Karen (estherchaya) wrote,

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The French Way

I do my best to live under a rock and not know what's going on in the world. This is an immature way to live one's life, I know, but it makes me a happier person for the time being.

Those of you who know me well know that I don't hold very strong political opinions. I'm a radical moderate if there ever was one. For the most part, I don't feel that I'm educated enough about the issues to hold hard and fast to my opinions. There are exceptions to this rule of thumb, of course, but aren't there always? Anyway, I'm on a tangent. My point was that I don't typically get riled up about world events. A failing of mine, actually, but a personality trait nonetheless.

France has been pissing me off for years, so why should I pay attention to what's going on over there now? Because it's inexcusable and I my ignoring the situation is even more inexcusable. The anti-Semitic tension is indescribable. I know a lot of people remain ignorant about the rise of anti-Semitism around the globe (and here, in the US, we are not immune to it, so don't be fooled). I often turn a blind eye to what others consider anti-Semitism because there are just so many little things that I can't harp on them all. But it's really getting to be scary. Really.

Some of you may recall an incident in France last June. A young Jewish girl at the aptly named "Albert Camus School" was attacked and beaten in an act of anti-Semitism. I certainly didn't remember this particular incident. There were so many attacks last year I couldn't keep track. Taken alone it is a school yard scuffle with some bigoted kids. Added to the numerous incidents it's scary.

But wait! It gets better! Or worse, actually.

The parents of this young girl have now been ordered by the French Court to pay the school $4000 Euros!! Why? Oh, yes, because they talked to the media about the incident. France, the home of the democratic way. The country whose constitution we based ours on in large part. The country whose ideology emancipated the Jews.

And yet. Yet it seems like this is the French Way. "She was asking for it. Being Jewish and all..."

If you can read French, the only decent article I've been able to find is found here. If anyone finds an English article, let me know. I found only one brief mention of it, but it wasn't worthy of posting the link. Update: I was able to get Google to translate the article for me. You can find the article here. It has some translating issues, but for the most part, it's readable.

So I have two basic questions that arise from this

1. Where is the public outrage? Why don't we hear about this? Why can't I find any article on this in English? Shouldn't the US be outraged that France so blatantly squashes any freedom of speech for these parents?


2. What can I do? How can I make a difference? jeannegrrl suggested not buying French products. To the best of my knowledge the only French product that I buy with any regularity is my perfume, which I haven't bought in over a year, so I'll avoid buying French products, but that's not a huge impact. How can I really make a difference?

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