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Intellectual State of Emergency The Occupied Territories of Progressive Thought

Who are today's racists?

 A "March for Dignity" recently assembled outraged "anti-racists," who shouted insults in the name of universal love.

It was in the name of anti-racism that the progressives chanted "death to Jews" at the UN's Durban conference against racism in 2001.

Every week, the Place de la République has seen the roaring processions of the Sheikh Yassin Collective, inciting the hatred of Jews. Did anyone even care?These "progressives" were strangely silent while a quarter of a million people were killed in Syria, while Yazidi women were sold into slavery, or when a new Caliph ordered the massacre of thousands in the name of Allah, or the mutilation and murder of Christians who refused to convert. Is that kind of behavior nothing more than bad taste?

Today the new virus of prejudice has two faces: brandishing a knife and trying to appear as innocent as a lamb

The suffering of the Arabs, of the Palestinians and of the suburban youth is real, but will be alleviated only if there is first a critical examination of the delusional views on what is causing it. Neither the Jews nor Israel are at the root of this suffering.

The massacre perpetrated on November 13th in Paris was predictable and announced; only those who refuse to see things that clash with their ideological beliefs do not understand this. The ideological denial of reality remains the main reason for our inability to fight terrorists, whom many do not dare admit are Islamists.

For months now, our hatred has been directed only at those who have been urging us to open our eyes and call things by their real names. For months now, the demands not to associate an entire population with a few extremists, as well as calls to "stop Islamophobia," have been forcing us to close down our minds.

But who has been making this connection in the first place? Who actually are today's racists?

Every week, the Place de la République in Paris has seen the roaring processions of the Sheikh Yassin Collective, inciting the hatred of Jews. Did anyone even care? Recently, a "march for dignity" assembled outraged anti-racists, who shouted insults in the name of universal love, anti-racism and "fraternity" against several prominent Jewish philosophers and journalists, including Bernard-Henri Lévy, Éric Zemmour and Alain Finkielkraut.

Members of the "Sheikh Yassin Collective" demonstrate in support of Hamas, in Paris, on August 30, 2014.

What is this taste for hatred on full display in public debates, as well as on the streets of Paris? Some youths who adopted a Nazi identity are having a nostalgic sit-in on the Boulevard Saint Germain. They are demanding, right in the midst of the Latin Quarter, that the "Talmudist BHL" (Bernard-Henri Lévy) be expelled from the country -- and no one bats an eye.

When the multi-racial crowd, "Marching for Dignity," the supposed protectors of our universal conscience, descend into the streets to protest the pain and suffering of the offended, they denounce "racism" against "victims" -- usually non-French citizens of non-French origins: Muslims, Arabs, black Africans and others from the former French colonies -- all victims of a supposedly dominant "Islamophobia."[1]

In the midst of all these compassionate anti-racists, the Hamas flag -- from a group we all know to be so charitable and benevolent -- is unfurled. No one denies that there is racism in France but what is this French version of the Nation of Islam, in which suburban Black Panthers declare their hatred for France and the French?

They, who call themselves "Les Indigènes de la République," [Non-Ethnic French Citizens] take full advantage of the reigning anti-racist indignation. Today, no one dares to declare himself a "racist." Racism is the primordial evil. This struggle against racism is the first step toward a new awareness. Today, everyone is anti-racist except for those who practice a kind of "State racism." This idea, which corrupts history and is based on lies, today takes the place of Holocaust denial. The difference today is that these "Indigènes de la République" mobilize people from the projects under the benevolent guise of anti-racism.

There seems to be some confusion. That neo-Nazis denounce the Jews is nothing new, but what of the offended anti-racists who are "not Charlie"? What is the meaning of these slogans splashed across the protest signs of those "Marches for Dignity"? Who are these anti-racists denouncing "white power," while they assemble in the name of ethnic diversity? What demon possesses these people the minute the name of Israel is pronounced or the Star of David makes its appearance?

In the summer of 2015, the City of Paris invited the City of Tel Aviv as a partner for Paris's month-long "Paris Plage" (Paris Beach) event. That was all it took for a Mrs. Simmonet, an elected official from the left, to go into "progressive" fits and an anti-fascist stupor. "Shame on the City of Paris! Obscene invitation, etc. Inviting a colonial racist country, etc.!" We have never heard Mrs. Simmonet denounce trade between France and China, Egypt, Iran, Qatar, or Saudi Arabia, for instance.

"Is the mention of Israel pornographic?" one man says. Some people verge on hysteria, as if the mere mention of the word is a breach of global etiquette. These "progressives" were strangely silent while a quarter of a million people were killed in Syria, while Yazidi women were sold into slavery. They were quiet when two hundred schoolgirls were abducted in Nigeria, and when a new Caliph, in the name of Allah, ordered the massacre of thousands in Iraq or the mutilation and murder of Christians who refused to convert. Is that kind of behavior nothing more than bad taste?

However, if Israel expresses its concerns to the UN regarding explicit plans for its own annihilation by another country and member of this same UN, the exalted Human Rights Commission (in which our dear friend, Saudi Arabia, participates) hastens to denounce the savagery of the Jewish state.

Since the 1970s, anti-Zionism has managed to mainstream ancient racist Jew-hate. This new virus has now supplanted the even more ancient virus of hating Jews as individuals -- a bigotry that led to their massacre, burning, expulsion, and the destruction of their books. It also led to baseless accusations, collective blame for all sorts of ills, blanket condemnation, and finally to their being gassed. At its peak, under Nazism, this hatred then regressed over 20 years, but at the end of the 1960s, it began mutating, and the word "Israel" took on a repellent character no one could have foreseen.

This racist mutation was completed at a UN conference in Durban, South Africa in 2001, when the old, unmentionable antisemitism was merged with a new, liberating anti-Zionism. It was in the name of anti-racism that the progressives chanted "death to Jews" at the UN conference against racism.

This disease of the mind seems extraordinarily mutable, with the capacity to reproducing under different guises. Today the new virus has two faces: brandishing a knife, and trying to appear as innocent as a lamb.

Why raise the recurring issue of hatred for the Jews now, a hatred which has turned into hatred for Israel? Because this is at the heart of this current rabid insanity. Because it is the seed of hatred that the Islamists have planted against Western civilization. What more can be said that has not already been said? Why are hundreds of thousands of people drinking from the cup of this religion that dares not say its name?

This hatred for Israel takes on the same characteristics in the 21st century as the collective medieval belief that blamed the Jews for the bubonic plague. Remember when sharks began attacking tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh, and the Egyptian director of tourism placed the blame on the Mossad? He claimed it had trained these killer sharks so that tourists would flee Egypt and harm its economy; no one has yet explained how the sharks were trained not to eat Egyptians.

"Pro-Palestinians" often do not really care about Palestine. For them, this truly compelling cause is nothing more than fiction: it is hatred for Israel that mobilizes them.

The basic reproach was formulated, simply, by the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Israel, he said,would be "illegitimate" -- meaning it has no right to exist. That is indeed what is being said or thought: Israel, nobody wants you. Please disappear. The world would be so peaceful if it were not for your wrench in the works.

When the journalist Edwy Plenel, the self-proclaimed vigilante against the lies of the government, quoted Nelson Mandela in order to condemn Israel, the quote was discovered to be totally made up. "If I have committed a factual error," he said, "at least I was politically correct!"

During the fall of 2015, the French newspaper Le Monde led the charge against the hidden source of all of our political ills. What worries our anti-fascist vigilantes is the threat of the Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, as well as that popular thought leaning toward the right. Those who are leading this shift to the right must therefore, according to Daniel Lindenbergh, be named and called out. They are Michel Houellebecq, Éric Zemmour and Alain Finkielkraut. How does this view contaminate the mind? Read their works. In France there is no worse insult than being called a racist, but in intellectual circles it is even worse to be called a "reac" (reactionary). If you have murdered your mother and father, there will always be some sort of reason, however subtle, for your actions. But to be called a "reac" is too harsh. It is unbearable. The "reac" thinker is now the new enemy.

The thinkers have found a new home, and the left a new dogma. Here, in order of top priority, is France's greatest enemy: those-intellectuals-who-are-used-by-the-Front-National and who must be flushed out and their names added to the blacklist.[2] What would become of enlightened thinking without the illusory safety of the Front National? The specter of "the darkest years of our history" of the 1940s is often used by those who claim to be Enlightened and to represent universal love.

So here is the predictable return of the already seen, read and heard Fascist menace -- this prefabricated artificial idea that invents radical enemies to avoid dealing with complexities it pretends to understand. [3]

More recently, another incident added to this reversal of causes and responsibilities. The historian Georges Bensoussan is at risk of being summoned by the MRAP (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples) "before a criminal court for racial slurs and incitement to hatred and racial violence." The reason is apparently having dared to bring up the antisemitism that is commonplace in the Arabic and Muslim culture in the Maghreb.[4]

If the Republic suffers today in so many areas riddled with such a brotherly hatred, it is because it refuses to face the evil that is devouring it. The suffering of the Arabs, of the Palestinians and of the suburban youth is real, but will be alleviated only if there is first a critical examination of the delusional views on what is causing it. Neither the Jews nor Israel is at the root of this suffering. What is causing it is what happened to this culture -- born from Islam, or from Arabic heritage -- always to place the blame elsewhere when it is itself the source of the current disaster. It is not Israel that is bombing and starving the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Syria. The historian Bernard Lewis asked the timely question "What Went Wrong?" to cause this heritage to go so far astray? Placing the blame elsewhere was the answer.

This failure of thought not only affects the Arabic and Muslim world. It also affects the ideas of the progressives.

Would the 21st century see the posthumous victory of Comrade Stalin? Have we not learned the lessons of the blinded intellectuals in front of seductive totalitarian ideologies? One fears that the ideological denial of facts -- in exchange for demanded intellectual opium for "unity" -- will remain the norm. These dogmas, even in the name of progressivism and anti-racism, do not eliminate evil, they only lead to deeper graves. Run, Comrade. Graves might be behind you, but the cutthroats are out in front.

Jacques Tarnero, affiliated with the Cité des sciences et de l'Industie, Paris, specializes in the study of racism.

This article was originally published in a slightly different form in French. Gatestone is most grateful to the author for his kind permission to publish it in English.

[1] Quoting the spokesperson for the Indigènes de la République

[2] Which the historian Daniel Lindenberg is getting ready to publish.

[3] On the heels of the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket attacks, Philippe Lioret, director of the movie "Welcome," a film about the conditions of illegal migrants in France in 2008, stated on France Inter radio: "I have had this idea for a while that I never hear in the news. Who, historically, is responsible for this crisis? The Six Day War for example. In 1967, the Israelis entered into West Bank and Gaza. They dispossessed the Palestinians. Wasn't this the beginning of a terrible transformation of the Arabic identity that brings today this type of Islamic fundamentalism (...) The West is always to blame. The ones with the money," he concludes,"are the ones that decide."

[4] A petition signed by about twenty people was sent to the Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (the French TV and radio regulatory body) to decry the statements made by Bensoussan during a debate with Patrick Weil during a program called "Répliques" hosted by Alain Finkielkraut on France Culture on Saturday, October 10, 2015.

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