In this latest instalment of our series on antisemitism in Europe, produced in partnership with DILCRAH, Liam Hoare looks at Austria’s strategy for combating hatred and prejudice against Jews. In this first part of his investigation, which will be concluded next week, he focuses on the desire to ensure the continuity of Austrian Jewish life, notably through an educational policy. But how does this fit in with Austria’s history of collaboration in the Nazi crimes?

Since October 7, the enlistment of young Haredim, ultra-Orthodox Jews, in the Israeli army is no longer taboo. Several rabbis and heads of religious schools have even encouraged it in Israel, in a traditionally non-Zionist “black hat” world that differs from the religious Zionist universe. A significant part of the Hasidic movement, however, remains impervious to the chanting of the canon. The Satmar Hasidic movement, unknown in France but powerful in the United States, is even fiercely critical of the religious parties that support the war. To dive into their entirely Yiddish-speaking world, K. is presenting several long extracts from their newspapers.

In his article published in K. this week, Jean-Claude Milner offers us his sharp analysis of the evolution of the alliance between the United States and Israel, which we are indeed obliged to observe. For the philosopher, it’s all about identifying the forces behind a real divorce in progress. Bruno Karsenti and Danny Trom – with the very recent speech by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in mind – revisit Jean-Claude Milner’s text and take another look at the depth of the crisis between the United States and Israel.

For many years, Jean-Claude Milner has been attentive and lucid about the role of the signifiers “Jew” and “Israel” in the reconfiguration of the post-Holocaust West. His books remain a constant source of meditation for many readers, who are keen to take a fresh look at the scope of the “Jewish question” in Europe. This week he analyzes for K. the restructuring of the relationship between Israel and the United States, in the context determined by October 7 and the war in Gaza.

As pro-Palestinian students control who can enter the “Gaza” amphitheater, Clara Levy, former Sciences Po student and founder of the Paris-Tel Aviv association, delivers a touching, yet dejected, account of her memories of rue Saint Guillaume. While altercations over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and anti-Zionist suspicions of Jewish students, are apparently nothing new, Sciences Po seems to have lost its lustre: where can opposing viewpoints be organized, if the lecture halls are inaccessible?

What is the “it” whose repetition the slogan “Never again” seeks to ward off? At a time when the use of this phrase is becoming commonplace, to the point where some are turning it against the State of Israel, Danny Trom traces its genesis, beyond the reference to the Holocaust. Questioning the way in which Zionist pioneers appropriated the story of the fortress of Masada’s heroic resistance to the Roman legions, he sheds light on how the slogan relates to the Jewish condition, and how it can still inform our perspective on the current situation.

The famous philosopher Judith Butler, invited by a collective of decolonial and anti-Zionist associations, declared – once again – during a round table in Pantin on Sunday 3 March that the 7 October attack was “an act of resistance” and not “terrorist”, and that it should not be described as “anti-Semitic”. That day, she further suspected the reality of sexual assaults committed by Hamas. By focusing on the case of Judith Butler, Eva Illouz criticises the positions of a certain Left which, she believes, undermines the egalitarian and universalist ideals of the Left and paves the way for hatred of Jews.

How can we talk about Gaza without distracting ourselves from Israel’s just cause? Faced with the attacks of October 7, the war had to be waged, with its dual aim: the liberation of the hostages and the lasting restoration of Israel’s security, i.e. the eradication of Hamas. All this in the inextricable conditions of a combat in which the adversary wishes the martyrdom of its people, and Israel as a Jewish and democratic state must ensure that they achieve none of their aims, including this one. However, this is not what is happening, and we need to redefine the situation in the light of this fact.

The stupidity of the discourse produced by the situation in Gaza is flourishing everywhere, in all camps. But it’s the stupidity of the intellectual elites that we need to focus on. After all, isn’t it their job to enlighten the world rather than obscure it? Isn’t that the function our societies have attributed to them? Our contributor Karl Kraus is convinced of this. That’s why he wonders about Judith Butler’s recent attempt to dumb down public opinion even further, a rhetorician by trade, but commonly presented as a philosopher and honored as one of the great minds of our time.

With the support of:

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