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Benedicte Berner-Eyde: Political polarization provides the breeding ground for the hatred against the jews

anti-Semitism pops up again in the world – most recently in last weekend's hate crime against a synagogue in the united states. National identity with ethnic and racial overtones are becoming increasingly often slogans in a political debate which mainly takes place in social media and the extra-parliamentary context.

Through the internet to spread the messages at breakneck speed. The basis is polarization in the society built on the economic insecurity, growing inequalities, migration and globalisation. Upheavals in the Middle east and increasing tension in the relationship between Israel and the palestinians contributes at the same time as the anti-semitic messages at times combined with support for Israel.

this is the case in Hungary, where Viktor Orbán link their own anti-semitism to muslim immigration. In Poland as well, open anti-semitic slogans in the media, in Germany, jewish institutions have been attacked and desecrated, and in Britain is the Labour party through an inner battle about anti-semitism at a high level in the party. Conditions differ between different european countries with different historical, economic and structural peculiarities, but a common seems to be that both extremhöger and extremvänster can unite in anti-semitism.

is France, where president Emmanuel Macron warned that over 500 incidents that have taken place during the 2018 means the worst wave of anti-semitism the country has experienced since the second world war. ”Stick off to Israel your a hell of a zionist – we are the people and France belong to us !” shouted one of the gang out of the movement of the Yellow vests against the well-known jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut when he in February, met them outside his home in Paris.

It was not a temporary incident. The swastika was painted over the portrait of the deceased minister and the Auschwitzfången Simone Weil. ”The jew” was written in large letters on the windows to a known Parisrestaurang. Jewish graves skändades at a cemetery in Alsace. ”Macron, the jews whore” appeared as the inscription on several garage doors in Paris.

A social crisis in France and the emergence of the Yellow Vests have probably stimulated some of these actions, but it would be wrong to link the rise of anti-semitism to protestvågen against Macrons policy. These demonstrators have otherwise not demonstrated anti-semitism and the statistics show a more nuanced picture.

In 2018, even before the Yellow vests came on the scene, increased incidents against jews, with nearly 70 per cent, which was the continuation of a development which has been going on for a number of years. 2012 killed several children at a jewish school in Toulouse, 2014, committed the bloody attack on the jewish food market Hypercacher in Paris, in 2017 was a jewish family exposed to the conspicuously aggravated assault. A report from march 2018 showed that 38% of a wide selection interviewed the French felt that ”jews have a problem with money”, around 30 percent believed that ”jews have too much influence in French society”, 38 per cent said they put some credence to the idea of ”a global jewish plot” and 10 per cent had never heard of the Holocaust. During the last ten years, over 50,000 jews have left France to settle in Canada, Israel or elsewhere.

through the centuries been characterized by waves of anti-semitism. In 1791, gave the French revolution, citizenship, and equality before the law for the French jews, to be a sea change from what had been in place since the medieval French society. The ”modern” anti-semitism as a racist ideology took shape during the 1800s the latter half of the year, when a number of anti-semitic writings were published, which came to dominate large parts of the French right wing.

Marcel Proust writes in his great novels ”In search of the time relocation” of the grossly anti-semitic conversations that have taken place in the salons of the marquise de Villeparisis. Dreyfusprocessen 1894, when a jewish officer was accused and unjustly convicted for to have betrayed their country, showed openly the nationalist the anti-semitism. This was in addition to beliefs about the white race superiority and religious background (”the jews killed Jesus”) is particularly strong in catholic circles. Anti-semitism was also left in the form of an anti-capitalist vein, where jews were perceived to dominate the financial market and where the roughest jewish bankers utmålades as exploiters of the poor in society, but also as cosmopolitans without a national foothold and genuine French patriotism.

second, for France during the first world war. Then bedarrade the anti-semitic views, but they reappeared during the 1930s with the severe economic crisis, unemployment and the arrival of many jews who fled from Nazi germany. Right-wing extremists in movements such as Action Française by author henry de montherlant and the closest fascistiske the author Louis Ferdinand Céline targeted violent attacks against ”the jewish government”, led by the socialist Leon Blum. The same government were attacked by the pacifist leftist for wanting to open the war against Germany in solidarity with the persecuted German jews.

With the German occupation and Vichyregeringen 1940-45 was the anti-semitism of the French state's official policy – the first laws directed against jews in the universities and in the workplace, then with massgripanden and detention in camps for deportation to Germany. The vichy republic took an active and energetic role in enforcing nazi policies. 75,000 of the French then of 300,000 jews were sent to extermination camps. While this was a dark chapter in the history of France as long as förträngdes in the public debate, it is worth highlighting that many of the 225.000 that survived did so with the active support of the French citizens and of both catholic, protestant and jewish institutions.

became impossible after the Second world war, when the full realization of the extent of the nazi policy of extermination penetrated. But in extreme högerkretsar there were these lawsuits remain, and they popped up again in the 1950's in the middle in the nationalist, populist poujadiströrelsen. This seemed to already Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of Front National. On the left there was the extremism of a different kind, where ”antisionistiska” groups questioned the legitimacy of the establishment of the state of Israel. The distinction between anti-semitism and the old became central in the French debate, but is complicated among other things, to zionism as a political idea, represented by Theodor Herzl, in much built on the experience of French anti-semitism illustrated by Dreyfus.

the French law prohibiting anti-semitism as a form of racism but not old, which is considered to be a political åsiktsriktning. Precisely why is used now – as in the case of Alain Finkielkraut – rarely ”jew” as a curse word, but ”zionist”. The wars in the Middle east and the emergence of a radical islamist movement has sharpened the attitude of the often muslim minted suburbs of French cities. The anti-semitism that is where new life has also, however, a different background, built on social exclusion.

the French community applies to all not just muslims or immigrants. The growing anti-semitism has been due to broad communities in France feel they have been deprived in the wake of the crisis. Where, gaps have drastically increased between the ”common people” and the propertied classes, those who belong to the elite who benefit from capitalism the rise, and which now dominates the political sphere.

”Parliamentary” and ”democracy” does not work, says now the Yellow vests who consider themselves to represent the people and who at times behave aggressively against those politicians who actually have been chosen by this people. This is an ominous sign. The French history clearly shows that when antiparlamentariska lawsuits grows, so does anti-semitism. Here is also a link to a crisis of national identity. Globalization thins out the nation-state and the cosmopolitan elite to help, is the message.

This revolt against the democratically elected institutions, against the ruling ”elite” and against the media, which are said to go its cases deployed by the populist movements of both right and left. Social media has long been used to create such lawsuits, often with anti-semitic elements. In the network the cacophony of criticism against the president of Macros is now also his background as employees of the bank Rothschild, the epitome of the jewish financial community. A popular video describing how he guides the ship of France towards an accident on the coast of a new continent ”The new world order”.

however it is unlikely for these primitive siren voices and many are prepared to stand up against racism and anti-semitism. In 1946, considered 30 percent of French jews were French citizens as well as others; today that figure is 80 percent. President Emmanuel Macron has proposed increased monitoring of racism on the web, requirements for the identification of authors and the rapid removal of such message, as well as the right for the judge to take into account whether ”old” is used as a code word for anti-semitism. Political agreement exists on the need to reinforce the reaction against anti-semitism in social media.

But at the same time the need for action on a broader front in which the particular teaching in schools and universities must serve as a lesson to the new generations about the Holocaust a reality. It's important to take a clear position and not the horrors, or remain indifferent to anti-semitism and see this burning problem that not only the jews, but our common.

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