# 153 / Editorial

What makes the constant flirtation of American anti-racist circles with antisemitism possible, if not a certain ingenuity in the face of historical reality? Confined to the American context, they have the impression that antisemitism is, after all, not a very serious issue, especially when compared to the violent racism of a formerly slave-owning society. Especially since Jews, being “white”, would be welcomed into American society if only they wanted to be. By omitting the European context of persecution against which it was formulated, they can equate Zionism with Western racism and imperialism. From Europe, we then have the impression that, if anti-Zionism can appear to be the natural extension of American anti-racist struggles, it is above all due to a naiveté peculiar to our friends across the Atlantic. In this respect, Christian Voller’s text provides food for thought. Tracing the transformation of the civil rights movement into the militant activism of Black Power, and the way in which Black Americans encountered traditionalist Jews in the slums of America’s industrial metropolises, Voller highlights the genesis of a specific antisemitism, which accuses Jews of being representatives of the domination exercised by white society. Paradoxically, while liberal Americanized Jews have historically supported the civil rights movement, this antisemitism specifically targets the least integrated Jews, reinforcing their identitarian withdrawal. The Brooklyn of the ’70s, with its clashes between Huey Newton’s Black Panthers and Kahane’s Jewish Defense League, appears to be the crucible for a pattern of interpretation that is today applied without nuance to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Contemporary French Judaism seems to suffer from a strange paradox: while it still represents the largest Jewish community in Europe and can boast a particularly rich political and intellectual history, it seems to be bled dry, unable to renew itself and pass on its heritage to younger generations. Gabriel Abensour’s observation is clear: it was only in Israel that he discovered the great thinkers of the French Judaism in which he grew up. Against the attempt to compensate for the instability of identity with a lack of audacity and the adoption of a rigid ultra-Orthodoxy, he reminds us of what Franco-Judaism owes to the revolutionary spirit and to a Sephardism that cannot be reduced to its culinary talents.

Finally, this week we publish the second part of our investigation into the specificities of Greek antisemitism. Journalist Sofia Christoforidou tells us how the Greek authorities have set about tackling the problem. But with the Orthodox Church perpetuating the idea that the Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, digital packs of Holocaust deniers, tags associating swastikas with the Star of David, and a tendency to import the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the difficulties encountered in this fight are understandably particularly complex to overcome.

How can we explain the convergence, apparently so spontaneous on American campuses, between anti-racism and anti-Zionism? Following the radicalization of the civil rights movement, Christian Voller traces the genesis of the link between Black Lives Matter and Free Palestine. His story takes us through Brooklyn, where the encounter between Black people and traditionalist Jews sometimes took the form of a gang war.

This second part of the survey on the specifics of Greek antisemitism looks at how the public authorities intend to combat this phenomenon, based on eyewitness accounts. However, given the Orthodox Church’s responsibility in spreading anti-Jewish prejudice, the difficulties of organizing the fight against misinformation and antisemitism on the Internet, and the increase in acts of vandalism during outbreaks of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the task seems particularly arduous.

Gabriel Abensour believes that Franco-Judaism has forgotten its spiritual heritage. Deploring the adoption of an ultra-Orthodoxy that rigidifies practices and minds, and criticizing the lack of audacity of the institutions representing the Jewish community, he calls for a revival of a Judaism that knows both the value of revolutionary universalism and the intellectual richness of Sephardic civilization.

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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.