The Twilight of French Jewry, the Twilight of France

Between the 1950s and the turn of the 21st century, the intermittent stream of Jewish emigration from France to Israel was mainly impelled by two factors. One was the positive pull of Zionism; the other was the negative push of anti-Semitism. But the latter, even though it could take on a violent or occasionally deadly form, was perceived, including by many Jews, less as a national problem than as a passing and unfortunate spillover from the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East or as a lingering expression of extreme right-wing hatred of Jews. Nor did the French government take it seriously. Until 2002, indeed, the socialists in power were in complete denial about the threat, and in this they enjoyed the complicity of the mainstream press, which operated on the (fallacious) premise that to publicize anti-Semitic violence would only exacerbate it.

Then, between 2002 and 2014, the number of home-grown anti-Jewish threats and acts—verbal abuse, desecration of cemeteries, swastikas on Jewish property, fire-bombings of synagogues, and other forms of violence up to and including murder—climbed to three times the figure for the entire previous decade.

h/t MP

Share