Tuesday, June 2, 2015

France: More on the Les Indigènes 'riflemen' tweet

Yesterday I posted about a contentious tweet by the anti-racist Indigènes de la République movement, which said that Jews are the shields and infantry of French imperialism.

That tweet was part of a series of tweets, and in fact a summary of an entire article and so is a little out-of-context.   I also got a couple of in-depth explanations here and here.  Note that my translation ignored the cultural context.

The point of the article is that Jews are being used (as unwitting accomplices?) in French racist policies.  So I'd say it's not as directly antisemitic as I originally posted.  Or rather, not more antisemitic than anything else you'd expect from the anti-Zionist left.

In fact, the article is trying to deal with both antisemitism and other types of racism, while blaming French and Westerners exclusively and seeing Zionism as a European imperialist plot.  The Jews are compared to the Senegalese riflemen who raped and pillaged on command of their colonial masters.  As such, it excuses the Jews in order to focus on the 'real evil' of French imperialism, which is currently pitting Jews against Muslims in order to abuse both.  

But, it still accuses Jews of war crimes and ignores the connection of Jews to their homeland.   The movement might be anti-racist and pro-indigenous, but Jews never ever get to be indigenous.  Not even in their own homeland.

I do agree though with the article that the French accept the Jews conditionally.  That shouldn't really be news to anybody who learns Jewish-French history.  Napoleon gave Jews equal rights as French citizens, but refused to give 'Jews' rights as such.  French secularism (laicite) allows you to practice any religion you want as long as you keep it out of the public sphere.  And so public schools can force kids to come to school on the Sabbath (as they did until recently) or take off their kippahs (as they only recently started doing) - and that's just fine, because we expect non-Jews to do it too.   This is also the reason why the 'veil law' and the newer 'pork laws' affect Jews far less than they do Muslims.  Most Jews who cared enough had already fled public school long before those laws came around.

Anyway, more of my rambling on this article here.

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