France Is Reaping the Consequences of Ignoring Anti-Semitism

In 2017, a Parisian named Kobili Traoré tortured and then murdered the Jewish retiree Sarah Halimi while shouting various Islamic and anti-Semitic declarations. The police botched their response; for months the authorities refrained from acknowledging the anti-Semitic nature of the crime; and two years later a court excused Traoré on the grounds that he was under the influence of marijuana when he carried out the attack. Adam Milstein examines this all-too-typical approach to the rise in anti-Jewish violence in France in light of the recent riots:

The late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks famously said, “Anti-Semitism isn’t a threat just for Jews; it’s a threat first and foremost to Europe and the freedoms it took centuries to achieve.” The recent social breakdown in France provides yet another example of an age-old historical truth: untreated anti-Semitism is both a catalyst and warning sign of a broader sickness in society.

Anti-Semitic violence has proliferated in French society, often going unpunished by the judicial system, unaddressed by the political establishment, and unabated by the public. Hate crimes, muggings, terrorism, and intimidation have targeted the small Jewish community. Seventy-four percent of French Jews were victims of anti-Semitic acts during their lifetimes. . . . Although Jews represent less than 1 percent of the French population, 40 percent of all violent hate crimes in France are anti-Semitic.

Due to “political correctness” France has not done nearly enough to combat anti-Semitism. And as in many Western nations, France’s anti-Semitism is not confined to one political camp. It comes mostly from a growing, hostile Muslim population, but also from the far left and the far right. The appeasement of vicious anti-Semitism in France, as Jews have been killed in high-profile terror attacks and hate crimes, has allowed the seeds of social unrest to fester.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, France, French Jewry, Jonathan Sacks

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University