France in Trouble
Another low point was reached in France this week when the chief rabbi was forced to advise Jews not to wear yarmulkes in public. It'd be better, said Joseph Sitruk, if Jews donned baseball caps instead so as not to become targets of increasing anti-Semitic attacks. No wonder the Israeli ambassador to Paris has told Israeli radio that many of France's Jews are "wondering about their future in this country." These are further signs that the French government is rapidly losing its grip on a situation that it helped to create.
We say this not with glee, and France deserves sympathy and help as it battles anti-Semitism. The political scientist Pierre-Andre Taguieff is but one writer who's tackled the issue head on, recently penning a book titled "La Nouvelle Judeophobie." He blames Greens, anti-globalists and other leftists for making judeophobia acceptable again.
But France's government, and especially President Jacques Chirac and Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, have through their statements and actions contributed to the creation of an environment that is now getting out of hand.
Mr. Chirac and his government have refused to deal openly with the fact that many of the attacks on Jews and Jewish centers are carried out by French Arabs. Some of this can be attributed to France's failure to integrate many immigrants, especially those of the Maghreb. The suburbs where they are dumped have often become concrete nightmares where decent, hard working folks who have come to France to better their lives -- the vast majority of the immigrant population -- must brave gang rapes, murders and drug selling.
But it also doesn't help that Messrs. Chirac and de Villepin's maladroit way of trying to mollify disaffected Arab voters has been to not waste an opportunity to denounce Israel while cozying up to the worst dictators in the Arab world. Mr. de Villepin, according to a parliamentary source who was in the room with him, has denounced U.S. foreign policy as being run by Jews.
Mr. Chirac has, belatedly, sized up the dangers in the situation and is trying to stem the tide. Following yet another attack on a Jewish target last weekend, this time on a school in a Paris suburb that was burnt to the ground, the president said that "attacking a Jew in France is an attack in all of France."
But President Chirac has summoned up this type of rhetoric before, mostly to little effect. Interior Minister Nicholas Sarkozy, one of the bright lights in the government, was due to debate the Geneva-based writer Tariq Ramadan, who's been accused of anti-Semitism, on television last night after we went to press. Perhaps Mr. Sarkozy can grab control of the situation by dealing with issues openly. It is not too late.
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
France has always hated Jews.
Originally posted by stara szkapa:
Why is that? Jews enjoy being hated, or at least don�t care. Wouldn�t you like to be the hated winner? Lately being a Jew became even fashionable.
The Dreyfus case... cooperating with the Nazis to round up Jews. When did the French not show hatred for the Jews?
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
Fairly controversial statement.... evidence please?
Im not French, but if I was, Id be pretty insulted by that.
Originally posted by Paul McKenna:
Looks like France will be the first European nation to fall..
The European Union's racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined.
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
EU body shelves report on anti-semitism
Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
I would spend 100 Euro for a 2-weeks of Thomas Paul, Eugene Komonov and Jason Menard for an adventure trip to the heart of the wilderness (formerly known as France).
Anti-Semitism is a disease from which France has long suffered. The hatred of Jews experienced a drastic rise in that country in the 19th century, particularly during the reign of Napoleon III..."
France was the first nation to emancipate the Jews. During the Second French Empire, ... Jews enjoyed civil rights and liberty. They were permitted to enter the state structure and the highest levels of administration and politics. French Jews became one of the most assimilated and the best-integrated communities anywhere in the world.
Modernization became synonymous ... with Jewry, since many Jews headed the finance capitalism that modernized France...
French anti-Semitism ... became an expression of the hatred of modernity. This hatred was primarily expressed by two camps. The first camp was the socialist Left, which confused its hatred of capitalism with hatred of Jews. The second camp was the Catholic Right, which hated Jews because they weren�t Christians. Catholic anti-Semitism was also the voice of an angry religious community that resented its loss of direction of, and status in, French society. Thus, many rightwing Catholic theorists insinuated that Jews could only be French -- and human -- if they converted to Catholicism.
Of the Europeans surveyed:
30% harbor traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes.
45% believe Jews are more loyal to Israel than their own country.
30% believe that Jews have too much power in the business world.
19% say Jews don't care about anyone but their own kind.
16% say Jews are more willing than others to use shady practices to get what they want.
39% of Europeans believe Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust.
Compared to a recent ADL survey, Anti-Semitism in America, that was released on June 11, 2002,
17% of Americans were found to hold strong anti-Semitic views,
33% believe Jews are more loyal to Israel,
24% believe Jews have too much power in the business world,
16% say Jews don't care about anyone but themselves,
19% believe Jews are more willing to use shady practices.
The question about the Holocaust was not asked of Americans.
Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
Lets not forget.
Most of the muslims in EU are from Turkey.
This week Istambul, biggest city of Turkey, was the target of terrorist acts as New York was in September 2001.
Turkish people were deeply shocked by those ruthless attacks against a society in which jews formed a well-integrated part.
[ November 22, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]