François Thual

Jewish Existence in the World Geopolitics and Demography Publication date : January 14, 2010

Demographically the Jewish people represent a tiny part of the global population, yet they are at the centre of numerous contemporary geopolitical issues. This book analyses the successive territorial structuring of the Jewish world during the past two centuries.

Beginning with the collapse of Poland in the eighteenth century and the takeover by its neighbours (notably the Russian empire), the Jewish area became increasingly international as the Jewish people sought to escape persecution and poverty. Paradoxically, it was anti-Semitism that created a new map of the polarisations, depolarisations and re-polarisations of communities spread throughout the world. In the twentieth century, the Holocaust, the creation of the state of Israel and the expulsion of the Jews from the Arab-Muslim nations led to the present bipolarisation of Jewish existence, principally in the Israeli and North American poles.

This situation does not escape questioning. There are approximately 14 million Jews out of a total human population of 7 billion — and the proportion is diminishing. What does the future hold, in an era characterised by ever-increasing assimilation throughout the Diaspora?

The author's global approach to the problems of Judaism allows him to provide a clear synthesis of the current situation of Jewish communities in the contemporary world and to examine the geopolitical challenges of tomorrow.

François Thual is an adviser to the President of the French Senate on strategic affairs and a professor at the Collège Interarmée de Défense (formerly Ecole de Guerre). He has written more than thirty works on geopolitics, some of which have been translated into several languages. His books focus on the subject of territory and the related issues of religion, politics and identity.