Monday, April 7, 2008

In France the sky is blue. In Germany the sky is blue.

I do have to recommend this (h/t Engage). But while my overall position is one of gratitude to Fadela Amara for making me feel more comfortable in this world, I'll take this opportunity to criticize her for doing too good a job at it.
Anti-Semitism is a fact and we know exactly what it has led to in our history. It can't be compared to anything else.
This is absolutely true, except how she means it. To her, antisemitism must be compared so as to diminish every other atrocity and injustice. But there's no need. The horrors of the Holocaust aren't forgotten just because we also recognize the injustice of the French occupation of Algeria. I certainly would argue against the suggestion that the Holocaust was no worse, but I see no reason to indulge in any comparisons in the first place.
Here in France, I get looks. To the French, I'm not very 'French.' We're living here under a dominant culture. When your name is Francois and you're white with blue eyes, it's one thing. But when your name is Fatima and you've got a little color, the look you get is different. In Israel - because of the variety of people, I didn't feel that. In fact, I met a lot of young people there and it happened more than once that I was talking with a Palestinian and thinking he was an Israeli or vice-versa.
Here, this is great stuff.

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