John Horvath on Tue, 30 Apr 2002 22:23:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Palestine and Le Pen

Naomi Klein's article to the Globe and Mail is a perfect example of a
distraction to drown out legitimate criticism of Israel by fanning the
flames of anti-Semitism. After all, the shoah must go on. Her assertion
that "the only people Mr. Le Pen's supporters seem to dislike more than
Jews are Arabs" is quite incorrect. Len Pen's fascism is more against
Arabs than Jews; more precisely, the NF in France is against North

It's a common mistake to assume that fascists are against first and
foremost Jews and then everyone else (actually, why do Jews hold the
monopoly over the word "Semite" when Palestinians are also considered
Semitic?). Nationalists are against "the foreigner" foremost represented
by the minorities they feel most threatened by. In France, they are not
too happy with Jews, that's for sure; but what they are more afraid of
is who they see on the streets and can quickly identify. Moreover, with
the number of North Africans and refugees from "the east" on the
increase, it's this wave of immigration which is seen as the biggest
threat to French nationalists.

Aside from all this, you may have noticed that stories of rising
anti-Semitism almost always coincides with criticism of Israel. Hence,
this time the French elections provided the perfect setting, as if it
was manna sent from heaven. Subsequently, the likes of Klein end up
twisting events out of context in order to serve their ignominious

The idea that the French elections shows a marked increase in
anti-Semitic sentiment is rubbish. Le Pen didn't gain more support than
what he had previously. What changed was that the bloody French didn't
go out to vote. Le Pen supporters are a committed block and went out to
vote; the left and others didn't give a shit. And when the shit hit the
fan, suddenly people are "shocked" and roused to action by a political

So now the French left has a choice between the crook or the fascist. As
far as I'm concerned, the people got what they deserved. Next time it
will teach them to get off their fucking French asses and cast a vote.

Ironically, we had a similar event here in Hungary during elections also
held in April, only in reverse. The Hungarian version of Le Pen, Istvan
Csurka (who looks, talks, and acts exactly like Le Pen) was utterly
defeated and didn't make it into parliament this time round. And yet, he
got more votes this time than in 1998 when he and his party, the Truth
and Life Party (MIEP), made it into parliament. So what happened? (even
he is still asking himself this question). The answer is simple: over
70% of the population turned out to vote.

It's clear from all this that the danger to freedom and democracy is not
from those that seek to destroy it, but from those who are lazy and take
it for granted.


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