With thanks: Michelle
Georges Bensoussan, historian and editorial director at the Holocaust Memorial in Paris, is at the centre of a firestorm accusing him of 'incitement to racial hatred'.
A group of left-wing intellectuals, including the controversial academic Shlomo Sand, lodged a complaint against Bensoussan with MRAP, a French anti-racist movement. Bensoussan may be called to face a tribunal.
During a TV discussion broadcast on 10 October 2015, Repliques, Bensoussan commented that France cannot hope to integrate its Maghrebi immigrants unless it recognised that these immigrants imbibe antisemitism 'with their mother's milk'.
Bensoussan, whose family comes from Morocco and who authored an 800-page volume on the uprooting of Jews from Arab countries Juifs en pays Arabes: le grand deracinement 1850 - 1975 in 2012 , claims that he was paraphrasing the words of a 'brave' Algerian sociologist, Smain Laachar." Everyone knows it but nobody will say it," Laachar had declared of Arab/Muslim antisemitism.
Laachar has since denied having said or written this 'ignominy'. He said it was outrageous for Bensoussan to have claimed that antisemitism was transmitted by blood.
Bensoussan has countered that Arab antisemitism was not transmitted biologically but culturally. He accused his critics of 'intellectual terrorism'.
"These intellectuals have trouble imagining that the ruled can be rulers, racists, antisemites and violent people," said Bensoussan. He accused the Left of still being hung up about the 'colonial ' Algerian war, 53 years later: "The war has not ended. We still think we are at war with our immigrants."
Over 60 academics and intellectuals, including Bernard Henri Levy and Pierre -Andre Taguieff, have rallied in support of Bensoussan. On 4 December 2015, they had a letter published in Le Figaro.
"We affirm our support for Georges Bensoussan, salute his courage and his freedom to express himself," the letter said. "His defamers avoid addressing the disturbing facts he refers to, preferring instead to accuse, denounce, besmirch and threaten. Jew-hatred is behind such strategies, continually renewed."
Book review (Jerusalem Post)