We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to: Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 –
J’accuse la France: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015— Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, who was previously ambassador to Israel and to the United Nations, said this week that “what is happening in France right now, in a sense, has nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians.
Paris Killings Aftermath: Symptoms of French Disease: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 15, 2015— After the recent spate of killings in Paris, French President François Hollande said that, “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”
The Global War on Modernity: Garry Kasparov, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 20, 2015— The recent terror attacks in Paris at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and at a kosher supermarket, leaving 17 people dead, represented the latest offensive in a struggle that most people, even many of its casualties, are unaware is even taking place.
The Last Lion Remembered: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Jan. 22, 2014 — Fifty years ago this Saturday, former British prime minister Winston Churchill died at age 90.
Does Europe Have No-Go Zones?: Daniel Pipes, The Blaze, Jan. 20, 2014
France’s Moment of Truth: Michael Gurfinkiel, PJ Media, Jan. 16, 2015
The Answer to French Anti-Semitism: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015
In Israel, Debate Over Whether French Jews Should Come — Or Stay Home: William Booth and Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, Jan. 15, 2014
David M. Weinberg
Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015
Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, who was previously ambassador to Israel and to the United Nations, said this week that “what is happening in France right now, in a sense, has nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians. It’s a general trend within Islam toward radicalization that is not coming from the conflict.” He went on to suggest that anti-Semitism in France is isolated to its Muslim community, and that nothing in French policy imputes responsibility for the Hyper Cacher massacre. Wrong. The attacks on Jews in France cannot be viewed in isolation from broader, nefarious intellectual trends in French society toward Jews and Israel. The attacks on Jews in France cannot be considered except in the context of increasingly hostile attitudes in France toward Israel in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
When a discourse of delegitimization of Israel becomes mainstream, as it has in France; when Israel is portrayed as the enemy of all that is good and the repository of all that is evil, as it is in France; and when Paris raises its hand in favor of Palestinian pomposity and Israeli isolation, as it did at the UN Security Council last week – it’s no surprise that vestiges of anti-Semitism buried deep in French society come to the fore. