Anti-Semitic Violence in France Continues Unabated, as Does the Indifference of French Politicians

Feb. 23 2018

While a few particularly severe instances of vicious attacks on French Jews, almost always perpetrated by immigrants from Muslim countries and their descendants, have garnered attention in the U.S.—for instance the brutal murder of Sarah Halimi in her own home in April 2017—countless others go unremarked. Guy Millière surveys some of these incidents, and the shocking indifference with which they are met:

Friday, January 12, 2018. Sarcelles. A city in the northern suburbs of Paris. A fifteen-year-old girl returns from high school. She wears a necklace with a star of David and a Jewish school uniform. A man attacks her with a knife, slashes her face, and runs away. She will be disfigured the rest of her life. January 29, again in Sarcelles, an eight-year-old boy wearing a Jewish skullcap is kicked and punched by two teenagers. . . .

On January 18, 2018, six days after the knife attack in Sarcelles, one of the leaders of the Jewish community in Montreuil, east of Paris, was tortured all night by two men who broke open a window and assaulted him as he slept. . . .

Without the Jews of France, France would no longer be France, said then-Prime Minister Manuel Valls in 2016. But he did not do anything. . . . He added [on a later occasion] that in France, for at least two decades, all attacks against Jews in which the perpetrator has been identified have come from Muslims, and that the most recent attacks were no exception.

Valls, however, quickly suffered the consequences of his candor. He was elbowed to the margins of political life. Muslim websites called him an “agent of the Jewish lobby” and a “racist.” Former leaders of his own party, such as the former foreign minister Roland Dumas, said that Valls’s wife is a Jew and hinted that he was “under the influence.” . . .

Recently, the journalist Eric Zemmour [commented] that in Muslim neighborhoods, Muslims are now living “according to their own laws” and forcing non-Muslim people to leave. He was found guilty of “incitement” and fined. . . . At anti-Israel demonstrations, [by contrast], people shout, “Death to the Jews,” but those people are never arrested for “hate speech.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, European Islam, France, French Jewry, Politics & Current Affairs

For Israelis, Anti-Zionism Kills

Dec. 14 2018

This week alone, anti-Zionists have killed multiple Israelis in a series of attacks; these follow the revelations that Hizballah succeeded in digging multiple attack tunnels from Lebanon into northern Israel. Simultaneously, some recent news stories in the U.S. have occasioned pious reminders that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism. Bret Stephens notes that it is anti-Zionists, not defenders of Israel, who do the most to blur that distinction:

Israelis experience anti-Zionism in a different way from, say, readers of the New York Review of Books: not as a bold sally in the world of ideas, but as a looming menace to their earthly existence, held at bay only through force of arms. . . . Anti-Zionism might have been a respectable point of view before 1948, when the question of Israel’s existence was in the future and up for debate. Today, anti-Zionism is a call for the elimination of a state—details to follow regarding the fate befalling those who currently live in it. . . .

Anti-Zionism is ideologically unique in insisting that one state, and one state only, doesn’t just have to change. It has to go. By a coincidence that its adherents insist is entirely innocent, this happens to be the Jewish state, making anti-Zionists either the most disingenuous of ideologues or the most obtuse. When then-CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill called last month for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea” and later claimed to be ignorant of what the slogan really meant, it was hard to tell in which category he fell.

Does this make someone with Hill’s views an anti-Semite? It’s like asking whether a person who believes in [the principle of] separate-but-equal must necessarily be a racist. In theory, no. In reality, another story. The typical aim of the anti-Semite is legal or social discrimination against some set of Jews. The explicit aim of the anti-Zionist is political or physical dispossession.

What’s worse: to be denied membership in a country club because you’re Jewish, or driven from your ancestral homeland and sovereign state for the same reason? If anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are meaningfully distinct (I think they are not), the human consequences of the latter are direr.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian terror