The phenomenon of the anti-Zionist, 'self-hating' Jewish intellectual is not new. France has its fair share: Edgar Morin, Rony Brauman, Théo Klein, Jean Daniel, Gisèle Halimi, Esther Benbassa, Michel Warshawski, Guy Sorman.
In the USA Noam Chomsky is the kingpin of a coterie of Jewish, anti-Zionist intellectuals and academics.
In Britain we have Harold Pinter, Stephen Fry, Miriam Margolis, Nicole Farhi - so-called 'Independent Jewish Voices', who claim that the Jewish establishment seeks to stifle their criticisms of Israel.
Now the highly-respected professor and publisher of the magazine Controverses, Shmuel Trigano, has coined a term to describe these people: Alterjuifs (alternative Jews). Delving into the psychology of the Alterjuif, Controverses identifies a particular sub-group, peopled by Jewish intellectuals from Arab countries:
"For the Alterjuifs of the Maghreb, their hostility to Israel is linked to their specific experience of exile: Israel is to blame for their leaving Arab countries. The creation of Israel is to blame for Arab Muslim hostility and antisemitism.
"These intellectuals are prisoners of a myth they cannot and will not abandon: the lost Arab paradise where all peoples lived in harmony. Some people look back with nostalgia to being slaves in Egypt; others to the nostalgia of the ghettos. Today we have the nostalgia of dhimmitude. To hear their complaints and their anger, the logical conclusion is as follows: for the lost paradise to be recovered and the golden age re-established, the Jews and Israel need to be put in their place, i.e in the leg-irons of servitude. The Arab Muslims would revert to being nice and peace would reign on earth.
"Israel" has always had on its margins lost, embarrassed Jews, Alterjuifs, virtual Jews. They are proof that Judaism is open and lively - far from being the closed world and prison some like to describe."
Read article in Guysen Israel News (French)