Alain Finkielkraut

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Alain Finkielkraut is Jewish-Zionist French philosopher. In January 2009, he was condecorated by Nicolas Sarkozy with the Legion d'Honeur.

Haim Bresheeth had this to say about Finkielkraut (8 March 2007):[1]

In Paris, the Philosopher Alain Finkielkraut found it acceptable to blame an Israeli filmmaker, Eyal Sivan, with more than anti-Semitism – incitement to murder of Jews – just for making a film, Route 181, with Palestinian Filmmaker Michel Khleifi. The film, a sophisticated expose of conditions for Palestinians within Israel and in the occupied territories, questions Israel's record of brutality and lawlessness. Nowhere in the film do they call, or condone calls, for any harm against Jews or Israelis. The film was widely shown in Israel itself, where the filmmaker works and teaches.

The accusations against the filmmakers were made on a popular radio channel, with a call for listeners to "do what they see fit" to stop such suspect characters. The filmmakers took the case to court in Paris, as the philosopher in question, a notorious public figure, is well known for extreme racist expressions he used in a Hebrew interview, which he may have thought would not be translated. He was wrong, and the translation, made available on the web, has made him enemy number one of ethnic minorities in France. The court found that the libellous accusations were indeed without foundation, but still agreed that Finkielkraut has a right to voice them. The case is under appeal, but do not hold your breath – the fear of the anger of the Jewish community in France is real, and the system will do much to avoid inciting its ire.

Gabriel Piterberg reports (November 2013):[2]

The case of France is tackled through the pronouncements of Alain Finkielkraut, the perfect illustration of Laor's thesis that the new culture of Holocaust remembrance, proposing unconditional support for Israel as the only balm for Europe's guilty conscience over the crimes of Nazism, also provides a cover for neo-colonial racist attitudes towards Europe's Muslim immigrants. For Finkielkraut, anti-racism is the 'new totalitarianism':
Anti-racism will be to the 21st century what Communism was to the 20th: a source of violence. It is in the name of the fight against racism that Jews are attacked today: the Separation Wall and Zionism are portrayed as racism. This is what is going on in France – we ought to be very wary of the ideology of anti-racism.
Finkielkraut's explanation for the banlieue riots of 2005 was very simple: hatred for France, as the old colonial power, a European country and a bastion of 'Christian or Judeo-Christian tradition'. He lamented the excessive concessions France had made to its former subjects: the teaching of colonial history in French schools concentrated too much on negative aspects, without stressing the positive role played by Europe and the us. Finkielkraut's 2003 essay, 'In the Name of the Other', had saluted François Furet for recognizing that 'the memory of Auschwitz' was becoming 'ever more significant, as the negative accompaniment of the democratic conscience'. Finkielkraut duly differentiated between the Western democracies, with their official Holocaust observance, and the non-democratic regimes – Iraq in the forefront – which were effectively the 'continuers of Auschwitz'. Within the new narrative thus constructed, the Judeocide constitutes the unique test for human freedom; Europe and America, in Finkielkraut's words, 'recharge their common principles in the commemoration of the Shoah'. On this basis, Laor comments, it is possible to level the charge of anti-Semitism against anyone who criticizes the us or Israel for the treatment of the Palestinian people:
This is not really about perpetuating the memory of the genocide but about consolidating a new ideology of exclusion. Now it is the Jews who are the insiders. What our leaders asked for, it seems, was not the rights of man, but the right to belong to the elite. We can now participate in violating the rights of others.

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