Antisemitismo (Continuación)

L’horreur de Pittsburgh est un nouveau rugissement de la « bête immonde » de Brecht, aujourd’hui bien réveillée. C’est en cela que cette tuerie par un extrémiste de droite était malheureusement prévisible dans le contexte américain actuel de peurs et de crispations identitaires. Car, comme l’Europe, l’Amérique est de plus en plus confrontée aux conséquences de ces crispations et de l’engrenage mortifère qu’elles alimentent. Et ce massacre illustre, sans grande surprise, deux grands enseignements de l’expérience historique.

En premier lieu, c’est par un engrenage, nourri par un extrémisme identitaire, qu’une société peut accoucher des pires crimes, étape par étape, de l’exclusion mentale à l’exclusion sociale voire légale et jusqu’à la violence de masse.…  Seguir leyendo »

Au-delà du choc et de l’émotion profonde suscitée par le massacre de onze personnes, tuées en tant que juives, dans un lieu de culte à Pittsburgh, le 27 octobre 2018, un élément de l’enquête nous interpelle. Pourquoi au moins deux « posts » antisémites mis en ligne par le meurtrier, avant la fusillade, accusent-ils une agence juive américaine de secours aux réfugiés ? Comment se combinent haine antijuive et sentiment xénophobe à l’égard des immigrants ? Faut-il inscrire cette réaction viscérale dans une rhétorique faisant écho aux partisans de l’extrême droite américaine qui décèlent chez les réfugiés, comme par le passé, une menace de subversion et un danger pour la préservation de la société américaine ?…  Seguir leyendo »

A few days ago, on the Media Diversified website, a writer called Nafeez Ahmed accused me of promoting genocide. I was apparently the “acceptable face” of “far-right extremist ideology” which remains “inspired by antisemitic ideology” and promotes “stereotypical negative tropes about Muslimised foreigners and minorities”.

Ahmed seized upon a piece I had written about the truly genocidal antisemitism coursing through the Islamic world. For stating that the Jews would defend themselves I found myself, as a Jewish person, accused of promoting genocide. This is as obscene as it is unhinged. For Jews are the principal targets of genocidal white supremacists.

Last Saturday a man called Robert Bowers allegedly walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue where the congregation was celebrating the sabbath and opened fire screaming: “All Jews must die.” Eleven were killed and many others wounded.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi concentration camp guard, is carried on a stretcher as he is deported to Germany on Aug. 20. (ABC/AP)

As the United States deports a former Nazi concentration camp guard to Germany, the world has been reminded again of the popular image of the Holocaust as one of impersonal mass slaughter. In the death camps, Jews and other victims died at the hands of murderers who didn’t know their victims but were filled with anti-Semitic hate.

But by the time that the death camps’ gas chambers became operational, approximately half of the Jews who would perish in the Holocaust were already dead. Many of these Jews were tortured or killed by “ordinary” non-Jews at close quarters: in apartments, in streets, in the woods and anywhere else Jews could be found.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por qué el antisemitismo está regresando a Alemania

Aunque el escándalo de antisemitismo del Partido Laborista británico ha dominado los titulares últimamente, hay un debate más profundo sobre el mismo tema que está transcurriendo en Alemania. Más preocupante aún, los principios fundamentales del vergangenheitsbewältigung –el proyecto colectivo de hacer las paces con el pasado de la Segunda Guerra Mundial del país- están cambiando.

Este reconocimiento histórico se ganó con mucho esfuerzo. Durante la era temprana de posguerra, Alemania pasó por varias etapas de negación de los horrores cometidos durante el régimen nazi. Pero en 1968, estalló una guerra cultural intergeneracional, en tanto los hijos del nazismo enfrentaban las responsabilidades de sus padres, que culminó en los excesos violentos de la Facción del Ejército Rojo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images A Campaign Against Antisemitism protester outside the Labour Party headquarters, London, April 8, 2018

Earlier this week, I got a direct message from a US columnist I’ve worked with in the past. It read: “Has Labour lost its mind? Was the party always this anti-Semitic or is it just blind fealty to Corbyn? Everything about his support within the party is bewildering to me.” Well, quite.

Almost simultaneously, The New Yorker published Sam Knight’s latest letter from London, which was his take on “Jeremy Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism Crisis”—though, as luck would have it, the magazine must have gone to press just before the latest convulsion in that crisis, which occurred last Friday when The Daily Mail published photographs of Corbyn in 2014, the year before he became Labour Party leader, apparently involved in a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial in Tunis for members of the Palestinian Black September terrorist group that carried out the infamous 1972 attack on the Israeli Olympic team in Munich.…  Seguir leyendo »

A demonstration organized by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism outside the head office of the British opposition Labour Party in central London in April.CreditTolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

If you have over the last 30 years arranged a pro-Palestinian event of any significant size in the United Kingdom, the chances are that Jeremy Corbyn was there, either as a speaker or in the audience. Mr. Corbyn, who is now the leader of the Labour Party, is an avid and unwavering supporter of the Palestinian cause.

