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For several years, within circles hostile to Israel, there has been a systematic use of the words "Zionism" and "Zionist" where the words "Israel" and "Israelis" would be expected. Meïr Waintrater, French journalist and editor-in-chief of the Jewish magazine L'Arche, will contrast the use of the word "Zionist" in France, Great Britain and the United States. Waintrater will suggest that while criticism of Israel should not be reduced to Jew-hatred, the "anti-Zionist" argument is often used to legitimize genuine anti-Semitism.
Meïr Waintrater was born in 1947 in Paris, and lived and worked as an economist and journalist at various institutions in Israel between 1973 and 1988. As editor-in-chief of L'Arche, he is a major commentator on questions of Jewish importance in Europe and France. France is home to one of the largest Jewish communities, while at the same time being home to one of the largest Muslim populations in Western Europe. Waintrater's perspective is crucial to understanding the tensions between the two communities, as well as the recent increase in French Jewish immigration to Israel which can be seen as a consequence of a new trend in anti-Semitism.
Co-sponsors: Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), St. Paul JCC,
University of Minnesota: Center for Jewish Studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication.