How France’s Failure to Confront Anti-Semitism Led to Its Failure to Stop Terrorism

Allegedly there is no anti-Semitism in France—only Jewish “communalism.”

Listening to French politicians, journalists, and intellectuals responding to the seafront massacre in Nice in mid-July of this year, or to the murder two weeks later of a priest in the village of Saint Etienne du Rouvray, one could not escape a feeling of déjà vu. By now, official France has developed a carefully scripted ritual for reacting to such Islamist attacks. Prior to this past summer’s events, the script was most conspicuously deployed in the wake of the killings at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, and before that on the occasion of a jihadist spree in Toulouse in 2012; but its use can be traced back much farther in time.