# 157 / Editorial

From day one, Israel’s war in Gaza has been legitimized by a dual objective: to destroy Hamas and to bring back the hostages. However, since wanting to free the hostages “at all costs” implies negotiating with Hamas to buy them back, these two objectives are in contradiction. Thus, from the very first days of the war, a new political divide emerged in Israel: should an agreement for the return of the hostages be negotiated, or not, at the risk of national security? Noémie Issan-Benchimol examines the coordinates of the opposition between the various Israeli “tribes” on this thorny issue. At a time when hostage posters have been torn down even in Israel on the basis that they would undermine martial morale, it is in fact Jewish fraternity that is at stake: is the person captured by the enemy still part of the community, is solidarity still required? Tracing the traditional legitimization of hostage rescue in Jewish thought, Noémie Issan-Benchimol asks how the form of brotherhood specific to exile can relate to the state situation.

While life in exile is marked by a constitutive instability, it is nonetheless punctuated by a calendar that emphasizes festivities. Lacking the reassuring certainty of territorial anchorage, the diasporic Jew is inscribed in a ritualized temporality that serves as support and refuge. For a time, that of the feast, the world is set aside, and anxiety gives way to a carefree attitude that sometimes resembles recklessness. For many observant Jews, October 7 was Shabbat. The next day, coincidentally, was Simchat Torah. This week, Ruben Honigmann gives us an intimate account of this shifted temporality, where the event only happened belatedly, once the cell phones had been switched back on. But do we ever emerge from the night of October 8, where history caught up with us? Months go by, but the stupefaction remains, as if temporality remains dissociated, and all support has been withdrawn.

Sciences Po prides itself on being an establishment where we learn not only the art of rhetoric, but also that of nuance, which presupposes the ability to confront contradictory ideas and critically relate to the diversity of opinions. This is, after all, the least we can expect from an institution that intends to train tomorrow’s intellectual and political elites: that it trains their reflexivity, i.e., that it teaches them to dispense with reflexes of thought that, even cloaked in the trappings of subversion, bear witness to the most blithering conformism. With students and activists parading around in keffiyehs and controlling the entrance to the “Gaza” lecture hall, it’s doubtful whether this mission has been accomplished. This week, we publish the testimony of Clara Levy, a former Science Po student and founder of the Paris-Tel Aviv Association. She recalls a time when all was not rosy for Jewish students, but when opposing views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be discussed, when teaching staff dared to provoke thought, and when she could feel comfortable enough to organize trips to Israel and Palestine.

What happens when the carelessness of ritual festivities comes to an end, and the merciless course of history takes over? In this text, Ruben Honigmann gives us an intimate account of the weekend of October 7-8, a weekend where the full extent of the event is not realized until the cell phones are switched back on. He makes this temporal and existential time lag an integral part of the turmoil of the Jews, who are condemned to limp along until the dawn of the 9th.

How should we view the divide between those in Israel who put the destruction of Hamas before any consideration of the hostages’ fate, and those who, on the contrary, are ready to negotiate their rescue at any price? In this text, Noémie Issan-Benchimol analyzes the coordinates of the debate in terms of cultural and religious ethos. While Jewish tradition sees hostage redeeming as a communal obligation, a significant part of religious Zionism is reviving a Roman ethos of civic honor, which scorns weakness and territorializes fraternity. Can fraternity, specific to the diaspora, continue to inform the politics of a state?

As pro-Palestinian students control who can enter the “Gaza” amphitheater, Clara Levy, former Sciences Po student and founder of the Paris-Tel Aviv association, delivers a touching, yet dejected, account of her memories of rue Saint Guillaume. While altercations over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and anti-Zionist suspicions of Jewish students, are apparently nothing new, Sciences Po seems to have lost its lustre: where can opposing viewpoints be organized, if the lecture halls are inaccessible?

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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.