The French Left’s Anti-Semitism Hypocrisy

In a July 30 speech, a member of a far-right French Catholic organization opined that his country went astray in 1791, when the Revolutionary government voted to extend civil rights to Jews. Among those rushing to condemn the speaker was Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of France’s far-left party. Mélenchon, however, is himself one of the most prominent anti-Semites in French politics. Ben Cohen writes:

In 2013, [Mélenchon] accused then-Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, who is Jewish, of no longer “thinking in French but thinking in the language of international finance.” Later in that same decade, when Mélenchon’s comrade in the United Kingdom—the former Labor party leader Jeremy Corbyn—was in the firing line over a series of anti-Semitic scandals during his tenure at the party’s helm, the French leader asserted that “so-called Jews” orchestrated by the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu were out to destroy Corbyn’s reputation.

In essence, anti-Semitism is not seen [by the likes of Mélenchon] as a pernicious ideology targeting Jews as the root of the world’s ills, but rather as an instrument to be deployed in political conflicts. If anti-Semitism comes from a source that you would have no truck with anyway—in this case, an organization that believes fervently that Catholic doctrine should lie at the foundations of law and public policy—then there is no hesitation in condemning it, particularly when . . . there is no mention of Zionism or the state of Israel. But if anti-Semitism comes from an ally, like Corbyn, then you are duty-bound to deny it and dismiss it as a smear.

In such an environment, any analytical consistency and certainly any attempt to point out the glaring overlap between far-left and extreme-right anti-Semitic tropes—dual loyalty, financial clout, disproportionate political and cultural influence—becomes impossible.

Read more at JNS

More about: Anti-Semitism, France, French Jewry, Jeremy Corbyn

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