While not all British criticism of the Israeli government is anti-Semitic, it has a tendency to blur into it at the fringes. As a backbencher, Mr. Corbyn shared platforms with the likes of Raed Salah, a convicted anti-Semite, and he praised Hamas. Those former associations have been dogging Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

EL pasado fin de semana, el mayor diario de Israel, «Israel Hayom», publicó a toda pagina mis declaraciones como presidente de ACOM. Algunas personas han mostrado su sorpresa por el titular del artículo, que destacaba similitudes entre la España de hoy y la Alemania de los años treinta en lo que respecta a los judíos. Nosotros no elegimos los titulares más o menos provocadores de una entrevista, o los párrafos de una conversación de hora y media que serán usados en una pieza periodística. Pero sirva todo ello para reflexionar sobre la incomodidad que genera en una sociedad ver algunos de los perfiles más desagradables de su aspecto reflejados en el espejo de un medio extranjero.…  Seguir leyendo »

La victoria de Jacob

El 12 de marzo de 1938 se produce la anexión de Austria al Reich alemán. Ante la previsible huida de judíos, el 6 de octubre el parlamento de Polonia aprueba la ley según la cual los judíos polacos con residencia en el extranjero durante los 5 años anteriores pierden su condición de ciudadanos. El 28 de octubre el Gobierno de Alemania ejecuta la Polenaktion expulsando a unos 15.000 judíos hasta la frontera polaca. Allí, sin ser admitidos en Polonia, quedan durante varios días en tierra de nadie y sin medios de subsistencia, convertidos en apátridas. Finalmente son readmitidos. Su destino es bien conocido.…  Seguir leyendo »

Israelis celebrating the 70th anniversary of their independence.CreditMenahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Adam Armoush is a 21-year-old Israeli Arab who, on a recent outing in Berlin, donned a yarmulke to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being “yahudi” — Arabic for Jew.

The episode was caught on video and has caused a national uproar. Heiko Maas, the foreign minister, tweeted, “Jews shall never again feel threatened here.”

It’s a vow not likely to be fulfilled. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year.…  Seguir leyendo »

A poster reading “I am a Jew” during a demonstration in Paris last month after the killing of an 85-year-old Jewish woman.CreditThibault Camus/Associated Press

Here’s some news you might find surprising: By and large, the French like Jews.

Yes, there have been despicable anti-Semitic crimes here, and there are enduring stereotypes. But 85 percent of the French have a favorable view of Jews, the same as the British do, according to the Pew Research Center. Since 1990, France’s national human rights commission has annually ranked Jews as the one of the country’s most accepted minorities. In polls, most French people say the state should vigorously combat anti-Semitism.

That’s little solace to the family of Mireille Knoll, the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was stabbed to death last month in her Paris apartment in an apparent hate crime.…  Seguir leyendo »

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, at a rally in central London in January.CreditPeter Nicholls/Reuters

As I’ve read about the furor over anti-Semitism in Britain’s Labour Party, I’ve thought of my grandfather and wondered what he would have made of it.

In his youth, in czarist Russia, he had been a revolutionary activist, a member of the Jewish socialist movement known as the Bund. By the time the Bolsheviks seized power, he had fled to England to make a new life in North London. The Labour Party was his natural constituency, as it was my father’s. Can the party that welcomed my family have changed so much?

To read the recent headlines, one would think so.…  Seguir leyendo »

A pin with a portrait of Mireille Knoll, at a march in Paris on Wednesday in response to her murder.CreditGonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

It’s no rare thing for the Israeli prime minister to enrage the Jews of the diaspora. But three years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech that won him near-universal condemnation.

In the aftermath of several deadly attacks in European cities like Paris and Copenhagen, Mr. Netanyahu called on Jews to leave Europe. “Of course, Jews deserve protection in every country. But we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters: Israel is your home,” he said, echoing comments he had made more subtly the month before at Paris’s Grand Synagogue.

