# 160 / Editorial

American Jewry has long been an exception in the diaspora: relatively untouched by the murderous expressions of antisemitism, sufficiently integrated to identify with the ideals of the majority (as Jean-Claude Milner recently analyzed in our magazine), American Jews could look upon their European cousins with a compassionate gaze, as well as with the self-assurance of one who is certain of belonging to the privileged part of the family. But at a time when antisemitism has become commonplace and tolerated in the United States, can the carefree attitude of the American Jew survive? The text by Daniel Solomon, a doctoral student in history and K.‘s first English translator, which we are publishing this week, offers a striking account of this question. Recounting the context in which an antisemitism riot broke out on the Berkeley campus, and the way in which the administration abandoned its Jewish students, he wonders about the end of a golden age, and discovers a feeling that had hitherto seemed peculiar to European Jews: loneliness.

What explains the stagnation of Franco-Judaism, the persistent impression of its languor? Nearly two months ago, Gabriel Abensour delivered an uncompromising diagnosis that was bound to provoke a reaction. This week, David Haziza responds to Abensour’s diagnosis, tackling this thorny issue in his own way. Haziza unhesitatingly endorses Abensour’s central observation – that representative institutions have long been responsible for weakening the vital forces of Franco-Judaism. He does, however, wish to introduce one important nuance: in his view, this weakening is not primarily due to a colonial contempt that has prevented French Judaism from seizing the cultural and intellectual resources of Sephardic Jewry but more fundamentally, to a denial of the heritage of Kabbalistic mysticism. In short, Franco-Judaism is withering away because it has tried too hard to modernize itself, identifying itself, in Hermann Cohen’s words, with a “religion of reason”. Neither the Ashkenazi roots of Eastern Europe, nor those of the Sephardic world, can irrigate current practices and reflections.

Finally, we publish the second part of Liam Hoare’s investigation into Austria’s strategy for combating antisemitism, conceived as part of our series in partnership with DILCRAH. After exploring how Austria intends to come to terms with its Nazi past and secure the future of its Jewish community, this week Liam Hoare dives into the current turmoil. With the threat of a far-right victory looming over the forthcoming elections, and the coronavirus epidemic and the war in Gaza increasing the number of manifestations of antisemitism, the struggle promises to be a long one.

On February 26, a riot broke out on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, on the occasion of the visit of an Israeli lecturer. Daniel Solomon, a doctoral student in history and K.’s first English translator , gives us an insider’s account of the event and the threatening climate in which it took place. As the rise of antisemitism calls into question American exceptionalism, Solomon examines the loss of illusions, and the sense of loneliness that accompanies it.

In February, we published a text by Gabriel Abensour lamenting the lukewarmness of Franco-Judaism and its disarray due to the neglect of its spiritual heritage, particularly its Sephardic one. David Haziza responds here, in the form of a “moderate and amicable critique”. While he agrees with Abensour’s observation of a loss of the vital forces of Judaism, he doesn’t attribute it to a colonial disdain for Sephardism, but rather to an attempt to make Judaism modern and presentable.

In this latest instalment of our series, conceived in partnership with DILCRAH, on antisemitism in Europe, Liam Hoare looks at Austria’s strategy for combating hatred and prejudice against Jews. After exploring how Austria intends to take responsibility for its Nazi past and promote Jewish life, this week Liam Hoare develops the challenges and paradoxes of this endeavor. Like most Western countries, Austria has seen a resurgence of antisemitism in recent years, and is governed by a party associated with the far right. How can we ensure the long-term stability of Austrian Jewish life at a time when the war in Gaza is setting tempers alight in Europe?

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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.