vendredi 1 mai 2009

Letter to a blogger

Ci-dessous, une traduction (approximative) de Lettre à un blogger (mise en ligne le 2 avril 2009) en anglais, effectuée par un automate Google... Les corrections sont bienvenues.

David Genzel, proprietor of David-et-Celine-vont-en-bateau’s blog, asked me to connect to a text of Eric Marty (essayist, writer, professor of French literature at Paris-VII University, editor of The Complete Works of Roland Barthes, etc.) whom one can read at the following address: [this link is no more valid; one can find extracts at this adress :].


A friend, knowing some of my concerns, draws my attention to a “Point of view” of Eric Marty, for whom I have sympathy, published by a daily newspaper, for which I have some less…

Eh! well, I find him courageous, “crâne” (brave) as one said at the time of the Dreyfus Affair, Eric Marty who, in “Les mauvaises raisons d’un succès de librairie”, A disquieting Publishing success (Le Monde, dated March 28, 2009), undertakes to expose, for readers whom he will not convince (!), the reasons for which it would be necessary to approach with skepticism the book of Mr. Shlomo Sand entitled How the Jewish people was invented: from Bible to Zionism (Paris, Fayard, 2008).

“Crâne”, because he takes the trouble of going at the bottom, to recall that the Jewish people does not define himself as a racial-biological community but as the whole of those on which weigh the Commandments - that they observe them or not -, of those which are under the yoke of the Law: whatever their color, whatever their origin. The Jewish people is a people by decision, by contract, inherited-assumed or chosen.

The Jews by naturalization are the children of Abraham as well as those who were born members of the “family”, from which it is always permissible for them to break – what many of them do. - “Conversion” is a regrettable concession of the XIXe century to the Western religiosity, of Christian colouring, which neglects rules and obligations, the concrete Symbolic system and its markings, and favors faith, i.e. the Imaginary one: the rabbis are doctors of the Law, lawyers functioning when needed as registrars; they are not priests, not “men of God”, even if some are and “live themselves” as such. A Jew is not someone who feels jewish, whose heart is jewish, but someone who can take part in a mynian ! Again: feeling Swiss deep inside does not allow you to take part in a “votation”, does not make you a citizen of the Helvetic Confederation.

I find admirable that Eric Marty tried hard to point out some obvious truths, easily accessible to whoever wants to get information, to Mr. Shlomo Sand’s readers and to those who could become his readers, because he knows well - he says it - that the stake is not anthropological-historical but “political”, i.e. fantasmatic; that, in truth, it is not question of a People but of a State - which enjoys a planetary solicitude which is not bestowed upon Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lybia, Russia or Syria, for example.

Eric Marty could have paused over the book in question’s title, and noticed that it is rather strange: Zionism is a political project which was build by Jews eager to break with the Jewish tradition, Jews who took glory in transgressing the Commandments, who took the pain to change their name to mark the rupture with red iron, and who found in this insane rebellion the force necessary to constitute a viable pre-State, with infrastructures, a language, an army and a flag, it is necessary to remember it. Also, to simply go from the Bible to the Zionism is, at the very least, contestable - Ah! Roger Garaudy [a French literalist and negationnist]… -, the more so as a good fifth of the Israeli population is not Jewish…

But the Zionist project could not become a reality but for a vote of the United Nations, a sovereign body, and it is exactly what those who are prompt to call upon the “International Law” or to plead with emotion and exuberance the “Palestinian” cause want to obliterate: the creation of the State of Israel is not the consequence of a conquest, is not the consequence of an intervention of the Almighty (even when some would think so) but of an authoritative group’s decision, a vote of the United Nations. Decision immediately disputed by several States, as one knows, to whom no “representation” was ever made for having rebelled against a lawful and binding decision…

Then, that individuals of various origins recognized themselves in old accounts, collated by Ezra the Scribe and its entourage in Babylon at the time of the 1st exile, and found in them a strong collective identity, is certainly true - here for the “invention” and positivism - but is absolutely not relevant in the circumstance: the Jewish people invents himself each time a Jew, by birth or choice, takes on him, as well as he can, the Commandments, each time he undertakes (more rarely) to study Talmud in the forms, but the legitimate inhabitants of the State of Israel are those which the UN designated as such.

That, in majority, they adhere to the “filiation’s narrative” is important for them (and for those who, residing elsewhere, are more or less familialy linked to them), does not count, even if a scientist - it is not sure that Mr. Mr. Shlomo Sand belongs to the scientits’ brotherhood, if one is to believe Eric Marty, and I see no reason to question his evaluation - shows that it is mythical: They wanted a State, were ready to defend it, the UN recognized that this request was legitimate, and biology has nothing to do with that - the bad conscience, perhaps…

And those who are out to kill Jews - and, while intending to do so, end sometimes by killing the “innocent French” (!) [as famously said the late Raymond Barre, first minister at the time of the Copernic Synagogue Bombing (1980)] - because they are Jews, do not really worry to know whether they are invented or the authentic direct descendants of monkeys and pigs. Between le café de Flore and La Closerie des Lilas [on the parisian left-bank], on the other hand, the whole affair seems to have to be discussed.

Eric Marty could have paused over the book in question’s title but did not : he is clear, articulate and on target. It is comforting, of course, but will probably not harm the doubtful success of Mr. Shlomo Sand’s work, so strong is the bad passion which it feeds.

Salutation and civility,


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