Politics - France

Martine Cohen is a sociologist specialising in the evolution of French Judaism. The text she has let us republish in K. is an extract from her recent book: “Fin du Franco-judaïsme ? Quelle place pour les Juifs dans une France multiculturelle ?” More precisely, it appears in the chapter “Dissonances politiques”, in which the author identifies the sources of unease that weaken “Franco-Judaism”. This Franco-Judaism crystallised in its new form during the 1980s, in a break with the ‘Israelism’ of the 19th century.

Last month, a group of almost three dozen members of the lower house of the French Parliament, the National Assembly, introduced a resolution labeling Israel an “apartheid state”. The deputies, hailing from the far-left France Insoumise (LFI) and Communist parties, set off a fiery debate in the chamber, as members of Emmanuel Macron’s government accused LFI of promoting antisemitism. Bruno Karsenti evaluates this latest controversy over antisemitism in France.

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.

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.

What does the Zemmour French phenomenon obscure? The growing popularity of the nationalist standard-bearer deserves to be put back in its true place: that of the conflict of identities that has been allowed to swell for at least two decades, where none of the positions in the battle has the legitimacy which it claims…

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s astonishing statement about the sudden occurrence of a “major event” during the next presidential election has been widely commented upon. However, what is most surprising here is the astonishment itself that these remarks have provoked. There is nothing new in Mélenchon’s dabbling in conspiracy theories, underestimation of the seriousness of anti-Semitism and concomitant scolding of those who dare to worry about it.

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 … >>>

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