It may be too late to defeat French Islamic anti-Semitism
It may be too late to defeat French Islamic anti-Semitism

“Anti-Semitism is not the business of the Jews. It’s the business of all of us. The French, who have demonstrated their democratic maturity after each Islamist attack, are living through a tragic paradox. Their country has become the arena for murderous anti-Semitism”.

This is the beginning of the toughest and most important position taken so far by the French public opinion against the “new anti-Semitism”. The appeal, published in Le Parisien and signed by 250 public figures, comes after the last murder with an anti-Semitic background, the one in which Mireille Knoll was stabbed to death:

“When a Prime Minister at the National Assembly declares, to the applause of the whole country, that France without the Jews is no longer France, it is not a phrase of consolation but a solemn warning: our European history, in particularly the French one, for geographic, religious, philosophical and juridical reasons, is deeply linked to various cultures among which Jewish thought is decisive. In recent times, 11 Jews have been killed in France by radical Islamists because they were Jewish”.

The signatures are all important: the feminist Elisabeth Badinter, artists like Charles Aznavour and Françoise Hardy, former president Nicolas Sarkozy, the essayist Pascal Bruckner, former mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë, the former prime ministers Manuel Valls and Jean-Pierre Raffarin, the actor Gérard Depardieu, the Catholic archbishop Joseph Doré, the Grand Rabbi Haïm Korsia, the Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, the Algerian writer Boualem Sansal, the former Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, the former editor of Charlie Hebdo Philippe Val, the philosopher Julia Kristeva, the opposition leader Laurent Wauquiez, the historian Georges Bensoussan, the economist Jean-Claude Casanova, the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut and many others.

It is not merely a rhetorical stance. The authors demand that the verses of the Koran that advocate violence against Jews “be struck from the theological authorities”. And in fact there are those who, in the French Islam, are already angry at the appeal, such as  Tareq Oubrou, Grand Imam of Bordeaux, who did not sign the appeal. “Generalizing the idea that the Koran calls for murder is madness". The rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, also rejected the ideas of the manifesto, and the president of the National Observatory against Islamophobia, Zekira Abdullah, has called on the signatories to stop the “unfair and delirious overwhelming of Islam and Muslims”. The journalist Claude Askolovitch finds the appeal “horrible”.

“French Jews are 25 times more likely to be attacked than their Muslim brothers” the appeal continues. “Ten percent of the Jewish citizens of Ile-de-France - about 50,000 people - were recently forced to move because they were safer in other cities. This is an ethnic cleansing in the country of Emile Zola and Clemenceau”. It is written exactly like this: épuration ethnique. “Why the silence?” the letter asks. “It is because radical Islam is considered exclusively by some of the elite French parties as an expression of social revolt... because the old anti-Semitism of the extreme Right is added to the anti-Semitism of the radical Left, which have found anti-Zionism as their alibi for transforming the executioners of Jews as victims in society”. 

Then the final appeal of the French manifesto: “We ask that the fight against the democratic weakness that is anti-Semitism will become a national cause before it is too late. Before France is no longer France”.

And what if it is too late? The French authorities already protect the Jewish communities, their schools, their synagogues, their cultural centers, their kindergardens. In France today there is half million Jews, 6 million Muslims and a population generally very indifferent to the fate of their brethen wearing the kippah and the Star of David.

I fear that France has reached the point of no return. That in which the Jews will have two choices: pack and leave or stay there till the bitter end. And by now, they are not departing in big numbers.