Anti-Semitism stains the Yellow Vests

Caption: A sight we thought we’d never see in Europe again.

The French really are lousy at doing revolutions. As Whaleoil author Olivia Pierson has noted, compared to the American Revolution, the French Revolution ushered in not liberty, but a Reign of Terror that butchered many of the Enlightenment?s greatest thinkers and, finally, a megalomaniac military dictator. The 1848 Revolution wasn?t much better and worse, it directly inspired Marx and Engels. Storming the barricades might make for spectacular musicals, but it?s lousy history.

France?s latest revolution is in grave danger of following the same path. The Yellow Vests movement might be getting a whole lot of people around the world excited but, despite its romanticism, it?s following an even worse script than the others by quickly degenerating into violence and anti-Semitism. The spectre of the world?s oldest hatred is stalking the West, and France is fast falling victim to its poisonous presence. Quote:

Three months into the yellow-vest mutiny, France realised that the rural movement had given new life to an ugly throwback from the past, bringing forth the expression of hatred for Jews alongside contempt for President Macron and the ?elites? who, in the minds of many of the yellow vests, are allied to Jews.

On Wednesday Mr Macron told Jewish leaders: ?Our country, and for that matter all of Europe, seem to be facing a resurgence of antisemitism unseen since the Second World War.? Hours later residents in [Alain] Finkielkraut?s district woke to swastikas scrawled on doors.

Anyone observing the unrest that began in November with rural road blocks over a rise in fuel tax knows that antisemitism is only part of an extraordinary venting of anger. State institutions were attacked, Mr Macron?s effigy was beheaded and self-appointed leaders called for his violent overthrow – all of which has led to a waning of public support for the yellow vest cause. End of quote.

The Yellow Vests? greatest weakness seems to be what was celebrated as its strength: its attempt to be a ?broad church? movement encompassing left and right. That has only opened the door to some unholy alliances. Quote:

The French ultra-right was blamed for swastikas daubed this week on about 80 Jewish graves in Alsace. More visible has been the hatred born of radical Islam that has spread in the immigrant banlieues and led to the murder of a dozen Jews since 2012. Then there is the anti-Zionism of left-wing politics, which sympathises with Muslims as an oppressed people.

A hybrid of old and modern antisemitism has been fanned by an unlikely alliance between Dieudonne, a black comedian from the banlieues, and Alain Soral, an apostle of old-school white racism. It surfaced in the yellow vest movement on December 22, when a band of men performed the quenelle, a form of Nazi salute invented by Dieudonne, on the steps of the Sacre-Coeur basilica on Montmartre.

It is wrong, Mr Finkielkraut said, to tar the entire yellow vest movement as antisemitic, as Mr Macron has done: some yellow vests turned up for a 20,000-strong demonstration against antisemitism in Paris on Tuesday, he noted. ?The people who attacked me were not gilets jaunes from the early days. The movement has been degraded.? End of quote.

The left?s infatuation with Islam is being paired with their hatred of Israel, and fomenting the worst anti-Semitism in Europe since the Second World War.


Mr Finkielkraut, whose Polish-Jewish father survived deportation from Paris to Auschwitz in 1942, has become a villain for many on the hard left because he is a critic of Muslim immigration and a supporter of Israel?

Mr Finkielkraut believes Britain is ?the European country where the danger from the ?Islamo-left? is most acute?.

?If Corbyn gets into Downing Street, that will be the first time since the Second World War that a European state comes under an antisemitic government,? he said. End of quote.