As the British Labour Party leadership is once again the subject of a crisis over its alleged tolerance of anti-semitism, we present an extract from Alain Badiou, Eric Hazan, and Ivan Segré's Reflections on Anti-Semitism. The book dissects the various ways false accusations of anti-Semitism are used to stifle opposition to the Israeli state and to facilitate the subjugation of the Palestinian people. In this extract the authors consider the role of anti-Semitism in contemporary France.
This interview with Eric Hazan was conducted by Kévin Victoire for Le Comptoir. Translated by David Broder.
Le Comptoir: Opponents of the El Khomri bill [Labour Law] have been occupying Paris’s Place de la République for a week now [this interview was conducted on 7 April]. The movement has spread to a number of towns and cities. Is the insurrection finally coming?
Éric Hazan: I don’t think that this movement can result in anything resembling the insurrection, such as we’re thinking about. The goal seems to be that of forming a type of Podemos à la française — that is, anything but an insurrection. That said, there are a lot of different positions among the people there. But if you think an insurrection is being prepared in Place de la République, I’d have to tell you that’s not the case.
This appeal denouncing the police violence and the abuses that have become generalized since the state of emergency came into effect in France was produced by a collective made up of more than three hundred academics, activists, and artists. Translated by David Broder.
(Outside the Saint-Lazare train station, April 12, via Libération.)
Since last November and the proclamation of the state of emergency, the decomposition of the social-regression and police-truncheon state has massively accelerated. This state has dropped any inhibitions about its submission to capital — a capital that stamps its feet, impatient to be able to exploit and cast aside whomever it likes, whenever and however it pleases. Those who refuse to roll over — fighting for their dignity, their future, or simply their everyday lives — are being brought in ever-greater numbers before tribunals, treated as terrorists and, like the Goodyear workers, sentenced to prison terms. Developing in tandem with this has been the most methodical police violence.
An appeal by Pierre Alferi (writer), Jérome Baschet (historian), Daniel Colson (sociologist), Daniel Denevert (artisan), Stéphanie Eligert (writer), Jacques Fradin (philosopher), Eric Hazan (publisher), Nicolas Klotz (filmmaker), Frédéric Lordon (economist), Pierre Marcelle (journalist), Karine Parrot (jurist), Elisabeth Perceval (screenwriter), Serge Quadruppani (writer).
The media tell us that the Labour Bill  is under threat from a movement among the youth. They speculate on what state this movement is in: is it on the rise, or is it already starting to peter out? They are getting stuck in impassioned arguments over how to interpret the police’s figures. But that isn’t how we see things. We are not students or high-school kids any more — that’s long in the past, and some of us have already reached a venerable old age. We think that while the Labour Bill was certainly the trigger for what is now simmering in France, fundamentally the bill only accounts for a small part of this. And insisting that this is a ‘youth’ movement is part of a strategy for suffocating it – to be concluded, at the key moment, with the holidays and the usual retreats by the unions.
Originally published in Libération, this text by Éric Hazan and Julien Coupat is a castigation of the existing order and a call to mobilise against 'the world of lies'; the bureaucracies, parliaments, and courts, ahead of the 2017 French election.
No reason to endure a year and a half of electoral campaigning, which we already know will culminate in a blackmail of democracy. We have a year and a half to form a human network sufficiently rich and self-assured to render the prevailing stupidity obscene, to make derisory the idea that slipping a voting paper into a ballot box could be a meaningful gesture – and a political gesture at that.