# 164 / Editorial

How do Israeli universities resist getting overwhelmed by the conflict? We continue this week’s series of articles by Julia Christ and Élie Petit – who set off for K. to document the complexities of an Israeli society grappling with war and its dilemmas – with an interview with Mona Khoury, Vice-President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The contrast between the university life she describes and the hustle and bustle of American and European campuses is striking: while one might expect proximity to a conflict that affects Jewish and Arab students in their very identity to exacerbate tensions, the opposite seems to be true. In Israel, the conflict is not an abstract affair, but a reality that has long been experienced collectively, in a familiar relationship with its contradictions. A reality that the administration has been able to recognize in order to ensure the continuity of university life, by organizing mediation between the different sensitivities. Far from the monolithic image that is often associated with it, Mona Khoury bears witness to the plurality of an Israeli society that is concerned, but prepared for the complexity of the ordeal.

Is it possible that in the heart of Europe, in its very capital, Jews find themselves alone? This is the sad conclusion drawn this week by Belgian historian Joël Kotek. In it, he expresses alarm at the pervasiveness in Belgium of an unabashedly anti-Israeli passion, often openly antisemitism, which seems to extend across the entire political landscape, from the Christian Right to the Socialist Party. While we may wonder about the particularities of this Belgian antisemitism, and worry about what it means to express such hostility towards Jews just a stone’s throw from the European institutions, we may also be surprised that, seen from Belgium, the French situation seems so enviable. Could it be that the republican model, which vectorizes opinion according to an ideal of emancipation, allows antisemitism to be confined to the bangs?

While Belgium is putting on a show that we dread for Europe, the American Jewish scene seems to be continuing to produce eulogies of exile, conceived not in complementarity with a state for Jews, but against it. This week, we publish a review by Abraham Zuraw of Shaul Magid’s latest book, The Necessity of Exile. In a vein reminiscent in some respects of Daniel Boyarin’s “Jewish manifesto” (according to which the solution for Jews lies in the fact that they have no state), Magid idealizes exile, promoting a metaphysical “counter-Zionism”. But as the climate changes for American Jews – from the Trump administration to the current wave of anti-Zionism on campuses – it may well be that even the most resolute contemptors of the State of Israel will come to feel the anxiety of Brussels. Has counter-Zionism already outlived its usefulness?

How do Israeli universities avoid getting overwhelmed by the conflict? In this interview – the second in our series of reports from Israel – Mona Khoury, the first Arab Vice-President in the history of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, describes the successful efforts made to ensure the continuity of university life after October 7 and in spite of the conflict. All this while taking a critical look at how, elsewhere in the world, campuses have allowed themselves to be overrun by the ideological conflagration.

What is going on in Belgium? Joël Kotek is alarmed at the spread of an “anti-Israeli passion” across the entire Belgian political spectrum, and asks what is allowing the expression of unabashed antisemitism in Europe’s capital.

We’ve heard of anti-Zionism, but what is counter-Zionism? In this review of Shaul Magid’s latest book, The Necessity of Exile, Abraham Zuraw questions the relevance of a certain Jewish-American modality of criticism of Israel, which is articulated in the name of a metaphysics of exile and whose consistency is difficult to grasp.

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