by Michael Curtis (September 2015)
On January 5, 1895 the ceremony of degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the French Jewish artillery officer who was falsely convicted of treason, took place in the courtyard of the Military School in Paris. The event was greeted with pamphlets, articles, and street mobs crying “Death to the Jews.” A hundred and twenty years later, on August 13, 2015, at the one-day celebration at a beach event in Paris called “Tel Aviv Sur Seine,” pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted slogans, “Jews out of France.” more>>>
The author speaks of Christians fomenting hatred against Jews in ancient times. He says:
I will not elaborate on my background and politics here, short of saying that I am a practicing clinical psychologist, specializing in transcultural practice with immigrants in Australia. I wish to first say that I have no argument with the bulk of your article and your position. My own understanding is that the Holocaust/Shoah, is the worst atrocity ever committed, it set a new lowest benchmark for humanity, must never be forgotten or forgiven, and must be the starting point of any reflection on ethics, philosophy and social science. I must differ, however on your repeated position that any criticism of the State of Israel constitutes an act of antisemitism. Taking this position sets a double standard and considerably weakens the points you are making, and undercuts the impact of those trying to combat all racism and antisemitism, particularly the current virulent and fanatical muslim antisemitism. I note that you also say that criticism of islamists should not be viewed as ‘Islamophobia’. This contradicts your equating criticism of the State of Israel with antisemitism. In fact, having read the Koran 3 times back to back, in 3 different translations, two in English and one in French, as well as some of the Hadiths, and the Sura, I have no real problem with Islamophobia in the Greek sense of the word as ‘fear of islam’, and think that the implication of that fear being unfounded, irrational and even pathological, is highly questionable as I find Islam an intolerant, totalitarian, misogynistic and violent politico-religious ideology, from its foundational texts, which muslims maintain is the be-all and end-all of their religion. Fortunately, as for many religions and ideologies, the humanity of people often transcends and redeems the nefarious effects of their religion. So it is with muslims, christians, jews, hindus, and many other religions whose practitioners are overwhelmingly more tolerant, charitable, compassionate and philanthropic towards other humans than their religious texts dictate. We are all humans with equal entitlement to respect, dignity and rights. No one is ‘saved’, ‘damned’, ‘chosen’ because of their race or religion. Religions, however, are beliefs, opinions and convictions and everyone is responsible for their opinions and beliefs, and how they chose to act on or ignore them. I refer to the work of Hannah Arendt ( Eichman in Jerusalem and Judgement and Responsibility, in particular) for further reflection on this. Belonging to any race, nation, religion, ideology does not absolve one from the responsibility of one’s opinions and one’s actions. There are no ‘saints’ or collective entities beyond scrutiny, whether French, British, German, Israeli, muslim, christian, jew, hindu or other. Abuses of power and criminal actions must be judged on the facts and the perpetrators held responsible, regardless of their allegiances. It is a mistake to want to grant unconditional and blind forgiveness for them because they are Israelis as much as if because they were Greek, Chinese, Jordanian, Palestinian or others. One-eyed justice, no matter where, when and for whom, only aggravates and perpetrates prejudice, bigotry, resentment, conflict and eventually wars and atrocities. I said more than I intended, and will leave it there. May life bless and illuminate you forever. René
I have read this article and I feel that some of the statement about the muslim community are completely false. I feel like this person has never spoken to a french muslim citizen and ask about his view about antisemitism. I grew up near place de la republique area where there was a big jewish community and muslim community. There is no hatred in this quarter. The only antisemitism that I have noticed in a daily basis in France is what I see on TV or french media. The objective is that politician try to find differences between people. Again being against Israel politics is tottally different of being against Israel citizen. Kind regards .
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