Today, of the thousands of types of vandalism that affect France, whereby stores and shelters, banks and prefectures, police stations and churches are attacked indiscriminately, there is one type of vandalism that deserves that we take a particular look at it because it is always indicative of much more than what is on the surface: anti-Semitism
In History, this monstrosity has taken a thousand forms. Before the Roman Empire, anti-Semitism was based on mistrust of the only monotheistic people who refused to integrate the other gods into their pantheon, and who claimed that their God was also the only God of all other people, but without wanting to impose it on them by force.
During the Roman Empire (and after a short period of sharing martyrdom with the Christians), the Jews were accused of deicide and kept out of common life unless they recanted. The accusations redoubled in the Middle East, when they did not want to join the new monotheistic religion, Islam.
When the second millennium began (and the rising economy needed liquidity, in Islam first, then in Christian Europe), the role of lenders was imposed on them because their faith did not forbid them to extend credit; they were therefore encouraged to move to the homes of the borrowers provided they were all lenders, in addition to their main daily job. Doctor and lender; carpenter and lender. Naturally, they were hated again, but this time as an excuse not to reimburse them the credit that they extended. Luther and Calvin came to add their gall to those of previous preachers and ungrateful borrowers.
When, during the 19th century, Jews were finally allowed to enter the secular world, and be admitted to universities, music and painting schools, industrial sectors, political parties, laboratories, hospitals, it is their new talent, in these areas, that drew jealousy and hate. Later, the mad accusations of Jews secretly mastering the world and manipulating it in their sole interest became rampant.
All these forms of anti-Semitism then merged, culminating in the Dreyfus Affair, a great moment of truth, in which the victory of rights and justice was to the honour of France.
We know the rest, and the horrors of the 20th century. Some of it added to the hatred of the State of Israel, and for others, hostility to the policies of such and such members of its governments.
Today, all these perversions still exist. More or less hidden, more or less latent. More or less mixed up. And anonymity allows physical or virtual vandalism to be expressed differently than before; but it exerts the same violence.
History, the entire story, tells us that anti-Semitism flourishes, in one form or another, in a society that is not comfortable with itself, where success is perceived to be illegitimate, and where many people have an interest in creating scapegoats in order to forget their own responsibility for their personal failures, or that of their community.
In my opinion, here’s the true meaning of today’s anti-Semitism: in a perverted market democracy, whereby, on a global scale, there is no real democracy or market anywhere, but rather something that resembles a plutocracy subject to a few giant firms, and to alienating technologies, the temptation is great, for citizens that are cognizant of not being masters of their own destiny, to look for culprits where they can be identified; and not where the real culprits are; and they are in mechanisms, not in people.
More than ever, anti-Semitism is the barbaric sign of a drifting society that must re-establish its procedures, recreate its legitimacy, ensure that fortunes are justified, public service jobs are deserved, and glass ceilings are destroyed. This has nothing to do with the status of a particular community, whose members have very diverse opinions and statuses.
Combatting this leprosy is not only in the interest of the Jews, who are the collateral victims of a sick society, but it is also in the interest of all other citizens; so that, by defending the liberties and the rights of each individual, by focusing on the real challenges, each one may strive to make his life a success, to fulfil his potential and contribute to the emergence of a democratic society, honest and equitable, for our forbearers, those living today and those to come tomorrow.