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We are not at Place de la République because…

A speech by decolonial activist, Houria Bouteldja I translated appeared on Open Democracy.

Read my preamble:

“On 16 February the French ‘new philosopher’ Alain Finkielkraut was verbally abused by some protestors aligned with the Gilets Jaunes (‘Yellow Vest’) movement. They called him a ‘dirty Zionist’ and told him to ‘go back to Tel Aviv.’ This has widely been interpreted as an antisemitic attack. Shortly afterwards, French President Emmanuel Macron declared anti-Zionism a form of antisemitism such as has not been seen “since the Second World War”.

On 19 February, the government and all major political parties, alongside the official organ of the French Jewish Communities and major antiracism organisations rallied at Place de la République in the centre of Paris. In response to this and against the instrumentalization of antisemitism that this rally represented, a counter-demonstration was organised in the multicultural Ménilmontant area of Paris by organisations such as the Union of French Jews for Peace and political allies on the antiracist left. 

Houria Bouteldja, spokesperson for the Party of the Indigenous of the Republic, gave a speech that sets the events of 16 February in context, countering the instrumentalization of antisemitism by pro-Zionist politicians and stressing the need for a decolonial approach to the fight against all forms of racism.”

Read the full speech on Open Democracy.

Alana Lentin