Friday, March 27, 2015

European Jews Are Not Leaving!

Diana Pinto offers a strong riposte to Jeffrey Goldberg's article in The Atlantic on the alleged panic of European Jews.


bernard said...

This is not spam from Nepal...

I have read both articles and actually agree with much of what both are saying.

Goldberg is essentially arguing that the taboo that developed after the shoah has now fallen with new generations and that traditional anti-Semitism is not merging with a new form of anti-Semitism from the ultra-left and, so-to-speak, imported from the middle-east. I have seen and felt it with my own eyes and this is why I broke up with the ultra-left in the late 1970s. More recently, in 2003, I went to observe a huge demonstration, ostensibly against the prospects of the second Iraq war. In reality, it was to a larger extent an anti-Semitic demonstration, witness the fact, and I remember it vividly to this day, that every caricature of every "enemy of the people" that I saw on banners had a large, crooked nose. This is the sad reality and I discussed it with most of my friends at the time.

Goldberg is wrong on two counts. First, he should not have restricted his interviews of common people to religious school students or religious adult Jews. There are vastly more non-religious Jews in France than there are religious ones and it has always been so. Does he think that the nazis or the French police asked Jews whether they went to the synagogue before sending them off to Drancy?

Second, he is wrong to think the FN has really evolved on this. They are simply more careful not fall on the wrong side of the law, but when they think no one is looking, their speech is very telling, witness the quotes from FN candidates outed in Liberation and the Nouvel Obs. The devil may wear nice clothes, it remains the devil. All that the FN has concluded is that, among its many ennemies, Muslims are the priority right now and the opportunity for their accession to power. So they are trying to fool Jews and to conclude a temporary alliance of opportunity against the Muslims. Only fools will collaborate and the proverbial rope is not far indeed.

Pinto is correct in her assessment of the misunderstanding by American Jews of the situation in Europe and of the fact that the immense majority of French Jews have not the faintest desire of leaving France - or other European countries for that matter. It is our country, period.

She is however wrong in that she does underestimate the wave of anti-Semitism that has has been growing in France for approximately 30 years.

Having agreed with both articles, does that make me undecided?

Stephan said...

Pinto's article is insightful and wise, different from what you read usually on this in many American newspapers (not to mention Likud style prose). The new antisemitism comes from parts of French society which cannot be compared to the traditional antisemitic, petainiste or fascist groups. it is violent, cruel, but marginal socially. In fact, one could say that these new antisemitic groups are isolating themselves more and more fron the central part of French society because of this very hate.

Stephan said...

A recommandation if I may : the article by Ms Dominique Schnapper, a sociologist who happens to be the daughter or Raymond Aron, on the current French situation after the January attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket, in Commentaire, printemps 2015. The best thing I have read by far on this.