May 12, 2012
A Matter of Faith
In the run-up to the elections in France last week, Richard Prasquier, President of CRIF - Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, expressed his concerns in regards to a possible (and eventual) triumphant François Hollande: “Beyond the socialists, but still in Hollande’s camp, are the leftist parties and the Greens who express a deep hostility towards Israel and are at the forefront of every anti-Israel demonstration, declaration and petition.” Prasquier’s implied support of Nicolas Sarkozy and his concerns with the radical left had triggered some criticism. The Magazine “Marianne” described him as lacking morality since he had not expressed similar concern with Marine Le-Pen’s National Front.
I can’t comment on the role CRIF has in French politics, and how explicit it should and can be in supporting a certain party or candidate. Regardless, Marianne’s focus on Prasquier’s statement rather that the state of affairs it illustrates misses the point:
The radical left in Europe and other Western countries damns Israel, an unusually productive member of the international community, because of a preconceived, unshakable belief in its blame. This belief, as any other belief, is not the result of observation and analysis of reality, but rather of faith that dictates what “reality” is.
This is very unfortunate. The believers, eyes bleared, fail to see that in this region Israel is the embodiment of Liberal ideas - even if you DO believe that the Arab-Israeli conflict is indeed what it’s widely seen as in Europe. The hatred towards Israel in Europe is an artificially placed divide between members of the same civilization; It defies any sense of ideological continuity, even more so in the context of the conflict. Have you heard of “Queers for Palestine”? That’s what I’m talking about. The Greens against Israel - one of the world’s leaders in water preservation, solar energy and post-oil transportation - really?!
Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Professor and a prominent Liberal supporter of Israel, tells of his lecture at UC Irvine:
Dershowitz’ story illustrates the erroneous nature of the popular equation: “Anti Israel = pro peace”. This assertion is contradictory to the very framework of the conflict and is in opposition with the history of the conflict in almost every important point - my readers will hear a lot about this unfounded equation. I remember from my ninth grade calculus that when your basic equation is wrong, you simply cannot crank the problem - let’s reflect on that for a moment: There will be no peace based on wrong assumptions.
Radicals of the world unite: Antisemitism is a hatred shared by both sides. When the Communists condemned the Jews as Capitalistic pigs, the Fascists declared Communism a Jewish plot. I can’t see another scenario, save, perhaps, for an aggressive alien invasion - where haters from left and right could come together like that. The fact that the “New Antisemitism” of the left is more alarming to the French Jewish leader than the “traditional” antisemitism of the radical right is his prerogative, and should alert any decent, honest French leftist.
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