Combatting Anti-Semitism: Penalizing Anti-Zionism for Change

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October 7, 2023 will mark a serious moment of liberation from anti-Semitism. Although the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack that left 1,400 dead, including nearly 40 French people, Israel has been demonized in a large part of the Arab world, but also in the West, since the first day of this attack and its consequences.

This hatred of Israel which floods our streets and social networks is the false nose of “new age” anti-Semitism. Anti-Zionism is the Trojan horse of anti-Semitism.

In France, the scent of interwar anti-Semitism resurfaces and floats in the atmosphere. Buildings are sprayed with a Star of David, Jewish citizens are attacked in the street, but also in their homes, anti-Semitic speech is released both in Parliament and in pro-Palestinian demonstrations. In three weeks our country recorded more anti-Semitic acts than in a year.

The danger is such that the State had to mobilize 10,000 law enforcement agents, gendarmes, police officers and soldiers from the Sentinel force to protect the Jews of France! That is 1 soldier or police officer for 44 Jewish citizens.

This situation is unfortunately not new, in France our 446,000 fellow citizens of the Jewish faith have known since Ilan Halimi, Mireille Knoll, Sarah Halimi that “death to the Jews” is not just a slogan, but a reality. A daily danger.

Anti-Zionism has resurrected anti-Semitism
The latter’s explosion is directly linked to hatred of Israel. The second intifada in 2000 was a marker, a turning point, anti-Semitic acts then increased tenfold.

We have to go back to the ransacking of the Jewish cemetery in Carpentras to find such an electroshock. In the meantime, national indignation has given way to a guilty silence, there were 2 million demonstrators against anti-Semitism in 1990, almost no one in the streets of France in 2023 until the salutary appeal of Gérard Larcher and Yaël Braun-Pivet.

The driving force behind hatred of Jews is known: hatred of Israel, anti-Zionism. In the pro-Palestinian demonstrations we heard “Gas the Jews” in Sydney, we saw Daesh flags in the United Kingdom, slogans supporting the “heroic act” of Hamas in France, hostage posters snatched in all Western capitals.

Each incident between Israel and its neighbors immediately reverberates in France, which is home to the largest Muslim community as well as the largest Jewish community in Europe. The scapegoat for the conflicts between Tel Aviv and its neighbors is always the same: Israel, the only Jewish state in the world, and what is more, the only democratic and non-Muslim state in the region.

Let’s dare to describe reality
Anti-Semitism has mutated, hatred of far-right Jews, still present, has become a minority and confined to small groups and confidential magazines. Today, it is in a radical fringe of Arab-Muslim opinion and on the far left, which has smelled shame in the electoral vein, that anti-Semitism has found a second lease of life.

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The unprecedented resurgence of violent anti-Semitism which has hit the world since October 7 and the Hamas terrorist attacks demonstrates that anti-Zionism has become a permission for anti-Semitism, an anti-Semitic license.

As the philosopher Vladimir Jankélévitch demonstrated, anti-Zionism is justified anti-Semitism, anti-Semitism finally made accessible to all. Anti-Zionism is the permission to be democratically anti-Semitic. Anti-Zionism allowed the Nazification of the Jews and the circumvention of the moral prohibition inherited from the Shoah, that of frontal anti-Semitism.

Contrary to what anti-Zionist propaganda asserts, anti-Zionism is not criticism or even the fight against the Israeli government and the policies of its Prime Minister. Anti-Zionism is hostility to a Jewish state, hatred of a state because it is Jewish.
Anti-Semitism is an anti-Semitic alibi. A camouflage that surpasses anti-Semitism in danger, because it offers a pretext for hatred of Jews in the incarnation of the State of Israel.

The most radical anti-Zionists go so far as to legitimize the destruction of Israel, a genocidal intention that we find in pro-Hamas demonstrations under the slogan “Palestine will conquer from the sea to the Jordan” (that is, i.e. without Israel, eradicated). A slogan that amounts to chanting “Death to the Jews”.

Today, faced with anti-Semitism, the Republic is at a turning point. It no longer needs to be proven that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are two sides of the same coin, that of hatred of Jews. France has made this link like more than twenty countries by adopting the definition of the International Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust which makes anti-Zionism anti-Semitism.

According to Ipsos, 40% of French people do not know what anti-Zionism is.
This bill would make this new anti-Semitism known and would increase awareness. Let’s open the eyes of millions of French people. When Alain Finkielkraut was attacked in Paris in February 2019 with the cry of “dirty shitty Zionist”, it was “dirty Jew” that he received in the face. He is the son of Polish deportees to Auschwitz.

Faced with anti-Semitism and its new matrix, the “time of suspicion”, as Raymond Aron described it, is over. Time for action. To triumph, evil only needs the inaction of good people to prosper. Let’s come out of our lethargy and act before it’s too late. Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past. Our humanist Republic allowed anti-Semitism to pour out its gall without limit and without prohibition in the 1930s, in Parliament, in public opinion and in the press.
Alas, without safeguards, without penalization and without moral and legal rearmament, we know the rest… It is one minute to midnight before we helplessly witness the tragic stuttering of history.

This article is originally published on latribune.fr

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