Jacobo Israel Garzón is former president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain
By the year 1880, nearly 140 years ago, a strong antisemitism was developed in France and other western countries. The circumstances that brought it were related to, on one side, classical Christian antisemitism — maintained by the advocates of absolutism and fundamentalism, established in the unconscious of a great part of the European society — and on the other side a new component, the so-called “social” antisemitism, which, theoretically had nothing to do with religion but with the economic role of Jews, that, according to radical socialist groups, from Karl Marx on, used to constitute the support for savage capitalism.
But social antisemitism never aimed the Jewish elite, it aimed the whole Jewish population however the humble they might have been, making the term “social” become equivalent to classical antisemitism. In fact, the continuous disturbances related to Dreyfus affair (a French captain with Jewish origins that was accused of spying for Germany) aimed the small business owned by Jews and the disturbances in the French Algeria were reported in the press of the time, where a plutocratic Jewish minority did not exist, what did exist was a quite humble and miserable community among which only some retailers barely stood out.
Pro-Dreyfus position was only supported by the most liberal groups in French and European politics, and it was only when the writer Emile Zola wrote his famous J’Accuse, making clear the eyewash of the affair, that the socialist and anarchist radical groups abandoned the antisemitism. Spanish citizens have an example of the mentioned radical change of opinion in the writings of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (valencian), who made a change from his extreme position shown in some radical press as it was El Motín, to his novels, closer to the Jewish affair, written in 1909, Los muertos mandan and Luna Benamor.
Antisemitism evolved in Germany and in a great part of Europe after World War I, since the excess during the following War is well-known, and the Jewish Holocaust, with the tragic demise of a large portion of the Jewish population in Europe, caused by famine and violent deaths. Men, women and kids where transferred to specific concentration and death camps, leaving a palpable trace of the antisemitic delirium.
After World War II and the moral wake-up call of the huge chasm reached with the Holocaust, the European society reached a political and social majority consensus, basing the balance in two alternative parties, Christian democracy and social democracy, as well as the development of a united and collaborative Europe, based on the Judeo-Christian values of its social morality. In addition, an important fact took place for a community that had been the traditional preferred martyr in History, the birth of Israel.
Antisemitism was going through a cooling period, but 1967’s war between Israel and Arab countries created a firm anti-Israeli position of the Soviet Union and its allies, generated exclusively by geopolitical interests and supported by its trained propaganda machine. This anti-Zionism, the new antisemitism, successfully passed from the Communist left to the Arab countries, where the classic Islamic antisemitism based on the supremacy of Isam still subsisted.
The fall of the Wall undermined the European social democracy, which became fragmented into different groups, many of them radicals, among which the anti-Zionism was already passed on. The arrival of Arab and Islamic masses to Europe were useful to increase the anti-Zionism in the continent. Radical left and the Islam are the two bases for this new antisemitism that has anti-Zionism as a name.
It is time to clarify a concept: anti-Zionism does not exist (which, on the other hand has no sense, because it aims a State, not a Government policy). What it does exist is he antisemitism in its most cruel manner, because as already mentioned, the anti-Zionist attacks aim the whole of the Jewish population: synagogues, cacher shops, Jewish schools, desecrated cemeteries or even personal attacks to thinkers such as Finkielkraut. In the last year, the number of acts against Jewish population increased in the neighbouring country a 74%.
And it is not enough to attack antisemitism orally with manifestations and policy statements. It is necessary to go to European schools, including Koranic schools, and teach children what leads from promoting this kind of hate to a civil and pacific group of European citizens such as the Jews, calling this hate whether anti-Zionism, BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) or any other acronym. What we do have is hate to the Jews, as it is shown in their manifestations, their attacks and the violent deaths, 10 of them in France within the past years.