Between the first and second rounds of the French presidential election, the voice of student protest made itself heard, first at the Sorbonne, then at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), where a building was defaced. The watchword of the movement at both institutions was the rejection of a binary choice between ‘fascism’ and ‘neoliberalism.’ But at the EHESS campus, where the students covered the walls in graffiti (much of it quite vitriolic), authorities noticed some antisemitic messages. The students explained themselves about this matter: “The occupation is antifascist and firmly condemns any antisemitic act. We erased the hateful drawings that unfortunately appeared on some of the walls, and we would have erased [the messages], had we seen them.”
How, in a few months, could a extreme right-wing Jewish leader create a large movement of support for him? And why can a number of French Jews consider voting for the nationalism embodied by this presidential candidate? A few days before the first round of the election, the editors of K. look back at a phenomenon that is seen as an affront to the Jewish experience.
Hungary will hold parliamentary elections on April 3. The campaign has been marked by numerous accusations of anti-Semitism against the opponents of the current government. On the other hand, the current government is the main defender of Jews on the European continent. Journalist János Gadó describes the centrality of Jewish issues in contemporary Hungary and how Hungarian Jews are divided in the face of a government that seems to want to trade their protection for a rewriting of the role of Hungarian nationalism in the Holocaust.
This March 11, a new president took office in Chile. His name is Gabriel Boric. During the campaign, an old tweet of his reemerged : “The Jewish community of Chile sends me a small jar of honey for the Jewish New Year, reaffirming their commitment to “a more inclusive, supportive and respectful society. I appreciate the gesture but they could start by asking Israel to return the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. ». For K. Ariel Bohorodzaner, founder of the Jewish Students of Chile, sheds light on the political context that led to the election of this new president and leads us to the uncertainty that it implies for the Jewish community.
There are the facts: the violence of the Russian force that is bearing down on Ukraine. There are the words: Putin’s propaganda, Zelensky’s desperate appeals to win the support of a West unable to provide a conclusive solution. Then there is the perception of the facts and the words in Europe, stunned by the event and forced to reflect on policy approaches. The return of war to our continental home already points to options for future European integration. These options, ineluctably, find themselves imbricated with questions of Jewishness and Holocaust memory. It is mainly on this issue that Julia Christ proposes her analysis, paying attention to the words used and to the representations deployed on both sides.
A year ago, K. magazine opened a space for discussion and debate that focuses on the condition of European Jews and uses it as a lens to rethink the European situation. It is founded on the diagnosis of a double crisis, evidenced by antisemitism and concern about the continued presence of Jews in Europe on the one hand, and the difficulty for Europe to define its political horizon on the other. It takes as its starting point the conviction that, without being conflated, the two crises are linked and must be dealt with together. This text is an expanded version of the manifesto published in the first issue.
A Jewish student organization, generation after generation, has become an important voice in the Austrian national public debate, even to the point of swaying governments. Tracing the activism of the Austrian Union of Jewish Students (JÖH) from its start to its latest iterations, Liam Hoare’s article tells how their activism confronts the reality of Austrian history and how it challenges the national narrative, recalling the memory of the victims of Nazi crimes and the responsibilities of those who committed them.
“Israel was born a Jewish state, that was the decision of the people, and the question is not what is the identity of the state — it was born this way and it will remain this way.” This little sentence was said on December 22, 2021 by Mansour Abbas, an Arab member of parliament of an Islamist party and Minister Delegate in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. Noémie Issan-Benchimol and Elie Beressi give us the context and analyze it as a watershed moment in the history of Israeli political life.
Suspecting that the Germans care about the monuments of Nazism because they reflect a promise of greatness that unconsciously serves as a consolation to the perpetrators, Katharina Volckmer, a young German writer living in London, reminds us that Nazism was utterly abject. That no monuments to Hitler’s wet fantasies should be maintained; that no one needs them to remember German crimes. They only serve to make life in Germany unbearable for those who see their true purpose: to allow Germans to say to themselves that, after all, “it looked good”.
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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.