’.  It begins with a chapter on the Livingstone Formulation, a standard response which accuses Jews of raising the issue of antisemitism in bad faith only in order to silence criticism of Israel or to smear the left. It has two chapters about the rise of antizionist and antisemitic politics in the British Labour movement and two chapters about the campaign to exclude Israelis from the academic, cultural, sporting and economic life of humanity.  It has a critique of antizionism and the apartheid analogy; it also looks at specifically Jewish antizionism; it examines case studies of openly antisemitic discourse which have emerged out of antizionism; it discusses struggles over defining antisemitism; and it thinks about specifically sociological approaches to understanding contemporary antisemitism.

Follow this link to listen to an interview with David about both left wing and right wing antisemitism following Donald Trump’s victory, and about the campaign to exclude Israeli academics from our campuses. 

Read Chip Berlet's interview with David Hirsh on contemporary antisemitism and conspiracy theory.

Follow this link to read David’s submission to the Chakrabarti Inquiry into antisemitism and racism in the Labour Party.

Listen to David's interview about his new book on TLV1.

Scroll down and follow the ‘publications’ tab to find links to many scholarly and journalistic articles written by David Hirsh.

You can find David on facebook and he tweets @DavidHirsh

Follow this link for David Hirsh's documentary about antisemitism in the Labour party, 'Whitewashed.'

Research Interests

Contemporary antisemitism; crimes against humanity; totalitarianism and totalitarian movements; the new populism; democracy and critiques of democracy.


David teaches a number of first year introductory lectures on our undergraduate sociology courses, he convenes the second year criminology core and he teaches a second-year option course, ‘Crimes against Humanity’.  He also teaches on the sociology of human rights at MA level and he supervises students at PhD level.

In 2006/7, David was a Research Fellow at Yale University.

David acted as an expert witness in South African Jewish Board of Deputies v Bongani Masuku, Johannesburg, Feb 2017 and in South African Jewish Board of Deputies v Islamic Unity Convention, Cape Town, 2012.

David is active in, and was a co-convenor of, Research Network 31 in the European Sociological Association on Racism, Antisemitism and Ethnic Relations.

David was a member of Experts Forums at the Inter-parliamentary Conference on Combating Antisemitism, hosted by the Canadian Government, Ottawa, 2010, the London Conference for Combatting Antisemitism, London, 2009, and a number of Global Forums for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem.



Research Interests

Contemporary antisemitism; crimes against humanity; totalitarianism and totalitarian movements; the new populism; democracy and critiques of democracy.



Hirsh, David . 2017. Contemporary Left Antisemitism. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138235304

Hirsh, David . 2003. Law against Genocide: Cosmopolitan Trials. GlassHouse Press / Cavendish Publishing. ISBN 1904385044

Book Section

Hirsh, David . 2019. Contemporary Struggles over Defining Antisemitism. In: Jonathan G. Campbell and Lesley D. Klaff, eds. Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Antisemitism: The Bristol-Sheffield-Hallam Colloquium on Contemporary Antisemitism. Boston: Academic Studies Press, pp. 17-39. ISBN 9781618119667

Hirsh, David . 2017. How raising the issue of antisemitism puts you outside the community of the progressive: The Livingstone Formulation. In: Eunice G Pollack, ed. Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: Past & Present. Boston: Academic Studies Press. ISBN 9781618115652

Hirsh, David . 2015. Anti‐Zionism and Antisemitism: Cosmopolitan Reflections. In: Charles Asher Small, ed. The Yale Papers: Antisemitism in comparative perspetive. New York: ISGAP, pp. 57-174. ISBN 9781515057796

Hirsh, David . 2013. Struggles over the Boundaries of Legitimate Discourse: Antisemitism and Bad-Faith Allegations. In: Charles Small, ed. Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity. 5 New York: ISGAP, pp. 89-94. ISBN 978194018608

Hirsh, David . 2011. Israel is not an idea which requires justification, it is a nation state forged by history. In: Ben Garratt, ed. Making the progressive case for Israel: a series of essays compiled by Labour Friends of Israel. London: Labour Friends of Israel, pp. 71-76. ISBN xxx

Hirsh, David . 2006. Cosmopolitan Law, Agency and Narrative. In: Michael Freeman, ed. Law and Sociology: Current Legal Issues Volume 8. Oxford University Press, pp. 377-397. ISBN 978-0415242721


