Sunday, January 17, 2016

France: American Human Rights group claims racism causes antisemitism

Human Rights First, a New-York based human rights group, put out a report about French antisemitism titled: Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Countering Antisemitism and Extremism in France

In this report they advocate dealing with racism as a way of combating antisemitism.

For example, while discussing the root-causes of antisemitism, they list 'exclusion' as their first point.
Factor 1: Marginalized Groups Excluded from French Identity and “Republican” Values
French Muslims, immigrants, and French citizens of Middle Eastern, North African, or Sub-Saharan African heritage, especially those living and attending school in marginalized areas, experience prejudice and suffer from hate crimes as well as official and private discrimination. Many do not experience themselves as “French,” and d not see how “Republican” values work for them, as hate crimes and discrimination go unaddressed. Many antiracism and human rights activists conclude that the government is not adequately confronting these problems.

Some experts believe that this experience can make young people from these marginalized groups more susceptible to adopting the antisemitic perception that Jews hold inordinate wealth and power, a message with which they may be bombarded. They are likely to be exposed to strong antisemitic views and stereotypes from a range of sources, including online social networks, Islamist extremist groups, Middle Eastern traditional and social media, and visits or other connections to their countries of origin. A lack of education, social and physical mobility, and exposure to diverse perspectives only exacerbate the situation. The impact of this antisemitic content is further intensified by certain media coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as well as fierce anti-establishment and far left-wing criticism of Israeli policies in France.

Other groups that hold antisemitic views, including the supporters of right-wing extremist ideologies, such as the National Front and “mouvements identitaires,” as well as online communities including followers of Dieudonné and Soral, also think that the “Republican” values of France do not work for them, although they experience themselves as the representatives of a traditional “French identity.” They are critical of the elites whom, in their worldview, profit from European integration and globalization—with Jews perceived as being among those on the “winning” side. Most of these groups are also critical of immigration and express anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiments.
In other words, Muslim youth may be growing up in a very antisemitic society and are 'bombarded' with antisemitic messages from their social circle, Left-wing politicians and the media, but the real problem is exclusion.

The same goes for far-right groups, who feel excluded and blame the Jews. 

I would think that's the very definition of antisemitism.

This repeats again when they blame the French government response for validating the antisemitic stereotype.
 Factor 4: Government Action to Confront Antisemitism Paradoxically Exacerbates It

Official action to confront antisemitism or express solidarity with Jews in France paradoxically validates the antisemitic narrative that Jews exercise inordinate influence and breeds further resentment, which sets up the potential for backlash including hate crimes and violent incidents. One of the most pervasive stereotypes of Jews in France is their perceived privileged association with the government and the political establishment. These entities are targets of anger and violence from some disaffected Muslim youth, National Front supporters, and followers of Dioudonné and Soral. Online conspiracy theories about the role of Jews in national and global politics contribute to resentment.

It is important to deal with racism, but this report makes me wonder if they even know what antisemitism is.  Antisemitic conspiracy theories are antisemitism, they don't 'contribute' to resentment. 

Human Rights First recommends dealing with the exclusion problem in order to deal with antisemitism, though they seem to apply that only to immigrants and Muslims and not to far-right groups who also feel excluded.

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