French Use Google for Jew Searches
PARIS (AFP) – An Internet tool that flags up popular search words has spontaneously revealed a deeper trend: 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.
The device, known as “Autocomplete” on the most popular search engine Google, is designed to save web surfers time by offering, for example, to search for “car parts” or “car rental” to a user typing in “car”.
But 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).