Hirsh, David and Miller, Hilary. 2021. Durban antizionism: its sources, its impact and its relation to older anti-Jewish ideologies. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, ISSN 2472-9906

Hirsh, David . 2021. How the word ‘Zionist’ functions in antisemitic vocabulary. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, 4(2), pp. 1-18. ISSN 2472-9906

Allington, Daniel; Hirsh, David and Katz, Louise. 2021. The Generalised Antisemitism (GeAs) scale: a questionnaire instrument for measuring antisemitism as expressed in relation both to Jews and to Israel. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, 5(1), ISSN 2472-9906

Hirsh, David and Hilary, Miller. 2021. The UN Durban Antiracist Process: Projecting Racism Onto Israel. Jewish Journal, ISSN 0888-0468

Hirsh, David . 2021. Le cas David Miller. K.,

Hirsh, David and Zeifert, Charisse. 2021. David Unterhalter and BDS: Not the first campaign against Jews being judges. News 24, South Africa,

Hirsh, David . 2021. The Jerusalem Declaration defines the 'community of the good', not antisemitism. The Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2021. The Meaning of David Miller. Fathom,

Hirsh, David . 2021. Antisemitismus in Großbritannien: Die Bedeutung von David Miller. Ruhrbarone,

Hirsh, David . 2021. The Miller defenders' letter shows how deep the issues around antisemitism go in academia. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2021. A safe space for hate? How the UCU has an antisemitism problem. Left Foot Forward,

Hirsh, David . 2021. It was the new phenomenon of Israel-focused antisemitism that required the new definition of antisemitism. David Hirsh responds to a recent ‘call to reject’ the IHRA. Fathom,

Hirsh, David . 2020. Labour must expel the likes of JVL. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2020. In Memoriam Robert Fine (1945-2018). European Sociologist, 36(42), ISSN 2415-6426

Hirsh, David . 2020. Jews are asking for protection from their universities from antisemitism: David Feldman’s ‘All Lives Matter’ response is not helpful. Fathom,

Hirsh, David . 2020. To understand Labour antisemitism, we need the detail and the big picture. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2020. The 'Livingstone Formula' is dead. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2020. "The culture of contempt": anti-Semitism in the UK. inFOCUS Quarterly, 14(2), pp. 27-29.

Allington, Daniel and Hirsh, David . 2019. The AzAs (Antizionist Antisemitism) Scale: Measuring Antisemitism as Expressed in Relation to Israel and Its Supporters. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, 2(2), pp. 43-51. ISSN 2472-9906

Hirsh, David . 2019. Wistrich on Dreyfus. Journal of Contemporary Antisemitism, 2(2), pp. 53-58. ISSN 2472-9906

Hirsh, David . 2019. The UK Election 2019 | Corbyn’s legacy is that political antisemitism has re-entered the British mainstream. Fathom, 2019(Autumn),

Hirsh, David . 2019. Dangerous lure of the modern populist parties. The Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2019. Why antisemitism and populism go hand-in-hand. Jewish News / The Times of Israel,

Hirsh, David . 2019. Labour’s intersection of antisemitism and misogyny. Jewish News / Times of Israel,

Hirsh, David . 2018. Sorry Judas, the joke is just not funny any more. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2018. Brexit and Corbynism could lead to a crisis of UK democracy. UK in a Changing Europe,

Hirsh, David . 2018. The trashing of Jonathan Sacks is a trashing of all Jews. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2018. Corbyn to Zionists: Even if you've lived here all your life, you don't get the English. Jewish News / Times of Israel,

Hirsh, David . 2018. Stop accusing the Jewish community of conspiring against the left. Open Democracy,

Hirsh, David . 2018. Understanding Labour's disavowal of the IHRA definition. Jewish News / Times of Israel,

Hirsh, David . 2018. Ken Livingstone is being made into a scapegoat. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2018. Labour's antisemitism problem. Church Times,

Hirsh, David . 2018. The speech Jeremy Corbyn must make but never will. Jewish News / Times of Israel,

Hirsh, David . 2017. We need to teach our kids to think critically about the Israel/Palestine conflict. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2017. Corbyn’s office ‘glad’ that Machover’s expulsion has been rescinded. Jewish News / Times of Israel,

Hirsh, David . 2017. Antisemitic politics is the new normal. The Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2017. Livingstone, Labour and Antisemitism. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2016. This new definition of antisemitism is only a threat to antisemites. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2016. The Livingstone Formulation fails to rescue Livingstone. Engage,

Hirsh, David . 2016. Jew Hate and Today's Left. The Jewish Chronicle, pp. 2-3.

