# 105 / Editorial

The first exhibition organized by the new director of the Jewish Museum in Vienna – “100 Misunderstandings about and among Jews” – has faced much criticism and continues to be controversial. While it intends to “examine the misunderstandings that underlie prejudices against Jews,” it creates another misunderstanding and raises some fundamental questions: What is the purpose of a Jewish museum? To whom does it belong? And what should it address when it talks about Jews? Many in Vienna’s Jewish community do not recognize themselves in it, so much so that some even fear that the museum will become alien to them. Liam Hoare’s investigation traces the stages of the controversy and the heated debates provoked by the exhibition. 

Amos Morris-Reich, an Israeli researcher in Jewish Modern History, wrote a text in K. almost two years ago, in collaboration with Danny Trom. Today, we are publishing his reaction – friendly but critical – to a text by the latter on the Israeli situation. Morris-Reich considers Danny Trom’s analysis in “Israel: Towards a Rupture?” fails to perceive the unprecedented, perhaps hopeless, polarization that underlies the crisis in Israel, and neglects its most important cause: Benjamin Netanyahu, and the way in which he has turned Israelis against each other to the point of jeopardizing the country’s cohesion. Do European Jews underestimate the strength of this state? This is the issue at stake in this essay. 

Eleven years ago this week, on March 19, 2012, the attack on the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse took place. We are republishing the dialogue we had with Franck Touboul, President of the CRIF [Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France] in Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of this event whose anti-Semitic dimension, at the time, had seemingly escaped public opinion. The Jewish community knew that it was specifically targeted; but the rest of France was content to be frightened by an Islamist attack committed on its soil, while omitting the particular affiliation of the victims. Although Franck Touboul admits that French society has, in recent years, gradually become aware of anti-Semitism in its midst, it still does not deal with it and he tells us that the Jews of Toulouse continue to leave the city. Was the awareness too late? Was the reaction too weak beyond recognition of the problem? From his sadly privileged position within the most cruelly affected community, he allows us to better perceive the tensions that run through the French Jewish community.

After taking over the direction of the Jewish Museum in Vienna (JMW) on July 1, Barbara Staudinger and her team of curators had less than five months to put together their first exhibition: “100 Misunderstandings about and between Jews”. Since its opening at the end of November, the exhibition has been attracting audiences. A look back at a controversy not seen in a European Jewish museum for a decade.

This text is a friendly but critical reaction to Danny Trom’s article – “Israel: Towards a rupture? – in K., which discussed the dramatic course of events in Israel since the last elections and, in particular, the plans of the new government to change key aspects of Israel’s regime and identity. In it, Israeli scholar of modern Jewish history Amos Morris-Reich emphasizes what he believes is difficult to see clearly from Europe: Benjamin Netanyahu’s active role in Israel’s crisis and the extreme fragility of the unity of its society.

In March 2012, an Islamist terrorist targeted the Ozar Hatorah Jewish School in Toulouse, France. For the first time since the Holocaust, there were Jewish children murdered close at hand in Europe. This week marks the tenth anniversary of the attack in which eight-year-old Myriam Monsonego, Jonathan Sandler and his two sons, Gabriel, three, and Arie, six, were killed. We met with Franck Touboul, the president of the the Jewish Community of Toulouse.

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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.