Yesterday, during a tribute to the victims of Mohamed Merah at the Secondary School Ohr Torah in Toulouse , Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defamed the Jews of France. He says that a Jew should not live in France, but only in Israel because the Jews are allowed to live in France only at the sufferance of the French who consider Jews as disloyal squatters whose existence is therefore as precarious as that of the famous “fiddler on the roof.” Consequently, then, no Jew can never be truly French, no matter where he was born and no matter which country he professes loyalty. The Jew is always the stranger, always different, never to be trusted. This is the unavoidable subtext of his statement.
It is the old slander of Jewish divided loyalty which was at the center of the Dreyfus affair and has played such an important role in anti-Semitism in France and, in fact, around the world. The Jews, it is said, by nature, cannot be loyal to the country to where they are born and to which they profess loyalty, but only work for Zionism or foreign countries like Israel. Netanyahu falls into the trap of those who hate the Jews as this has been the usual accusation of anti-Semitism forever. He gives credence to those who question the loyalty of Jews.
If the Jews of France had been defamed in this way by Marine Le Pen or David Duke, there would have been a great outpouring of criticism for the revival of the old lie of conflicted Jewish loyalties. Yet this insult against the Jewish people seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the Jewish community. This is unfortunate. I say this slander must be fought, no matter who spreads poison. Yes, it is ironic that he who defames the Jews of France is the Prime Minister of Israel, but that cannot change the obligation to refute the lie that all Jews have divided loyalties.
Speaking only for myself, I totally repudiate and condemn Netanyahu and his gang of fascists and religious lunatics. I do not forget his role in the assassination of Rabin. Netanyahu is not the King of the Jews. He does not speak for the Jewish Diaspora. He is a bad smell in the nose of honest people everywhere.
To his credit, the President of France spoke up for the Jews. For this, he deserves the thanks of all Jews worldwide.