What American Jews Can Learn from French Jews about Fighting Anti-Semitism https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/israel-zionism/2024/04/what-american-jews-can-learn-from-french-jews-about-fighting-anti-semitism/

April 1, 2024 | Norman J.W. Goda
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In France, the last three months of 2023 saw a 1,000-percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents when compared with the previous year. And this is in a country where the harassment of Jews, not to mention violent attacks, had already become commonplace. Norman J.W. Goda examines how French Jews have reacted to outbursts of anti-Semitism aimed at Israel, which have a long history:

President Charles de Gaulle’s November 1967 comments that the Jews “have remained as they have always been, an elite people, self-assured and domineering” and that Israel was “a warlike state resolved to aggrandize itself” were stunning to French Jews. . . .

Pro-Palestinian anti-Zionist organizations formed in France after the Six-Day War. They included university students who styled themselves as revolutionaries. Using the language of anti-colonialism still fresh from France’s ill-fated attempt to retain Algeria, these organizations also borrowed the legacy of the French Resistance, neatly turning the Israelis into the Nazis. French keffiyeh-wearing Communists complained of Jewish press control. “Palestine solidarity” events included distribution of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Goda argues that American Jews have much to learn from the responses of their French coreligionists:

They dissected and flatly rejected the linguistic ruses of the day, understanding that the anti-Zionism of the Third World and the European left was little more than anti-Semitism cloaked in a different kind of duplicity. They understood that if the French republican ideal truly strove for the dignity of humanity, it could in no circumstances excuse PLO terror, which strove not for human liberation, but for human destruction. . . . Most important, they found like-minded allies while speaking up, calling anti-Semitism out when they saw it, and even breaking with de Gaulle, who was still a hero to the aging former Resistance members among them.

Read more on Sapir: https://sapirjournal.org/friends-and-foes/2024/03/french-jews/