In the News: Georges Bensoussan Acquitted

French Jewish Historian Cleared Of Anti-Muslim Hate Speech, Cnaan Liphshiz, Forward, 2017-03-08.

A French court acquitted the Jewish historian Georges Bensoussan of hate speech charges over his assertion that Arabs receive anti-Semitism with their “mother’s milk.” […]

Bensoussan, a scholar on the Holocaust and one of the world’s leading historians on Jewish communities in Arab territories, was put on trial in December after a Muslim lobby group and a French human rights organization that was founded by Jews in the 1920s initiated a criminal lawsuit against him for the statement he made during an interview for a radio station in 2012.

The reference to mother’s milk was in a paraphrased quote that Bensoussan attributed to Smain Laacher, a non-Jewish French filmmaker whose family originates from North Africa. In reality, Laacher had said in an interview that for many Arab families, anti-Semitism is in “the air that one breathes.” […]

A victory for freedom of expression and a defeat for Islamists who attempt to censor their critics with specious accusations of “Islamophobia.” Unfortunately, the decision is subject to appeal.

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