Editorial: Antisemitism in Europe
France is the country where the Jewish diaspora is the most present in Europe, but it is also the country with one of the most important anti-Semitic cultures, regularly peddled for decades by left-wing elites, particularly. One only needs to refer to Jean Jaurès, the precursor and leader of the anti-militarist and popular left, who in his speech at the Tivoli in 1898 emphasized the relationship between Jews and money, and describing Jews as "devoured by a kind of greedy fever" and knowing how to "handle with particular skill the capitalist mechanism, a mechanism of plunder, lies, corseting, extortion." Such remarks and ideas coming from a leader of the time have crossed the decades and are found in today's anti-capitalist and leftists' speeches and are adopted by the current elites, notably Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
On December 13, 2019, during the vote of the legislative elections in Great Britain, he accused the Chief Rabbi of England and the Likud influence networks of hatching a slander campaign of the English left. In the same blog, he goes on to attack the CRIF and warns others against ukases emanating from the CRIF's communautarists, which the French leaders would follow to the letter ("genuflecting in front of the arrogant ukases of the CRIF's communautarists"). These same left-wing elites who warn against Jewish communitarianism remain silent in the face of the much more virulent Muslim communitarianism that is their electoral business, or so they imagine.
The alliance of left-wing anti-capitalism and Muslim communalism has allowed anti-Semitism to flourish for several years and to become popular among the electorate of this movement. The crisis of COVID- 19 has in no way slowed down this progression. Thus, from 311 anti-Semitic acts recorded in 2017, France rose to 687 in 2019, an increase of 121%. And in 2020, only the confinement was able to give the illusion of a decline in anti-Semitic acts, because actions were able to resume as soon as the deconfinement took effect.
As proof, the recent actions in early July in Gruissan, where graves and inscriptions "death to Jews" and "death to the French" were tagged. Here again, these inscriptions reflect the danger of communitarianism because their authors want to annihilate the Jews, and therefore Israel, and the French, and therefore France, even if, as far as France is concerned, it welcomes the authors of the tags, feeds and enriches them and their families.
The danger for French Jews and France lies in this anti-capitalist and anti-Semitic front carried by left-wing elites and communitarians calling for the destruction of Jews, Israel and capitalism, and the French who would be subservient to the first three. This anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist breeding ground is all the more fertile in that successive governments have offered little opposition, no doubt out of electoral agenda. This is an electorate that is becoming marginalized and radicalized and will inevitably be the instigator of future terrorist actions if the trend is not reversed now with greater firmness than has been proposed up to now.
And it is not one of Jean-Luc Mélanchon's last statements, on July 15 on BFMTV, that will make it possible to reverse the trend. He embraces the founding myth of anti-Semitism by declaring that it was his own people who put Jesus on the cross. Distorting historical facts is every extremist's favorite argument, and that can only encourage communitarians and affiliates who are already weakened by successive crises and the pandemic to multiply anti-Semitic acts. All the more so if they are encouraged by a leading political figure, even if the audience isn't left-wing and anti-capitalist, and the government only "shrugging lightly" isn't the right attitude.
The situation is the same in the United Kingdom, the other leading European host country for Jews after France. The leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, the second-largest party on the British political scene, is an anti-Semite who expressed anti-Semitism in several actions and statements. In 2009, he invited Hamas and Hezbollah representatives to participate in a British parliamentary meeting and described these terrorist groups as friends. In 2013, he criticized his own fellow citizens of the Jewish faith, saying that they did not understand the English irony, despite having always lived in the United Kingdom. In 2014, he participated in a commemoration in Tunisia and saluted the memory of Palestinian terrorists who committed the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972.
These various outings allow us to understand why during the 2019 legislative campaign, a pro-Corbyn Facebook page was administered by Hamas. Whether in Great Britain with Corbyn or in France with Mélenchon, the common denominator between the parties of the populist left is the defence of the Palestinian cause, the support of its terrorist groups and their desire to destroy the Jews and the State of Israel.
As a result, it is no longer surprising that apolitical personalities, encouraged by this political current, should come out of the woodwork and openly take up the cause of anti-Semitism. This is notably the case in Great Britain: the rapper Wiley declared at the beginning of July that "people have never wanted to challenge the Jews and the Ku Klux Klan." Wiley likens the Ku Klux Klan to red-neck and Jews as law-makers who "don't care what the blacks have endured. They use us (blacks) to make money'.
This anti-Semitic offence in the rap world can be linked to statements by Nick Cannon, who, in June with his guest in the podcast cannon's class, asserted that Jews control the media and the world and illustrated his point by quoting the Rothschild family.
Therefore, with these statements across the Atlantic, across the Channel and in France, and with political support and silence, the anti-Semitic breeding ground can flourish. And it is not excuses or regrets in the face of the polemics generated that can reverse the trend. Such statements are made to regularly and gradually inseminate anti-Semitism in people's minds, and denials can no longer modify the groundswell that has been created. Their authors are well aware of this and know that the message will carry all the more weight if spread during a period of doubt and fear, such as now.