22 Pages

Introduction: France and the Israeli-Palestinian Confl ict


While there is no shortage of media coverage and scholarship on the IsraeliPalestinian confl ict in the United States and elsewhere in the Englishspeaking world, this enduring and tragic confl ict does not elicit the passionate response here as it does in France and the Francophone world (especially in North Africa).1 With the historical proximity of both Jewish and Muslim Francophone populations in France and its ex-colonies, war in the Middle East reverberates much more intensely in these regions than in the United States. Since France has the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe,2 enmity in Israel and Palestine mobilizes the corresponding respective demographics in France, producing in some ways a mirror image of the confl ict. Given this cultural, political and contextual specifi city through which the Israeli-Palestinian confl ict is perceived in France, this volume offers a multidisciplinary approach, the common aim of which is to gauge and elucidate the representation of the confl ict and its reverberations among French and Francophone Jewish and Arab Muslim communities. One of the goals of the collection is to explore the various antagonistic ideological positions and to question how the multitudinous interpretations of the confl ict infl uence the mobilization of adversarial ethnicities beyond the borders of Israel and Palestine.