By Dr. Guy Bechor
לקרוא מאמר זה בעברית
If anyone needed a reminder, prestigious American magazine Vanity Fair published a huge heart-rending feature about the situation of anti-Semitism in France. It isn’t happening during the Holocaust or during the Dreyfus trial, but now.
Being identified on the French street as a Jew means taking a risk of physical violence, and even a life-threatening situation. It means entrenching oneself as a collective and hiding one’s personal identity.
The article reveals that the community of half a million Jews is considering its future in the country: It is a community which is packing its bags. “When did we become foreigners again?” local Jews are asking painfully. They, who were born in France, are now perceived as foreigners, while the Muslim immigrants feel right at home there.
Some will say that anti-Semitism in France does not come from the top, but is the result of the settlement of millions of Muslims in the country or of the old European anti-Semitism. But this claim is only partially true: The French government cannot deny its responsibility for the fact that its finest citizens are planning to leave the country.
It’s true that the government led by Prime Minister Manuel Valls sent hundreds of armed soldiers to guard the Jewish schools (demonstrating to the Jews that they have nothing left to do in the country) and that Valls himself urged them to stay. “France without the Jews is not France,” he stated, and was immediately criticized in the spirit of the new racism enveloping the country.
Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas claimed that Valls was “likely acting under Jewish influence,” as his wife is Jewish. “Everyone knows he is married to someone who has an influence on him,” he said. No measures have been taken against Dumas. In other words, being married to a Jewish woman in France makes one a suspect.
The French government is responsible for the situation due to its clear pro-Muslim and pro-Palestinian policy, as well as the traditional hostility towards Israel (regardless of the identity of the ruling party). The moment they didn’t stop the public attacks on Israel, the street interpreted it as permission to attack the Jews – as there is no longer a distinction between them. “Death to the Jews” is the slogan being shouted during conflicts and pogroms in Paris, like what happened less than a year ago.
>>France’s leaders are responsible for local Jews’ grim situation due to government’s clear pro-Muslim and pro-Palestinian policy, as well as its traditional hostility towards Israel.
The hatred of Israel, which has been expressed for years in media outlets partially controlled by members of the left-wing and “politically correct” camp, firmly fixed the demonization: Surveys conducted in the country show that many accuse the Jews of taking over global capital and of dual loyalty. Dark times are returning to Europe.
The French government cannot have it both ways: Level poisonous criticism and diplomatically press Israel while claiming that it is fighting anti-Semitism. These moves against Israel are the ones creating anti-Semitism.
The French, like other countries in the European Union, cannot criticize the evacuation of several dozen Bedouins from an insignificant spot in Judea and Samaria, and ignore the evacuation of tens of thousands of Jews from France’s cities. This hypocrisy cannot go on: From now on, we must call it by its name.
“Zionism” has become an almost derogatory term among the French elite, which has been trying so hard to disguise its anti-Semitism. But that same Zionism is fulfilling its purpose again: To open the Jewish state’s arms to every Jew who feels persecuted. Zionism, which grew stronger following the anti-Semitism that generated the Dreyfus affairs, is more relevant and justified than ever.
I feel for the other French people, those who don’t have Zionism or a nation state to redeem them from the calamity taking over their country, until the likely inevitable explosion. What a shame that they don’t have a State of Israel of their own.
The Arab oil era is over
Published: Yedioth Aharonoth