# 145 / Editorial

On November 19, Javier Milei won the second round of Argentina’s presidential election against Sergio Massa, the candidate of the center-left Peronist coalition. He became the first libertarian president in recent history, and his very first actions bear witness to a shocking authoritarianism that has already brought thousands of people to the streets. So shocking, in fact, that on Friday, December 22, he announced that the organizers of the first opposition demonstration would have to pay the costs of maintaining order… After Trump and Bolsonaro, it’s no longer a surprise that a ubiquitous far-right populism should reach the summit of the state through an eccentric, highly media-savvy figure, adept at provocative declarations, opposition to “caste” and crowd bathing. But we are left speechless by his strange fascination with Judaism – to the point of considering converting to it – his public blessing by rabbis, his use of a passage from the Book of Maccabees as a campaign slogan, or his instrumentalization of Hanukkah during his inauguration. This week in K., Francesco Callegaro traces the path of “this disheveled anarcho-capitalist economist” to the highest spheres of power, questioning the surprising encounter between the most unbridled neoliberalism and a certain form of Jewish messianism.

So, for this first issue of 2024, we have decided to republish three texts published since the events of October 7th. We wanted to reaffirm the principles of understanding that guide the magazine’s editorial line and the issues that justify it more than ever. On the question of principles, the first two texts say it all, so much so that they seem to answer each other. In “Following the pogrom”, Danny Trom and Bruno Karsenti tried to assess the existential destabilization that had just hit the Jewish world. They noted that with the unprecedented pogrom in Israel, the inescapable diasporic background had come to the surface: “The world was reunited and homogenized for Jews; the Israeli place joined the diasporic places.“. As Pierre Goldman’s unpublished text, which we published two weeks later, testifies, this background and its implications were already perceptible almost 50 years ago: “Israel is not external to the Diaspora. Israel is a place in the Diaspora, in the exile. […] Perhaps there will be more misfortunes to come…“. The third text testifies to one of the issues we must continue to confront this year: the fact that a significant part of the Left seems to have lost all moral compass when it comes to Israel and the Jews. In “The moral failure of my left”, Mitchell Abidor recounted the apparent inability of the American left, with which he had until then fully identified, to unequivocally condemn the crimes of Hamas. In the absence of a shepherd’s star to guide these lost sheep, K. will continue over this year to offer elements of intelligibility for those who wish to orient themselves in the current conjuncture.

On December 10, Javier Milei, “el loco” [the madman], officially became Argentina’s new president. One of the astounding aspects of the populist tribune’s rise to power is his relationship with Judaism. He made the chief rabbi of the Moroccan-Argentine Jewish community Acilba his “spiritual guide”, and declared that he would devote his life to the Torah once he had accomplished the political mission God had assigned him. Francesco Callegaro looks back at the strange theological-political knot in which Orthodox Judaism and the pinnacle of the Argentine state now find themselves intertwined.

After the events in Israel on October 7, 2023, the coordinates of the Jewish world are no longer the same. They are shifting, recomposing, and rearranging themselves, so that among all the feelings that beset Jews today stands the disorientation provoked by this upheaval. It’s not easy, while gripped by dread and plunged into mourning, to make sense of it. The only way to unravel the new situation is to force ourselves to open our eyes – even if we’d like to keep them closed and look only inside ourselves. 

In a short text written in June 1974, Pierre Goldman describes the nature of his relationship with Israel – a fundamental attachment without illusions. Taken from his correspondence with Vladimir Rabinovitch (Rabi), these few unpublished lines have been made public for the first time thanks to his son, Manuel Goldman.

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.