the Disillusioned kid: Anti-Semites are fuckwits
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Anti-Semites are fuckwits

Ilam Halimi was a 23-year old mobile phone salesman who lived in Paris. His apparently normal life was shattered when he was kidnapped by a gang apparently calling themselves "The Barbarians," who held him for 24 days, tortured him before dumping him near a train station in the parisian suburb of Bagneux, leaving him to die. In and of itself this is nasty enough and not to be encouraged. What has given the brutal abduction added potency, however, is the perception that it was motivated by anti-Semitism.

Nicholas Sarkozy told the National Assembly, "The truth is that these crooks acted primarily for sordid and vile motives, to get money, but they were convinced that 'the Jews have money', and if those they kidnapped didn't have money, their family and their community would come up with it. That's called anti-Semitism by amalgam." While not exactly renowned for his contribution to race relations Sarko appears to be on the right lines here, particularly if claims that the woman accused of seducing him for the gang was told to focus her efforts on Jewish men, turn out to be correct.

Encouragingly the whole affair has been greeted by widespread revulsion in France which has been expressed in the time-honoured French fashion of holding a large-scale demonstration. Rather less encouraging is attempts to capitalise on popular concerns on the part of the far-right Mouvement pour la France (MPF) whose leader Philippe de Villiers tried to attend but was greeted by cries of "racist" and had to be removed by what Ha'aretz describes as "guards". Worryingly it also appears that organisers had hoped to invite Jean-Marie Le Pen of the neo-Fascist Front National (FN), only relenting after "sharp opposition" from unnamed lefties.

It might seem strange that a right-wing fucktard like Le Pen who is not averse to dabbling in Judeophobia's murky waters himself and famously dismissed the gas chambers as "a point of detail," should want to have anything to do with a march against anti-Semitism, but if you think about it, it serves his short-term interests. The kidnappers appear to have been immigrants from the suburbs, one suspect even fled to the Ivory Coast. And there have been suggestions that some of them were linked to Muslim and/or Palestinian organisations. These are exactly the group whom the FN have been directing their ire against in recent years, tapping into apparently widespread anti-immigrant sentiment and Islamophobia.

This sort of things isn't without precedent. Recall that during the General Election in the UK the BNP fielded a Jewish candidate. Patricia Richardson who campaigned on an anti-immigration ticket and claimed, "The Jews and the British now share the same enemy — the al-Qaeda terrorists who we know are often hidden in Britain illegally plotting against the West. Both have an interest in the much tougher stand on law and order that we in the BNP are promoting." While the decision caused considerable controversy within the ranks it doesn't appear to have hurt the party terminally (unfortunately).

At the risk of unduly generalising from the specific I wish to suggest that these moves on the part of the French and British branches of the Adolf Hitler fan club serve to illustrate the extent to which anti-Semitism and Islamophobia feed off each other. Over the last few years there have been a series of reports pointing to a rise in one or the other. Recall also that while France is today dealing with concerns about anti-Semitism, only a few months back racism targetted against the immigrant populations - most of them black and Arab - led to rioting accross the country. All too rarely have people drawn the connections.

Clearly the Israel-Palestine conflict plays a part here, but that's an essay in itself (one I may get around to writing someday). While I don't want to get bogged down in the issues surrounding the Israeli occupation here, I will note in passing that accusations of anti-Semitism levelled against anybody with the temerity to criticise Israeli policy has created a situation whereby the Left (such as it is) seems has developed a blindspot around the issue. This is - to put it lightly - unfortunate. Anti-Semitism remains as contemptible, unjustifiable and as dangerous as ever. It is the enemy of the Palestinian solidarity movement and it is the enemy of anybody interested in building a better world.

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