You likely are familiar with Maurice Lévy the former longtime CEO of Publicis Groupe and the Groupe’s current Supervisory Board Chairman.
And for years he has been a political activist with a focus on the complicated issues surrounding the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis. For over a decade he has been international chairman of the Peres Center For Peace And Innovation.
Today in an opinion piece published in the Jerusalem Post, Lévy rightfully sounded the alarm on rising incidents of antisemitism in France. (Numerous reports have indicated a rise globally.)
Top French government officials and media have recognized and addressed the threat, Lévy asserts in the piece. But he asks, “Where are the others?” He writes about a “no waves” mentality that seems to permeate much of the nation, which he suggests is weakening the “foundation of our society.”
Since the horrific attack on Israel by Hamas on last month, Lévy asserted, French Jews “have felt abandoned in a form of physical and psychological insecurity. Not since the Holocaust committed against the Jews during World War II by the Nazis, he added, “has the Jewish community in France felt so isolated.”
He noted that forty French Jews were murdered in the Hamas attack. “With each count, we heard the clicking of the count, but no compassion or emotion. Who were these forty French people? What was their life like? Were they related? We know nothing about them because we don't want to know anything, neither their names, nor their ages, nor their lives, nor their faces.”
He notes that nine French Jewish hostages are still held by Hamas. Efforts are no doubt being taken at the highest political levels to free them, Lévy states. “But where are the municipalities? Large portraits on official buildings? Where are the intellectuals so quick to take up their pen? NGOs, about whom we have heard a lot since the bombings of Gaza, but little or nothing after the Hamas massacres? Associations that claim to be humanitarian? The humanist left? Guilty anesthesia. Selective mutism. A two-speed indignation.”
He cited the French philosopher Jean-Paul Satre who wrote in an essay that “antisemitism is not Jewish problem; it is our problem.”
“Men and women of goodwill, I implore you to face this danger head-on by ensuring that any antisemitic act is made unacceptable,” Lévy concludes. “I am not asking you to adhere to Israeli policy but to unequivocally condemn the abuses of Hamas as you know how to do for the bombings of Gaza, taking care to protect yourself from any confusion. Faced with obscurantism and this nauseating pandemic that is spreading, I ask you to prolong the spirit of the Enlightenment, of which the values of our Republic are the heirs. Let's solve our Jewish problem, or rather, as Sartre said, solve your Jewish problem.”