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September 25, 1981 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-09-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

30 Friday, September 25, 1911

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Intellectuals Address French Anti-Semitism

By ARNOLD AGES

University of Waterloo

The events
of 1980 have not been for-
gotten. French Jews are
very much aware that the
spectre of anti-Semitism
still hovers on the periphery
of t.heir society. As long as it
remains on the periphery,
however, France's Jews do
not permit the lunatic
fringe to influence their
lives unduly.
The bombing of the Rue
Copernic synagogue in
Paris in 1980 has receded
into the background but
some of its reverberations
are undoubtedly behind
what some have called a re-
surgence of Jewish con-
sciousness, even militancy,
in the corporate life of the

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community.
Last May, more than
20,000 Paris Jews cele-
brated Israel's Indepen-
dence Day in a display of
solidarity that had rarely
been seen heretofore. Those
in attendance at the huge
outdoor affair were
entertained by musical
groups, instructed by
speakers and asked for sup-
port of Israel.
According to news-
paper reports the re-
sponse was tumultous.
One of..the interesting
sidelights of the rally was
the enthusiastic partici-
pation of Chief Rabbi
Rene Sirat, pictured at
the rally showing a young
man how to put-on tefilin.

Another example of the
renewed fervor of French
Jews can be seen monthly in
L'Arche, a magazine con-
taining some of the best
writing on French Jewish
themes today. In a recent
issue philosopher Shmuel
Trigano, a recent recipient
of the prestigious "doctorat
d'etat," the highest aca-
demic honor awarded in
France, called for a re-
examination of the condi-
tions under which French

MAY THE NEW YEAR
BRING NEW INSPIRATION
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Jews had accepted emanci-
The intrepid Levy wrote
pation from Napoleon in another book last year in
1806.
which he analyzed France's
Trigano argued in his major political currents and
perceptive piece that those dropped a bombshell on the
who spoke on behalf of Paris cultural elite by in-
French Jewry at that time forming them that
had violated the principles mainstream French
of Judaism in acquiescing thought, primarily its
to the idea that it was socialist aspects, was not
possible to separate the only totalitarian in nature
religious from the national but anti-Semitic to boot.
cultural aspects of Judaism.
The response to Levy's
He advocated in his article a
return to a definition of book was predictable. The
Judaism which avoided author was physically at-
these artificial distinctions. tacked and his nose injured
Not all of French Jewry's by a fascist. Critical re-
intellectual elite adopt such sponses to the book focused
a knowledgeable or positive on .specific factual errors
stance on Jewish questions. which Levy had apparently
A number of the writers and allowed to slip into his book.
editors associated with the Most reviewers declined to
Nouvel Observateur and rebut Levy's main thesis
other journals go out of their about the anti-Semitic cur-
way either to avoid those rents in French culture.
entanglements or adopt
This summer, Bernard
mildly anti-Israel positions. Henry Levy was invited
Daniel-Henry Levy is to Israel and interviewed
not among this latter by a number of Israeli
group. This -young journalists. Although de-
Jewish philosopher, clining to identify himself
whose meteoric rise has as a Zionist, Levy ex-
been chronicled in both pressed warm admira-
the Jewish and general tion for the Jewish state.
He warned of the dangers
press, is the author of
three major books in flowing froth a new form of
which he has espoused a anti-Semitism which he had
kind of neo-conservatism identified particularly in
that is unique in France. France — the use of Israel
Levy, still in his 30s, has as a surrogate for anti-
been deeply influenced by Jewish sentiments.
the writings of Alexander
Shmuel Trigano, Bernard
Solzhenitsyn and has come Henry Levy and Annie
to the conclusion that the Kriegel, a third member of
Gulag is not a violation of Jewish intellectual elite
socialist philosophy; it is an who teaches politics and
expression of it. Repression philosophy in Paris, are
and persecution, Levy providing French Jewry
argues, is the natural ac- with a critical and moral
companiment of leftist apparatus with which they
_ideas, and he has blasted can gauge their true posi-
those who hive preferred tion in France. The
not to recognize the "in- emergence of this kind of
humanities of the %Viet leadership in France is
system.
unique — and welcome.
- -

V olitme Defends' Pius XITs
Silence Concerning Nazis

FROM
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LONDON = This failure
"Judging from the Pope's
of Pope. Pius XII to criticize correspondence with the
Nazi atrocities during German bishops, fears of
World War II has been at- reprisals would seem to
tributed to his wish not to have dominated his attitude
jeopardize the lives of toward the fate of the Jews
thousands ofJews who were in Germany. He was cer-
being concealed by the Vat- tainly well-informed and
ican according to a newly- there is a suggestion of total
published book by a Roman helplessness in his letters in
Catholic historian.
the face of such incredible
. . -In "The Papacy in the evil."
Modern World" (Burns and
More than half the Jews
Oates), -Rev. J. Derek in Rome were being shel-
Holmes writes that Pius's
tered in ecclesiastical build-
"own work on behalf of the
ings that had been opened to
Jews might have been them by order of the Pope,
endangered by a public de-
Father Holmes claims.
nunciation of the Nazis,
"The Papacy in the Mod-
even though such a denun- ern World" is scheduled to
ciation might have justified be published in the U.S. this
his moral reputation in the fall by Crossroads.
eyes of mankind."
The failure of the Pope to
speak out against the Nazis Counter-Point
in more than general terms PARIS — The appoint-
has prompted attacks over ment this year of Jean-
the years that he had lacked Marie Lustiger, who was
born a Jew as Archbishop of
moral courage.
Pope Pius XII had been Paris, spawned. a number of
faced with a "simple jokes.
One said that an
choice," according to the
book, which has just been "Ashkenazi" had been ap-
released in England. pointed to balance the elec-
"Was his own moral tion the previous week of
reputation more impor- Rene Sirat as the first
tant than - the life of a Sephardi to. become Chief
single Jew?" Rabbi of France.

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