Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Google Reveals That French Web Surfers Are Obsessed About Whether Their Politicians — and Foreign Ones — Are Jewish

An Internet tool that flags up popular search words has spontaneously revealed a deeper trend
reports Expatica (as we are treated to more Jewish news from Europe):
French web surfers' exceeding curiosity about whether their politicians are Jewish.

Observers say the phenomenon betrays an obsession in a country with a sensitive history of anti-Semitism.

…try entering the name of a politician such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn -- the International Monetary Fund head who could challenge for the French presidency next year -- in the French version, Google.fr.

As you type, a list of suggestions appears below the search field, revealing what words other web surfers commonly associate with the name.

Along with terms such as "IMF" and "2012" -- for those interested in his global finance work or prospects in next year's French presidential election -- the fourth commonest search offered in French is "dominique strauss kahn juif" (Jewish).

The "Jewish" term is also offered for searches about France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, his Prime Minister Francois Fillon, and several other members of his three-month old cabinet.

The newspaper Le Monde said that a comparison of searches on various language versions of Google revealed that Autocomplete linked Jewishness to politicians far more commonly in France than in other countries.

…Autocomplete on the English language Google.com appears not to flag up "Jew" or "Jewish" regularly for prominent US or British political figures, though such words do appear for some foreign leaders.

But Google.fr reveals Francophone curiosity about Britain's prime minister, offering "David Cameron juif."

…The Le Monde report's author Stephane Foucart wrote that his findings reflected "a subtle and latent form of anti-Semitism, which seems only to manifest itself when face to face with a computer."
As N Jo points out,
I'm fairly sure that they [the people doing searches for the word Juif] aren't looking to convert.

It's time to buy a box of Matzoh crackers in honor of the French who can't go to sleep at night until Mother checks under their big-boy bed for Jews.