Un antisémitisme nouveau? The debate about a ‘new antisemitism’ in France

Timothy Peace

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Nowhere has the debate about a ‘new antisemitism’ been as fierce and relevant as in France. In recent years this country has witnessed high recorded levels of antisemitism, prompting many commentators to claim the existence of an anti-sémitisme nouveau. Something has indeed changed, at least in terms of the nature, frequency and perpetrators of antisemitic violence in France. Previously connected exclusively to the extreme right, it has now also become associated with a group that is itself a victim of discrimination: ethnic minority youths living in the poor suburbs (banlieues). Peace first discusses and explains the statistics produced by the French watchdog on racism and antisemitism as well as the effects of the Middle East conflict. He then traces the debate on this ‘new antisemitism’ in the French context, contrasting the views of the label's promoters and opponents. He argues that, while antisemitism has undoubtedly evolved, the ‘new’ label is effectively erroneous as it fuses supposedly leftist and ‘Muslim’ antisemitism into one entity when they are not necessarily linked. In addition, he offers vital clarification of the distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism along with suggestions for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages18
JournalPatterns of Prejudice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • antisemitism


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