#168 / Editorial

Can the Left’s Coalition Embrace Jewish Voters?” After the tidal wave of the extreme right in the recent European elections results in France, followed by the political earthquake of the National Assembly’s dissolution by the French president Emmanuel Macron, this is the question K.‘s editorial team asks itself in this week’s first feature, taking note of the tragedy of the situation: faced with the Rassemblement National (France’s far right political party), and despite a campaign in which LFI (left-wing political party) crossed all the red lines of populism, the left seems only able to think of its union by dispensing with the fight against its own antisemitism.

For the first time in 9 months, a credible prospect of peace is taking shape in Gaza, provided Hamas agrees to release the hostages and the far right does not regain control of the governing coalition. The talks have never been so close to a ceasefire, which everyone must obviously want, both for Israel and for Gaza. But, assuming it does happen, it’s clear that putting an end to the war is not yet a solution to the political conflict, and that the latter is destined to continue, both in the Middle East and in the echoes it finds elsewhere. Can we imagine, however, that the end of the war will put an end to the dynamic that has developed over recent months around anti-Zionism, particularly in universities? The prospect of peace in Gaza, then, is not only a reason to rejoice, but also an opportunity to clarify the positions involved. The rich text by Bruno Karsenti that we are publishing this week, based on an analysis of the grammar of student mobilizations, sets out to clarify the ideological divide between Zionism and anti-Zionism. In the latter, two notions are opposed as irreconcilable: the nation, though the only historically realized political form of collective and individual emancipation, and an apolitical fetish, the people, as fantasized as pure and authentic. Criticism from the university then goes adrift and, without the students necessarily knowing it, it’s the old “Jewish question” that finds a new formulation, around the unthinkable persistence of the Jewish people in the modern nation.

From Europe, it’s difficult to grasp the way in which, after October 7 and as Israel plunged into war, the daily reality of Israelis was altered. It’s hard to get a clear idea of how the day-to-day reality of Israelis has been altered, from the strong mobilization of citizens for their country to the accentuation of political cleavages, without really knowing how it all fits together. In the interview conducted by Emmy Barouh that we are publishing, Etgar Keret finds the words and anecdotes to describe what struggling can be described as. At the end of November, we published a short account by the writer, whose texts depicting a banality transfigured by the imaginary have already been translated into over 25 languages. Here, with humor and candor, he shares his impression that the content of reality is crumbling, as if it were made up of a juxtaposition of stories that no longer fit together.

Rabbi of the Massorti community in France, Yeshaya Dalsace went to Ukraine to Munkács – Moukatchevo in Ukrainian – where only a hundred Jews remain. A rabbinical conversion commission was recently organized there for about fifteen people. The process, which began years ago, had been suspended by the war. A travelogue.

What is it that explains the ability of anti-Zionism to unify protests in the name of emancipation, and the fact that Israel has become the focal point of criticism from universities? In a measured and enlightening text, Bruno Karsenti takes a step-by-step look at the language of student protests, to gain a perspective on the political reconfigurations that lie ahead. In this language, two notions are opposed as irreconcilable: the nation, the only historically realized political form of collective and individual emancipation, and an apolitical fetish – the solution to all ills – autochthony. A drifting critique haunts the university, which instead of reflexively reclaiming the potential of the political form nation – which has undeniably led to crimes – opposes it with the fantasy of a pure, authentic people. Unbeknownst to the students, it is the old ‘Jewish question’ that finds a new formulation, around the unthinkable persistence of the Jewish people in the modern nation.

Etgar Keret is a leading Israeli writer, whose talent for blending the mundane with the magical is appreciated both in Israel and abroad. In this interview conducted by Emmy Barouh a week ago, Keret evokes the feeling that, since October 7 and as the government plunges the country into war, the reality experienced by Israelis is losing its consistency, and escaping any grip they may have had on it.

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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.