How to characterize “Zemmourism”? The philosopher Gérard Bensussan considers the way in which Eric Zemmour asserts himself as a “Berber-Jew” and a nostalgic of French “israelitism”, questioning the vision of history that underlies the far-right polemicist’s blind nostalgia as well as his adoration of force. In his text for K., he points out what appears to him to be a curious affinity of the candidate of “La Reconquête” with a form of stale Marxism that also deeply impregnates the ideology of the radical left.
“I have no other country,” writes the Israeli Ehud Manor in a poem quoted by Nancy Pelosi before the U.S. Congress. “There is no Israel for me” says the narrator of Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission. Danny Trom proposes, from a combined analysis of these two statements, a distinction between several experiences of the political relationship to one’s own country: that of having only one country, that of having no other, and that of having an alternative, even if it is impractical. The question arises here: is not every citizen of his state in Europe now in a position to feel a Jewish experience?
Is the revival of the Jewish community in Vienna a sign that a new form of diasporic Jewish existence is emerging? This is the stance of Julie Cooper and Dorit Geva who, following the schema of the historian Simon Dubnow, decipher the emergence in Europe of a new form of community, not nationalized, but inserted into a pan-European context. It could serve as a model, capable of becoming an alternative to the national form embodied in the State of Israel and that (perhaps in decline after having dominated) of American Judaism.
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.
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.
Just one year ago — on October 29, 2020 — Jeremy Corbyn was expelled from the United Kingdom’s Labour Party, which he led from 2015 to 2020. The expulsion followed his reservations about the findings of the EHRC’s report on anti-Semitism in Labour. K. presents here a synthesis. It gives an account of both the reality of anti-Semitism within Labour and the way in which, after Corbyn’s resignation, Labour was able to face up to it. Strangely enough, while a part of the French left was willing to interfere in the English controversies to support Corbyn, it did not find it appropriate to revisit this report.
On October 20, Cassandre Fristot’s judgment was rendered by the French Court. So we wanted to go back to the rhetoric of the poster, and its “Who?”, brandished by this far-right activist during a demonstration against the health pass. The image quickly went viral in France. It provides a model of anti-Semitism to be decoded, where the speaker has to say what he thinks while hiding and encoding the violence of his words in order to make them circulate in the public space.
We, in Europe, have long been spectators of a debate on the relationship between Islam and politics. The matter has become as problematic as timely as it is elusive. How do we understand this problematic, which though arising in Islam has become a question for us all? Anoush Ganjipour’s latest volume, L’ambivalence politique de l’islam: Pasteur ou Leviathan? (Paris, Seuil, 2021, untranslated), stands out from the normal run of studies in the depth and radicalism of the internal critique it undertakes. K. meets with the author to discuss this landmark book.
From “La France, tu l’aimes ou tu la quittes” (“France, love it or leave it”) to “La France, tu l’assumes ou tu la quittes” (“France, live with it, or leave it”), the far-right polemicist Eric Zemmour puffs up his chest and radicalizes the nationalist exhortation. A sarcastic analysis of what the term “assume” or “live with it” might mean in the Zemmourian imagination of France.
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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.