Mr. Netanyahu’s suggestion of “mass immigration” was “unacceptable,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the head of the European Jewish Association.…  Seguir leyendo »

endrzej Wojnar/Agencja Gazeta/Reuters A worker cleaning a memorial to the victims of the 1941 Jedwabne pogrom after it was defaced by neo-Nazis, Poland, 2011

This month, Poland marks fifty years since the “March events” of 1968, when mass protests erupted in response to the stagnant Communist regime of Władysław Gomułka and its campaign of censorship and chicanery directed at Jews and intellectuals. The anniversary comes at a time when the current government is facing criticism at home and across the world for undermining free speech and the independent judiciary, and for refusing to take in any refugees. Among its crude moves to establish ideological control at home and flout opinion in the West is a recently passed amended law criminalizing claims that the Poles were complicit in or jointly responsible for the Holocaust.…  Seguir leyendo »

El Holocausto en Polonia

El 25 de enero de 2018, en la víspera del Día Internacional de las Víctimas del Holocausto, el Parlamento de Polonia aprobó una ley que prohíbe utilizar la expresión “campos de concentración polacos” y, sobre todo, que prevé penas de prisión de hasta tres años por “atribuir falsamente los crímenes de la Alemania nazi a Polonia”. Algunos se molestaron con la parte de los campos de concentración polacos, pero lo importante era el claro intento de los parlamentarios de ahogar el debate sobre la historia del Holocausto. Ante las críticas, las autoridades polacas se pusieron primero a la defensiva y luego pasaron al ataque.…  Seguir leyendo »

Manifestation de nationalistes polonais en faveur de la nouvelle loi condamnant l’usage du terme «camps de la mort polonais» introduite par le gouvernement conservateur. Varsovie, 5 février 2018. © JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP PHOTO

Le gouvernement polonais pensait qu’on pouvait le faire sans attirer l’attention internationale. D’autres pays dans l’ancien bloc communiste avaient minimisé leur complicité dans la Shoah avec succès. Dernièrement, l’Ukraine avait interdit toute critique à l’égard de ses combattants pour la liberté qui avaient collaboré avec les nazis contre les Soviétiques et qui avaient participé à l’extermination des Juifs et à des crimes contre les Polonais établis dans ce qui allait devenir l’Ukraine occidentale. Ironiquement, c’est le parlement polonais qui avait protesté le plus vivement contre cette manœuvre ukrainienne.

La dite «loi polonaise sur la Shoah» qui a provoqué un tollé international consiste, en fait, en un certain nombre d’amendements à la loi sur l’Institut de mémoire national.…  Seguir leyendo »

Survivors and guests walk through a gate at the former Nazi death camp at Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27. (Czarek Sokolowski/Associated Press)

Poland is in the midst of a pitched battle over its collective memory. The ruling party has recently stirred an international controversy by passing a bill criminalizing the use of the phrase “Polish death camps.” But in many ways, those international rifts are just collateral damage. The real battle is at home and is over what counts as legitimate political authority, and who can wield it.

Poland’s government is suggesting that the present-day cosmopolitan liberals who want to acknowledge Polish collaborators in crimes against Jews are traitors, like the Communists, willing to sell the nation to the highest international bidder. And such national mythmaking has more real-world power than many understand.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Old Town Square in Plock, Poland. Before the Nazi occupation, the city had a thriving Jewish community. Credit Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times

Should I still visit Poland?”

I’ve been asked this question a lot in the last two weeks by people planning trips to Krakow, where I’ve lived for 17 years after growing up in New York and then spending seven years in Israel. They are worried about the “Holocaust bill” recently passed by the Polish government and the war of words that erupted in response on the international diplomatic level, as well as among the Polish public and the global Jewish community.

The concern is genuine, warranted and appreciated. We, the Polish Jewish community, are weathering challenging times. The country we call home can feel a little less welcoming these days.…  Seguir leyendo »

La política de la memoria nacional

Durante una visita a Varsovia en 1970, el canciller alemán Willy Brandt se arrodilló ante el monumento al levantamiento del gueto; en ese momento, Władysław Gomułka (líder comunista de Polonia) susurró: “el monumento equivocado”. Gomułka hubiera preferido que se les rindiera homenaje a los soldados polacos caídos en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Y probablemente el actual gobierno ultranacionalista de Polonia, liderado por el partido Ley y Justicia (PiS, por la sigla en polaco) estaría de acuerdo.

De hecho, el gobierno de PiS está tratando de reescribir el relato polaco de la Segunda Guerra Mundial (y no en un susurro) con una nueva ley que criminaliza toda mención de la complicidad de la “nación polaca” en los crímenes del Holocausto.…  Seguir leyendo »

La publication, en 2000, d’un livre de l’universitaire américain Jan Gross consacré au massacre de la totalité de la population juive, sauf un survivant, par ses voisins polonais, dans une bourgade de l’est de la Pologne occupée, Jedwabne, le 10 juillet 1941, plongeant l’opinion dans la stupeur, allait rompre avec un demi-siècle d’occultations. Une Pologne victime et héroïque, frappée par les deux totalitarismes du XXe siècle, pouvait-elle avoir participé aux crimes commis par les nazis ?

Un débat national s’engagea, franc, ouvert. Soixante ans jour pour jour après le massacre, le 10 juillet 2001, le président de la république polonaise, Aleksander Kwasniewski, suivi des plus hautes autorités de l’Etat, se rendit à Jedwabne pour une cérémonie repentance, l’Eglise ayant fait de même de son côté.…  Seguir leyendo »