History

What ideological resources do supporters of the binational solution draw on, at a time when cohabitation between Israelis and Palestinians seems more compromised than ever? Denis Charbit offers us his critical review of Shlomo Sand’s latest book, Two people for one State? Rereading the history of Zionism (Seuil). Born from within Zionist thought, Charbit nevertheless warns us against the deception of turning this perspective against the Zionist project as such.

How should we view the divide between those in Israel who put the destruction of Hamas before any consideration of the hostages’ fate, and those who, on the contrary, are ready to negotiate their rescue at any price? In this text, Noémie Issan-Benchimol analyzes the coordinates of the debate in terms of cultural and religious ethos. While Jewish tradition sees hostage redeeming as a communal obligation, a significant part of religious Zionism is reviving a Roman ethos of civic honor, which scorns weakness and territorializes fraternity. Can fraternity, specific to the diaspora, continue to inform the politics of a state?

How can we explain the convergence, apparently so spontaneous on American campuses, between anti-racism and anti-Zionism? Following the radicalization of the civil rights movement, Christian Voller traces the genesis of the link between Black Lives Matter and Free Palestine. His story takes us through Brooklyn, where the encounter between Black people and traditionalist Jews sometimes took the form of a gang war.

Carlo Ginzburg’s historical work has shed new light on the Jewish condition, making it possible to consider them in their minority, marginal dimension, alongside the witches and lepers persecuted by the Inquisition. In this interview with Avishag Zafrani, the renowned scholar discusses the subjective determinations that led him to approach the history of persecution from the point of view of the victims, and how this approach challenges the practice and position of the historian.

On 10 February 1944, Anni and Fritz Finaly, Austrian refugees who had arrived in France six years earlier, entrusted their sons to the Sisters. Four days later, they were arrested by the Gestapo. Deported to Auschwitz, they never returned. Aged 2 and 3, Robert and Gérard were entrusted to the care of a devout Catholic, Antoinette Brun, who became their guardian. When the children’s family wanted them back, Miss Brun refused – on the grounds that they had been baptised. Philosopher Jean-Michel Rey looks back at this “Finaly affair”, which hit the headlines in the early 1950s, and at the violence of a gesture of erasure that people thought could be legitimised by recourse to Catholic theology alone.

What is the significance of this massive return to the history and memory of the Holocaust as a point of reference since the October 7 massacres, and what is the significance of the proliferation of the word “genocide” to condemn Israel’s war on Gaza? How should we understand speeches that claim that Israel is instrumentalizing the memory of the Holocaust to justify a war that is considered genocidal, echoing the trope that the victims have become the executioners? We asked Tal Bruttmann to shed some light on these questions.

Should a Jew who transgresses the Shabbat without being aware of his existence atone for it? Starting from the problem of a self-conscious Jewishness, Ivan Segré examines the bipolarity of Jewish identity, between the facticity of genealogical inscription and the radicality of subjective affirmation. In so doing, he sheds light on the Jewish articulation between individual and collective emancipation: it was not because he knew he was Jewish that Moses decided to leave Pharaoh’s house, but in doing so, he already was…

On 19 April 1943, the twentieth convoy leaving the Malines transit camp in Belgium for Auschwitz, with 1,631 Jewish deportees on board, was the target of an action led by resistance fighters to free the passengers. In the end, 236 of them jumped from the train that was destined for extermination. Agnès Bensimon looks back at this act of rebellion – the only one of its kind in Western Europe under Nazi rule during the Second World War.

Did the early Zionists really believe that Palestine was a deserted, uninhabited land? For some, that’s what the phrase ‘a land without a people for a people without a land’ implies. Tracing the origins and use of this phrase, Diana Muir shows that to do so would be both to put Zionism on trial and to evacuate the question of the construction of Palestinian national identity.

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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.