Friday, August 24, 2018

France: Jewish scholar Alain Finkielkraut is worried for France’s future

Via The Times of Israel:
If Jews in France have long had a charged — at times painful — relationship with their country dating back centuries, they now face a new, particularly pernicious reality, says prominent French Jewish intellectual and writer Alain Finkielkraut.

“I’m extremely worried — as much for French Jews as I’m worried for the future of France,” says Finkielkraut, during a recent interview with The Times of Israel in his Paris apartment. “The anti-Semitism we’re now experiencing in France is the worst I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and I’m convinced it’s going to get worse.”

Sitting at a long table in his living room, whose walls are lined with tall shelves laden with books, Finkielkraut, 69, comes across as a serious, deep-thinking man. (…)

His commentary is often trenchant, especially concerning the plight of his 500,000 Jewish compatriots. Among the worrisome developments that preoccupy him is what some call “internal migration.”

“Due to the increased hostility Jews are facing, especially in certain suburbs of Paris, many feel the need to leave where they’ve lived for a long time,” says Finkielkraut, referring to a growing unease caused by virulent anti-Semitism in predominantly immigrant areas.

“In recent years, tens of thousands of Jews have moved, some to Israel, most to neighborhoods where they feel more secure. Such a situation would have been unimaginable 20 years ago. It’s without precedent in France and, what’s really terrible, it’s going to continue,” he says.

For Finkielkraut, the origin of this malaise is clear.

“It’s a terrible phenomenon linked to immigration,” he says. “And as immigration is increasing, so is the rise in this anti-Semitism. Not only does a big part of the left refuse to recognize this, but they explain to us that the immigrants are the new Jews and that it’s important to know how to welcome them as the country should have done for Jews during World War II.

“What’s crazy is the situation is going to get worse with the complicity of people who claim to have learned the lessons from the Holocaust. We are at an absolutely diabolical juncture,” Finkielkraut says.
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