Prior to a paper I’m planning to write here on cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism this week, I would like to remind you about tonight’s JCALL Conference and Debate at Ma.Com (click on the links to read the information paper, the invitation and the access plan).
On the same issue, I would like to remind you of an enlightening conversation between my long time friend Alain Finkielkraut and Elisabeth de Fontenay as the both relate to my research and to JCall.
The link above will lead you to all the talk shows Mrs. de Frontenay gave to my favourite radio, France Culture (well…together with France Inter….!). The Répliques (Replies) talk show I’m refering to was entitled Enfance et Philosophie (Childhood and Philosophy) took place on March 26th, 2011 and just click on the link for more details or here to listen to the podcast.
Honestly, I was sipping my Sabbath coffee and thus only took scarce notes which relate to my own research, but there they are.
Mrs. de Fontenay’s mother was jewish and although the attachment of this wonderful philosopher to her jewish ancestry and to Israel are well known, she never until now wrote on these matters. This is however the topic of Actes de Naissance ((de) Fontenay, E. (2011). Actes de Naissance. Paris, Seuil.)
She immediately attracted my undivided attention when she mentioned this quotation: “Au nom d’Auschwitz, nous devons faire table rase” from Beck, U. (2006.). Qu’est-ce que le cosmopolitisme ? Paris, Aubier.
In the talk show, she also stressed her “Attachement viscéral à Israël (…) ce sont mes morts qui étaient très assimilés et ne seraient sûrement pas allés en Isrël” (her deep-routed attachement to Israel, these are my regretted beloved who were quite assimilated and would certainly never have gone to live in Israel).
For her, Israel’s existence is a family matter (“affaire de famille”).
However, she also stressed her absolute denying that such a membership be interpreted as a refusal to support the existence of the State of Israel. She mentioned the solitude of the two cities.
She also admitted her great anxiety: “Following the Itamar terror attack during which an infant was decapitated”, she observed the silence of the international press. She also deeply regretted the Israeli Government’s reaction: “they kill, we build” and claimed for her right to be indignant at such a statement” and even went one step forward to declaring her hatred for the Franco Israelis (Je déteste les Franco Israeliens).
I fully understand what she means. Jews in France (and in England as far as my knowledge goes), have decided to support unconditionally the state of Israel, no matter what. In my own family, I am quite aware of being considered a traitor to the cause, simply because I believe, as she does, that these occupied territories are the only obstacle left between Peace and the Middle East.
The existence of the State of Israel is now largely supported throughout the world including the Arab countries. What is unacceptable is the situation of the Palestinians in the “Territories”. This cannot and never will justify actions such as the despicable (for lack of a better word) terror attacks of any kind. And as one of my friends put it “I supported Peace now till the Gaza issue. When I saw that as soon as the Israelis pulled out, the palestinians shot the Israeli nearby city of Askelon, I ceased to consider we had a counterpart. We want peace but all they want is to throw us back into the sea!
However, the world isn’t made of terrorists. We give them all the credits, they are perfect idiots and criminals who will never be satisfied with anything. So what? This certainly isn’t taking into account the silent and suffering majority of those who are as well as we all are, victims of the terror threats.
The Tunisian People has given an example to the world: Dégage! Let the Terror “Dégage” and let us finally enjoy again the Tel-Aviv joie de vivre!