Transformations in French anti-Semitism


  • Nonna Mayer



The increase in the number of anti-Semitic acts since the start of the Second Intifada has sparked off a broad debate on the return of anti-Semitism in France. This article focuses on the question whether this anti-Semitism is still based on the alleged superiority of the Aryan race as in the time of Nazism, or if it does represent the birth of a „new Judeophobia“ that is more based on anti-Zionism and the polemical mixing of „Jews“, „Israelis“, and „Zionists“. One supposed effect of this transformation is that anti-Semitism is in the process of changing camps and migrating from the extreme right to the extreme left of the political arena, to the „alter“-globalizers, the communists, and the „neo-Trotskyists“.
Questions that will be answered in this article are: Are anti-Jewish views on the increase in France today? Do these opinions correlate or not with negative opinions of other minorities, notably Maghrebians and Muslims? Do they tend to develop among voters and sympathizers with the extreme right or on the extreme left of the political spectrum? And how are they related to opinions concerning Zionism and the Israelo-Palestinian conflict?
The evaluation of the transformations in French anti-Semitism will rely on two types of data. The first is police and gendarmerie statistics published by the National Consultative Committee on Human Rights (CNCDH), which is charged with presenting the prime minister with an annual report on the struggle against racism and xenophobia in France. The other is data from surveys, notably surveys commissioned by CNCDH for its annual report and surveys conducted at the Center for Political Research (CEVIPOF) at Sciences Po (Paris Institute for Political Research). They show that anti-Semitic opinions follow a different logic from acts, that the social, cultural and political profile of anti-Semites remains very close to that of other types of racists, and that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism do not overlap exactly.





Mayer, N. (2005). Transformations in French anti-Semitism. Journal für Konflikt- Und Gewaltforschung, 7(2), 91–104.