Monday, March 14, 2016

France: "I am wondering if we are becoming the ‘new dhimmis’ in France"

Via Tablet Magazine:
“The French Republic has not been able to resist the explosion of anti-Semitism,” said Simone, 70, who arrived in France from Tunisia in 1986. “In Tunisia, my ancestors were protected by law. They had the dhimmi status under the Turkish Ottoman Empire until 1881. Though not equal to the rest of the population, as Jews they had the right to practice their religion and manage their institutions. After this date we were protected by the French protectorate. But it was still exceptional for Jews to hold a government job or be appointed to high ranking administrative positions,” she continued.

In Tunisia, Simone and her husband and their four children lived next to the Great Synagogue of Tunis, and she remembered well how it was under constant police protection. “We spoke French at home and if necessary we could speak Arabic outside. We never displayed our origins in public. Most of our neighbors did not know we were Jews,” she explained. Her family was one of the last to leave Tunisia for France. “We were considered insane for still living there when most of our friends and relatives had left the country a long time ago.”

Every time there was tension between Israel and Arab countries, Jews in Tunisia faced anti-Semitism. “In 1967, the Arabs took the Torah from the Great Synagogue and unrolled the scrolls of the Torah in the street. There were other trying occurrences in 1973 and 1982,” Simone remembered. The new French anti-Semitism is different from the one Simone had faced in Tunisia because it has multiple sources: Rooted in Islamism, it is also a way that the far right and far left conceal anti-Semitism beneath disagreement with Israeli policy. Still, the feeling it induces is quite similar. “Today after the Paris attacks I am wondering if we are becoming the ‘new dhimmis’ in France?” Simone said. “Our synagogues are already protected by soldiers, our children’s teachers are attacked. Maybe we will have to leave France just as we left Tunisia.”

read more

No comments :

Post a Comment