# 138 / Editorial

One month since October 7. Every day that passes confirms that the unprecedented massacre perpetrated by Hamas was the spark that ignited the spirits and triggered increasingly worrying events. The fires are multiplying. The war in Gaza – in an area where Palestinian civilians are tragically exposed and Israeli hostages are still at the mercy of Hamas – is creating a front that seems to have the whole world as its rear base. What is most striking is the increase in anti-Semitic acts and words, which goes hand in hand with the relativisation of the pogrom at the beginning of this new era. A month after it began, and in parallel with this rise in anti-Semitism, which the general public is slowly beginning to take into account, it is moving towards a kind of consensus on the need for a ceasefire, as Bruno Karsenti notes in a text that tries to clarify what is at stake in the current war, while asking what could be “the right policy for Israel to pursue given the trap into which Hamas has deliberately lured it”. What is at stake here is the question of what Israel must remain faithful to in order to remain itself. The question has been asked with intensity since the installation of a right-wing government a year ago. Today it is being raised again in the new conditions created by October 7.

An attempt at clarification of a different kind comes from Germany. Its vice-chancellor, Robert Habeck (Green Party), has circulated a video of a speech on novembre 1. It is certainly primarily a German speech when he says that “It was the generation of my grandparents that wanted to exterminate Jewish life in Germany and Europe”. But this speech has an additional political dimension: it also expresses a vision of Europe that reminds him that it is a post-Holocaust construction, and that the legitimacy of the European political project would collapse if Europe failed to defend Jews against any form of anti-Semitic threat – whether from the far right, the far left or Islamism. And this, Robert Habeck shows, includes defending the State of Israel, whose security, he tells us, is “necessary” for Germany “as a state” and, by extension, for Europe as a sovereign political entity.

Another voice expressing concern about what he calls the “moral idiocy” of the left, in this case the American left, is being heard in K. this week. Mitchell Abidor, a regular contributor to our review, has been involved in the left-wing Jewish press for over forty years. As well as tracing the history of his own involvement in the 1970s, he gives us an account of the reaction of the new generation of radical activists, particularly Jewish ones, after October 7. It is both fascinating and distressing to see how these activists, for example in a magazine like Jewish Currents, proved unable to grasp the nature of the massacre perpetrated by Hamas and therefore unable to condemn it outright. He speaks of a kind of ideological “paralysis”. “It was as if the mere mention of Jewish deaths signified the privileging of Jewish deaths.”

As conditions for the population of Gaza worsen and the fate of the hostages in the hands of Hamas remains in abeyance, the legitimate call for a ceasefire is becoming increasingly emphatic. In this context, where a sense of both humanitarian and political urgency prevails, the question arises of the degree to which Israel should respond to the unprecedented crime that has struck it. Bruno Karsenti explores this issue by asking the equally crucial question of what Israel must be able to do in order to remain true to what it is.

The speech by German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, a member of the Green Party, on the situation in the Middle East on 2 November struck a chord. With an infallible clarity that in Europe could probably only come from Germany, he insisted both on the right of the Palestinians to have their own state and on Israel’s right to defend its security. He criticised the ambivalence of some sections of public opinion towards Hamas and explained why Germany and Europe, if they want to remain true to the basis of their political legitimacy, must not give in in the fight against anti-Semitism under any circumstances and for no “humanitarian” reason. K. introduces the translation of his speech into French with a short text by Julia Christ and Danny Trom explaining its significance in the confusion of current political discourse.

Our collaborator Mitchell Abidor writes here about his anger with a part of his political camp, writing about it, saying: “Blinded by hatred of Israel, fearing being associated with the governments of the West, the left’s moral compass has gone missing.” His account of the analyses and reports published in the left-wing press since October 7, particularly the left-wing Jewish press , provides insights into the mechanism behind the nearly physical impossibility felt by the American left to condemn outright the massacres carried out by Hamas.

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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.