An Internet tool "Autocomplete" on Google search engine that flags up popular search words has spontaneously revealed a deeper trend: French web surfers' exceeding curiosity about whether their politicians are Jewish.
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.
An analysis of English-language searches apparently didn't reveal the same prevalence of queries about Jewish identity. Not everyone, however, believes that French searchers are anti-Semitic:
Jean-Yves Camus, a Jewish political scientist specialising in anti-Semitism, interpreted the Autcomplete effect differently, seeing it as a natural "phenomenon of curiosity" in a country with by far the biggest Jewish community in Europe.
France, like most of the rest of Europe, has a long history of anti-Semitism. In the modern era (post WWII) governments have passed numerous laws and tried to be vigilant about outbreaks.
In the past decade, however, anti-Semitism has been on the increase in Europe.
[tags]google suggest,jewish,france,search results,wwwii,anti-semitism,politicians,franch,le monde[/tags]