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French Politics and Institutions - Essay Example

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French Politics and Institutions April 27th, 2012 French Politics and Institutions Introduction Comparing the Dreyfus Affair to the recent shootings in Toulouse Out right, these two incidents have a similar underlying theme - that there is the presence of anti-Semitism campaign towards individuals of Jewish origin…
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French Politics and Institutions
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Download file to see previous pages In the Toulouse shooting there were four Jews killed outside of a Jewish school, three of those dead being children. Just like in the past incident, the Toulouse shooting sparked riots in France with the society divided between those who supported Bayne and those who condemn him. Therefore, other separate incidents similar to the recent shooting should work as a highlight and a warning sign rather than being treated as a lone incident. Unlike in North America where issues affecting the Jewish community there are low birth rates, intermarriages and assimilation, in French Europe, anti-Semitism is a social phenomenon rather than just a lone incident1. The strong outspoken French public take on the two incidents has worked in highlighting the similarity between both incidents. The society seems, just like in the first incident, to be very active in taking sides - either on the side of the victims or on the side of the perpetrators. The underlying crimes are based on hate. However, there have been recent twists to this anti-Semitism in that political and economic spheres have been introduced into the debate but the fact remains that anti-Semitism just like in those periods of 1890s still is strong if not getting even stronger in France. Even scholars have been thrown into different conclusions about the recent incident in line with the Dreyfus Affair in that some like Neocon John Podhoretz are declaring an alert that “Jews are being hunted.” Though an overtone, it seeks to highlight that the recent event cannot be looked at in isolation to the 1894 anti-Semitic affair because of the similarity between them. On the contrary Leon Weiseltier termed his article “Hitler is dead.” In essence, the writer is telling the Jews in the Diaspora that they should not panic. These two authors could be taken to be social representatives in the voicing of how society in France takes up positions when these issues are brought to light in the French public domain2. The fact that even those denying the latest shooting incident are referring to the contrast between the two incidents only raises concerns about the similarities between the incidents which are more than 100 years apart. It is therefore not uncommon to find political leaders in search of public support or mere social debate in quest to remain relevant talking about the two events and dragging anti-Semitism into the contemporary political and economic circles. Despite the country’s enormous steps in technology, economy and political spheres, the culture of anti-Semitism has remained deeply enshrined among some parts of the society. The recent shooting does not therefore represent a separate aspect of the French population but a rather serious social phenomenon. It can also be seen as a serious social evil because the shooter in the recent Toulouse shooting definitely was not even born when the Dreyfus affair was happening. Examination of the Ability of France to Divide Over Issues The study has already established that one similarity between the Dreyfus Affair and the recent Toulouse shooting has been the characterization of the French public to divide into two different camps when social phenomena take place. Hence, while others openly support the individuals who perform the anti-Semitic activities such as the ones noted above, others strongly condemn them in equal matters. This has historically been the French scenario. Taking the scene in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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