The mandate to stun animals prior to slaughter is a demand of many European animal rights activists and environmentalist parties. This purported campaign for animal rights clashes with Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter rules in an incidental way. At least, most of the time. For in the course of history animal welfare has indeed been used to justify anti-Semitic policies and, in the public debate, can still serve as a pretext for the extreme right in its attacks on Islam. But is such a purpose to be found among the majority of today’s animal welfare advocates who oppose ritual slaughter? As Israeli jurist Shai Lavi explains, the question of intent matters to Jews because the accommodations they can make to ritual slaughter standards depend on it. Thus, latent anti-Semitism would make its prohibition unacceptable on principle. By taking the path of historical comparison, Shai Lavi invites us to question what lies behind the intentions.

It is this same question of decoding that runs through the second article of this week, The End of Robert Klein. Looking back at Joseph Losey’s mythical film (1976), director and film historian Jean Baptiste Thoret tells of the doubling of the character who gives the film its title. Through the quest of Mr. Klein, played by Alain Delon, who is stubbornly trying to find out who his namesake is, a question is formulated for the spectator, who sees an “ordinary bastard” gradually become a victim of genocide. In the trajectory of Robert Klein, we also see the gradual reunion of the two Frances of the Occupation, one that was hunted down and persecuted from the start, and the other that, when it did not benefit from it, accommodated the situation until the denial of truth became a tragedy…

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The ban on ritual slaughter (shehita) has confronted Jews in Europe several times. Shai Lavi reminds us that traditional authorities have always reacted to this situation by trying to adapt to the context in which the ban was formulated - which implies that the intention behind the ban must be clearly identified. Since only the antisemitic motive condemns any compromise, it is extremely important to establish this motive before making a decision. The essay by Shai Lavi, professor of law, suggests that we would be well advised today to extend this enquiry whenever Jews are caught up in any such controversy.

July 1942. Robert Klein is a Parisian art dealer who takes advantage of the Occupation to enrich himself on the backs of Jews forced to sell the pieces of art they own at low prices. One day, he receives a copy of "Information Juive" in his name. But isn't Klein a good French Catholic? Who is this double? Is it a misunderstanding? A manipulation? Klein goes in search of this Other... and thereby of himself. Jean-Baptiste Thoret revisits Joseph Losey's film on the occasion of its release on Blu-ray and an edited volume commenting this masterpiece made in 1976.

As Minister of the Interior during the presidency of François Hollande, Bernard Cazeneuve had to deal with the wave of attacks in 2015. An interview about the threats to the Jews of France and the attacks they suffered, as well as his conception of the Republic and the relationship of Jews to it ... >>>

Jews are excluded from access to the kingdom.” This clause, the second in the Norwegian constitution, approved by a large majority in 1814, has long been a singular pronouncement in Europe. For K., journalist Vibeke Knoop Rachline tells us its history – through the repeal of the paragraph in 1851 – and the trace it leaves today in Norwegian society and its small Jewish community.

From June to October, the Museum of Jewish Art and History (mahJ) in Paris presented an exhibition of the Jewish artists of l’École de Paris, the famous French artistic movement of the interwar period. The exhibition was based on Hersh Fenster’s work “Our Martyred Artists” published in 1951 in Yiddish and which, for the occasion, was translated into French. A true memorial to the artists who died during the Shoah, Fenster’s book reveals the place of Jewish painters in the Paris art world of the Roaring Twenties. The art dealer Nadine Nieszawer and Paul Salmona, current director of the mahJ evoke these artists of the “lost shtetl of Montparnasse”.

One of the oldest medieval Hebrew manuscripts preserved in France was sold in New York on October 19. An anonymous private collector acquired it for more than eight million euros. The mahzor known as the “Luzzatto mahzor” had been one of the jewels of the Alliance Israélite Universelle’s library since 1870. Noëmie Duhaut looks back at this story and asks the question it raises: Why are an archive about Jewish life, culture, and politics, as well as research on these topics struggling to exist in France?

As her fingers gripped my skin I was already packing my belongings in the Oranienstraße studio, finding a cheap flight across the channel that Hitler failed to cross, and sitting down at my desk in Oxford to make sense of this comedy of errors. But I knew that even after I slipped from Christine’s life she and Ingrid and Klaus would always be able to say, “Oh yes, Christine dated a nice Jewish boy once…” I could not let her possess me as an object as fastidiously placed as the tea cups and history books in her apartment.

Hannah Arendt is one of the major intellectual figures of the 20th century. A volume of the prestigious ‘Cahiers de l’Herne’ devoted to Arendt has just been published in French.  The volume introduces the French public to writings that had not been published in their language and invites all of us to discover new facets of Hannah Arendt, political theorist, committed thinker of her time, and Jewish intellectual. Avishag Zafrani, for K and Akadem, spoke with the philosophers Martine Leibovici and Aurore Mréjen who edited this publication. They discuss Arendt’s links with Heidegger, her reflections on political anti-Semitism, her relationship to Zionism…

In Marseille, feminist activists are taking over the walls of the city to spread messages about antisemitism and the situation of Jewish women. The movement, which is attracting attention via an Instagram account, seems surprising in Europe’s third-largest Jewish community, known for its conservatism. Yoram Melloul portrays some of these billposters, who often find themselves caught between their traditional environment and their activism.

The plethora of charges made against Jews requires a constant reworking of the concepts used to characterize these phenomena. In recent years, the notion of “secondary anti-Semitism” or “guilt-rejecting anti-Semitism” has thus been invoked to characterize new forms of anti-Jewish hostility that relate to the Holocaust in order to deny it, relativize it, reverse the responsibility for it, etc.

Born in Germany, from which she fled to London, the narrator of “The Appointment” pours out her heart while being examined by her gynecologist, Dr. Seligman. Resolutely provocative, mixing sexual fantasies about Hitler with sharp insights into our contemporary society, the novel is a satirical parable over which the shadow of Philip Roth, Woody Allen and Thomas Bernhardt hovers.

The departure of the Jews from Tunisia, generally associated with the consequences of the Six Day War, was in fact rooted in a Tunisian-French conflict known as the Bizerte Crisis, which took place five years earlier. The accusation of treason leveled against the Jews of Bizerte, and their consequent rescue by Israel, marked the beginning of the rapid disappearance of any Jewish presence in Tunisia. Writing for K., Agnès Bensimon, a specialist in the history of the Jews in North Africa, tells us about the last days of the Jewish community of Bizerte.

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.