December 11, 2019

French Imam Says Anti-Zionists ‘Say Anti-Semitic Things in a More Polite Manner’

Photo from Flickr.

A French imam told the Jerusalem Post on June 12 that anti-Zionism is essentially anti-Semitism expressed cloaked in respectful language.

Imam Hassen Chalgoumi, who is leading a French Muslims for Israel delegation, told the Post, “Anti-Zionist propaganda is a mask; it is actually anti-Semitic, but is used to say anti-Semitic things in a more polite manner. What characterizes anti-Zionism is hatred. If we were simply talking about criticism of the State of Israel, we wouldn’t see the hatred and talk of the need to wipe out and destroy Israel.”

Chalgoumi added that a key reason as to why anti-Semitism is rising in France is due to Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood promulgating “old anti-Semitic tropes, such as Jews controlling the world, being rich” and expressing their “hatred of Israel.”

There was a 74 percent spike in anti-Semitic incidents in France from 2017 to 2018, and 95 percent of Jews in France view anti-Semitism as a serious problem in the country, according to The New Republic.

“France has the largest Jewish population in Europe and the third largest in the world,” the New Republic’s Jess McHugh wrote in March. “Anti-Semitism in the country springs not only from fringe online groups but also from a long history of Jewish persecution and a contemporary anti-establishment surge. Today, Jewish historians and advocacy groups say, the far-left, the far-right, and radical Muslims—groups with few shared interests, historically—are finding common ground in anti-Semitism and the gilets jaunes [yellow vests movement]. And as they do so, the language of anti-Semitism is shifting, making it particularly hard to track and filter as new laws would demand.”

This shift is manifesting itself into language conflating “Israel’s policies with Jews everywhere,” McHugh wrote.

Jewish Journal Editor-In-Chief David Suissa argued in a May 29 Op-ed that anti-Zionism is worse than anti-Semitism because “anti-Semitism revolves around an emotion — hate. Anti-Zionism revolves around an action — destruction.” Suissa added that anti-Semites can’t be open about their Jew-hatred, so instead “they work to undermine, in sneaky ways, the world’s only Jewish state.”