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« The Best American Poetry 2018 at the Southern California Poetry Festival Sunday, November 18, 6:00 PM | Main | Paul Berman on Michael Walzer on "Tablet" »

November 19, 2018

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There are a lot of "it is said" in this text. France has, I believe, the largest and most integrated Jewish population in Europe and my personal experience is of patriotic French citizens who feel free to be Jewish as well as French. Also, I can cite more than one example in my private life of long-term cooperation and freindship between Jewish and Muslim French citizens. As far as I know, the terrorist attacks against Jews carried out by "Islamic" militants have been met with revulsion by French people of all religious persuasions and vigorously pursued by the political authorities and police.
Can the author cite any hard facts for his claim of persecution of Jewish citizens? Police reports? Witnesses? Sourced newspaper articles?
I have lived many years in this country and while there have been anti-semitic incidents of all sorts in that time - I have also heard and experienced much naive anti-semitism, even from people I love, but nothing I could say made these persons into anti-semites rather than ignorant and "non jewish" - I have seen some Islamist terror incidents - in fact, since they have mostly happened in a neighborhood where I lived with my family, they are all too familiar - I have not seen or heard of anything, let alone read in a newspaper or heard on the radio anything of the sort described in this article.
On the other hand, on a day-to-day basis I encounter, for example, Hasidic Jews, walking freely and apparently unconcerned, alone or in family groups, in the subways, in buses, in heavily "Muslim" neighborhoods, such as my own current one. Such people may just be examples of how foolish and uninformed people can be of course, but I think not.
This is very serious business. It is no joke. This is not the first time I have heard such unsubstantiated claims about this country. I think it is a shame. Not because there is no such thing as anti-semistim, terrorism or political idiocy but because France is a liberal democracy where people live pretty well and pretty much in harmony - proof that liberal ideas do work and liberal societies do exist. Such wild, unsubstantiated claims tend to discredit the Republican idea. This discredit can only help real anti-semites and real terrorists.

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