Why this story matters:
France has had a complicated history with its Jewish community, as it has with Israel.
Some French politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron, say there is no difference between anti-zionism and anti-semitism. Since the Paris attacks, more politicians have stepped forward and praised Israel for how it defends itself against terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, historians and specialists have been called anti-Semitic as soon as they publicly stand against Israeli policy.
The country of human rights' must balance the interests of its Jewish and Muslim communities.
Details from the story:
- Pascal Boniface, founder and director of the progressive think tank Institute for International and Strategic Research, published a book in January as a response to those accusing him of antisemitism.
- According to Boniface, "a kind of intellectual terrorism is emerging. Some want to scare people.... A debate is needed about the reasons of this blackmail, a dangerous one since it provokes a 'casual' antisemitism."
- In February, another French intellectual, Dominique Vidal, will release a book explaining the difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. The book will be addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron.
- Since the terrorist attacks in Toulouse of a Jewish school (2012) and in Paris, against the Hyper Casher supermarket (2015), criticism against Israel has become more and more difficult to express.