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Fixing hate with hate: anti-Semitism in France Fixing hate with hate: anti-Semitism in France
by Joseph Gatt
2019-03-11 08:37:54
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It started out as the French, Muslim, ultra-nationalist, Communist, right wing, left wing or apathetic lashing out Jews for supporting Israelis who it was believed were beating the hell out of defenseless Palestinians. The French did not have time to be lectured on Israeli history, Palestinian guerilla warfare, terrorism or the intricacies of the conflict. To them, it was the all powerful, all mighty, penny-pinching, media controlling Jew who was supporting an Israeli army that was “savagely” attacking and slaughtering Palestinian “smurfs” who were seeking peace and quiet in their land.

antisem001_400This narrative was enforced by a number of very authoritarian, arrogant, ever-present, and irritable figures in the French media who were proudly supporting the Israeli army. They are not the friendly type of figures; they are the kind who skips niceties and polite formulas. Bernard-Henry Lévy, Alain Finkielkraut and Georges William Goldnadel. Just those three guys. They were invited to comment on the conflict in Israel, and rather than calmly contextualize and explain what goes on in Israel, they skip niceties and grow almost hysterical about the conflict. People don't see explanations; they see hysteria which validates the fact that it's a powerful army pounding down a defenseless people.

Then there are Eric Zemmour and Elizabeth Lévy, two hardcore right-wing Jews, in Zemmour and Lévy's case often hysterical, and often very, very, very critical of radical Islam, to the point where one does not see the fine line between the Muslim night-monitor, restaurant owner, garment salesman or factory worker, or perhaps millionaire investor, and that minority of Muslim (and in some cases not Muslim) thugs who fantasize about terrorist attacks and organized crime.

Bernard-Henry Lévy, Alain Finkielkraut, Georges-William Goldnadel, Zemmour, Elizabeth Lévy have all said something along the lines of “they” (by which it's not clear if they mean the general Muslim population or thugs) fantasize about terrorism and organized crime. “They fantasize about terrorism and organized crime.” I said it in one sentence, but those pundits spread that very idea into half an hour monologues. Those pundits have lots and lots and lots of air time in the French media, and their speeches are filled with hysteria, and, hum, hate.

So anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews. Those pundits, although somewhat vaguely, blame the Muslims and ultra-nationalists for the hatred of Jews. Those Jewish pundits have engaged in flame wars with anti-Semites, very public flame wars at that. They tried to fix the hatred of Jews, with... hate.

I hate anti-Semites, especially the obsessive kind. But I don't want the average Muslim factory worker, banker, hospital worker, doctor, lawyer, garment salesman or mechanic to have anything to do with anti-Semitism. I don't want those hard-working, friendly, somewhat quirky (we all have our quirks) Muslims to be in the middle of a flame war between hysterical anti-Semites and hysterical anti-anti-Semites.

You don't fix hysteria with hysteria. You don't fix hate with hate. Does France have a terrorism problem. Yes it does. Does France have an organized crime problem? Yes it does. Does France have a street crime problem? Yes it does. Are those involved in terrorism, organized crime and street crime Muslims? Unfortunately many of them are.

Are there anti-Semites in France? There certainly are. Anti-Semites in France's ideas tend to revolve around three major areas. First they believe the Israeli army is slaughtering defenseless Palestinians. Second they think Jews (mainly the Rothschild family) control global finance and most banks, and that they cause recessions, manipulate cash flows, and start and end wars. Third they believe there are too many Jews in the media, and that Jews in the media are not always qualified to be in the media, and take way too much air time in the media. And they think Jews have a lot of money and all want to join the Israeli army. And that there's too much media coverage of the Holocaust, which the French believe is used to justify a powerful Israeli army attacking poor defenseless Palestinians. Perhaps more importantly, the French have this unique concept of “communitarianism” where it is believed that the Jews of France engage in nepotism among Jews and that they only defend the interests of the Jewish community in the media.

But the main problem, at least the way I see it, is hysterical pundits, who take way, way too much air-time, and who engage in flame wars with anti-Semites. The flame wars are much like the ones you will see on a smaller scale on Facebook, with a lot of hysteria, insults, trolling, and members reporting each other and trying to get each other banned. Unfortunately the Jewish trolls are still in the media, while the anti-Semitic trolls have to move to YouTube to pursue the flame war, which often leads many French people to conclude that the Jews have a say in which gets banned thus control the media.

You know, a lot of French people have trouble making ends meet, live paycheck to paycheck, have to deal with office politics, family issues, and budget to put food on their plate. They certainly don't have time for media flame wars between anti-Semites and anti-anti-Semites. 

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