Hirsh, David . 2015. The Corbyn left: the politics of position and the politics of reason. fathom, Autumn,

Hirsh, David . 2015. Mr Corbyn, time to say you were wrong. Jewish Chronicle,

Hirsh, David . 2015. The most threatening form of anti-Semitism in Britain today. Jewish News,

Hirsh, David . 2015. If Corbyn wins. Jerusalem Post,

Hirsh, David . 2014. ‘Civility’ in contemporary debates about antisemitism. Jewish Quarterly, p. 39.

Hirsh, David . 2014. On Studies on Jewish left anti-Zionism. Fathom Journal, p. 1. ISSN 2052-0530

Hirsh, David . 2014. So how does it work, the quenelle? Left Foot Forward, p. 1.

Hirsh, David . 2014. The American Studies Association boycott resolution, academic freedom and the myth of the institutional boycott. Inside Higher Ed, p. 1.

Hirsh, David . 2013. Ethnicity should have nothing to do with football identity. Left Foot Forward, p. 1.

Hirsh, David . 2013. Hostility to Israel and Antisemitism: Toward a Sociological Approach. Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, 5, pp. 1401-1422.

Hirsh, David . 2012. Defining antisemitism down: The EUMC working definition and its disavowal by the university & college union. Fathom, 1(1), pp. 30-39.

Hirsh, David . 2012. Chip Berlet interviews David Hirsh on Contemporary Antisemitism and Conspiracy Theory. Engage,

Hirsh, David . 2012. Portia, Shylock and the exclusion of Israeli actors from the global cultural community. Engage,

Hirsh, David . 2011. No such thing as victimless boycott. Mail and Guardian, South Africa, p. 14.

Hirsh, David . 2010. A reply to Neve Gordon by David Hirsh. Engage, 0-0.

Hirsh, David . 2010. Accusations of malicious intent in debates about the Palestine-Israel conflict and about antisemitism The Livingstone Formulation, ‘playing the antisemitism card’ and contesting the boundaries of antiracist discourse. Transversal, 1, pp. 47-77. ISSN 1 607-629X

Hirsh, David . 2009. Jews as canaries and hawks. Ha'aretz, Tel Aviv, p. 12.

Hirsh, David . 2009. Do not confine Jews to the couch. Jewish Chronicle, p. 19.

Hirsh, David . 2008. Occupation, not apartheid. Mail and Guardian, South Africa, p. 14.

Hirsh, David . 2008. Unjust, unhelpful: arguments against the academic boycott of Israel. Democratiya, 13, pp. 135-148.

Hirsh, David . 2008. Unjust, unhelpful: arguments against the academic boycott of Israel. Democratiya, 13, pp. 135-148.

Hirsh, David . 2007. It’s not about Israel, stupid. Ynet news, p. 1.

Hirsh, David . 2005. Against the "Academic Intifada". Dissent, pp. 77-80. ISSN 0012-3846

Hirsh, David . 2001. The trial of Andrei Sawoniuk: Holocaust testimony under cross-examination. Social and Legal Studies, 10(4), pp. 529-545. ISSN 09646639


Frankehthal, Andrea and Hirsh, David . 2019. Forced Out: The Labour Antisemitism Resignation Letters.

Hirsh, David and Anisfeld, Ollie. 2017. Whitewashed: Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.


Allington, Daniel; McAndrew, Siobhan and Hirsh, David . 2019. Violent extremist tactics and the ideology of the far left. Technical Report. Commission for Countering Extremism, London.

Hirsh, David . 2016. Submission to the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry into Antisemitism in the Labour Party. Other. Engage, Engage website.

Hirsh, David . 2007. Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: Cosmopolitan Reflections. Working Paper. Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) Occasional Papers, New Haven, CT.


Hirsh, David . 2012. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and Antisemitism. Academic Engagement Network, Washington DC.

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