# 155 / Editorial

At K., we have not ceased to underline the horror caused by the attacks of October 7, while at the same time expressing the Zionist dereliction, in the sense that we understand it, and that this event has provoked. The manifestations of hatred of Israel that have come to light – from the most vulgar antisemitism, leading to concrete acts of violence, to that of certain intellectual elites feeding the reaction of part of the global left – are what we need to fight against in the diaspora. In our view, none of this diagnosis can be called into question at a time when the ever worsening situation in Gaza demands that we take a clear stand. While just in its aim, the war has a price in terms of Palestinian lives destroyed that even Israel cannot agree to pay. Michael Walzer put it this way in an interview published in K. on October 18: “the way you conduct a just struggle compromises the justness of that struggle”. And this week, Bruno Karsenti analyzes how Israeli military policy, as currently pursued, undermined by its total lack of perspective, is proving to be a dead end.

But we must not forget that there are many fronts. For Jewish communities in the diaspora, the war is above all symbolic, and is played out in attacks on language itself, when it distorts reality (historical, political) and the demands of thought give way to the temptation to retreat into ideology. This approach is shameful when it takes on the posture of high intellectuality in order to dumb down a captive audience rather than enlighten it. Judith Butler’s statements last week, during a round table in Pantin at the invitation of a decolonial collective, are a case in point. Eva Illouz – for whom the positions of a certain Left undermine the egalitarian and universalist ideals of the Left, opening the way to hatred of the Jews – and our own Karl Kraus – particularly attentive to the foolishness of ready-made opinions that work from within a discourse that claims to be articulate – each return to this in their own way. For we need to hear and measure the kind of political and discursive pathology in which phrases like those uttered on March 3 by one of the most celebrated philosophers in today’s academic world are rooted: “I think it’s more honest, and more historically correct, to say that the October 7 uprising was an act of armed resistance. It’s not a terrorist attack, it’s not an antisemitic attack” and “Whether or not there are documents to support the allegations of rape of Israeli women… okay… if there are documents, we deplore it, but we want to see those documents.

How can we talk about Gaza without distracting ourselves from Israel’s just cause? Faced with the attacks of October 7, the war had to be waged, with its dual aim: the liberation of the hostages and the lasting restoration of Israel’s security, i.e. the eradication of Hamas. All this in the inextricable conditions of a combat in which the adversary wishes the martyrdom of its people, and Israel as a Jewish and democratic state must ensure that they achieve none of their aims, including this one. However, this is not what is happening, and we need to redefine the situation in the light of this fact.

The famous philosopher Judith Butler, invited by a collective of decolonial and anti-Zionist associations, declared – once again – during a round table in Pantin on Sunday 3 March that the 7 October attack was “an act of resistance” and not “terrorist”, and that it should not be described as “anti-Semitic”. That day, she further suspected the reality of sexual assaults committed by Hamas. By focusing on the case of Judith Butler, Eva Illouz criticises the positions of a certain Left which, she believes, undermines the egalitarian and universalist ideals of the Left and paves the way for hatred of Jews.

The stupidity of the discourse produced by the situation in Gaza is flourishing everywhere, in all camps. But it’s the stupidity of the intellectual elites that we need to focus on. After all, isn’t it their job to enlighten the world rather than obscure it? Isn’t that the function our societies have attributed to them? Our contributor Karl Kraus is convinced of this. That’s why he wonders about Judith Butler’s recent attempt to dumb down public opinion even further, a rhetorician by trade, but commonly presented as a philosopher and honored as one of the great minds of our time.

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