# 94 / Editorial

After two months of negotiations following the legislative elections, Benyamin Netanyahu presented his new government last week – on Thursday December 29 – which is unsurprisingly the most right-wing government Israel has ever seen. The Israeli left, further weakened, the center, and perhaps even an ultra-minority part of the Likud, reluctant to see the historic party of the Israeli right transformed into a demagogic and populist movement, are burdened; as is a large part of the diaspora. Facing this new government, Danny Trom wonders about the rupture we are witnessing and asks what “religious Zionism” might mean. His article wonders whether “the populist wave that religious Zionism captures for its own benefit is capable of erasing at a stroke the political wisdom accumulated by the Jews along their exile and that Zionism could, in its own way, collect? Echoing Bruno Karsenti’s text published in K. the day after the elections [see: “Home is where you are? Israel on the verge of Zionism ”], Danny Trom goes on to consider the risk that the State of Israel, in the historic form that Zionism has ensured for it, may be dangerously altered.
Israeli crisis. French crisis?

This week we are publishing a few pages from the recently published book by the sociologist Martine Cohen, whose title immediately sets out the field of reflection: Fin du Franco-judaïsme ? Quelle place pour les Juifs dans une France multiculturelle ? [End of Franco-Judaism? What place for Jews in a multicultural France?] (Presses Universitaires de Rennes). The excerpt published in K. this week reflects a key moment in the history of French Jews, between the assassination of Ilan Halimi in 2006 and that of Mireille Knoll in 2018. Martine Cohen examines the reception of anti-Jewish acts between these two dates (in the media as well as in scientific literature and in political discourse of all political parties). She shows how these acts hardly get named and are debated in their very designation. This debate accentuated the solitude of the Jews of France at the time. For in this period it was indeed this theme of “Jewish solitude” that first dominated, before the figure of the Jews as “sentinels of the Republic” emerged later.

A year ago, the American journalist Abe Silberstein told us how struck he was, during the last round of Israeli-Palestinian violence in May 2021, by the expression of an anti-Semitism that manifested, in his eyes, a new political climate in the United States, particularly on the left. His text testified to an atmosphere that made him fear that something similar to the European situation was taking hold in his country. This week, Daniel Solomon’s article revisits this resurgence of a mutant American antisemitism. It must be said that between the two texts, the openly anti-Jewish remarks of Kanye West, one of the biggest stars of contemporary pop culture, have multiplied. For Daniel Solomon, these remarks testify to a form of “ecumenical antisemitism”, according to his expression, in the sense that he combines tropes coming from the Right with others coming from the Left. This combination is well known in Europe, but until now has been very marginal in the United States. 

How can we understand the composition of the new government formed by Benjamin Netanyahu, which gives pride of place to religious Zionism and to a nationalism itself increasingly tinged with religious references? How can we understand it historically and circumstantially? Danny Trom looks back at this event, which marks a break in the history of Israel and of Zionism itself.

Martine Cohen is a sociologist specialising in the evolution of French Judaism. The text she has let us republish in K. is an extract from her recent book: “Fin du Franco-judaïsme ? Quelle place pour les Juifs dans une France multiculturelle ?” More precisely, it appears in the chapter “Dissonances politiques”, in which the author identifies the sources of unease that weaken “Franco-Judaism”. This Franco-Judaism crystallised in its new form during the 1980s, in a break with the ‘Israelism’ of the 19th century.

Antisemitism has been escalating dramatically in the United States in recent years. The main tenet of American Jews – that antisemitic violence only occurs “over there” in Europe and the Middle East – has been put to the test. Daniel Solomon revisits the phenomenon, focusing on how Kanye West synthesizes antisemitic tropes from the right and others from the left in an unprecedented way.

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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.