# 170 / Editorial

“Violence” is a word that resonates strangely with Jewish ears. Whether it echoes persecution or the accusations often used to justify it, violence is always perceived as something imposed from outside. And indeed, for the exilic tradition, violence is excluded from the realm of possible recourse. However, since the realization of the Zionist project, the political situation has changed. For the State of the Jews, like any other State, cannot avoid exercising violence: this is a consubstantial fact of political sovereignty. From then on, the problem that divides Jewish consciences, to the point of dividing them profoundly today, is that of the possibility of assuming this inflicted violence. In the text we are publishing this week, Danny Trom sets out to shed light on the historical and ideological motives behind the radical rejection or unreserved acceptance of the violence inflicted by Israel. Between the violence suffered and the violence inflicted, the roots of an ambivalence that we would do well not to abandon are revealed.

Over the past few months, a great deal has leaked out of the confines of the university, placing it at the center of media and political attention. After a tour of TV shows by a radical right-wing journalist who had “infiltrated the heart of the extreme left”, the appetite for easy polemics, outrageousness and alarmism will have found something to satiate itself. And, indeed, there is cause for concern, provided we avoid panic. In The scrutinized university, a student gives us their views and reflections – informed by the social sciences and their familiarity with the world of activism – on what’s happening in the universities, on the scale of the mobilization and the ideological reconfigurations to which it bears witness. Around the question of the link between anti-Zionism and antisemitism, and its unsatisfactory handling by an administration frightened by public order disturbances and their media echoes, it is the issue of the future of the university space that is raised by his text.

For our last article of this week, we revisit an account of the Latvian Jewish community. While looking back at its history, Elie Petit dives into the struggle that surrounded the eventual adoption of the Law on Goodwill Reimbursement, which set out to right a wrong that had been ignored and dismissed for way too long. Namely, unlike many other Jewish communities around Europe, Latvia’s Jews were already stripped of their property under the Soviet regime, years before the Nazi occupation began. 

The result of Zionism, in other words, access to political sovereignty, also meant that the Jewish state had to exercise violence. In this text, Danny Trom returns to the difficulties of coming to terms with the violence inflicted, and its articulation with the violence suffered by Jews. It seems as though, after the Zionist revolution, Jews could only oscillate in their relationship to violence.

Since the student mobilizations in support of Gaza began, universities have become the focus of media and political curiosity. But what does the situation look like from the inside? A student familiar with the activist world gives us their view of what happened in the universities, the forces at play and the ambiguities that run through the pro-Palestinian mobilization.

In Latvia, unlike in other parts of Europe, the spoliation of Jewish property did not occur during the Nazi era, but during the Soviet occupation that preceded it. The same process of property nationalisation also took place in Lithuania and Estonia. In order to finally recover their property and possessions, Latvia’s Jews had to lobby for a dedicated law. Elie Petit recounts for K. the stakes and results of this struggle by interviewing, before and after the law was passed, some of its promoters.

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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.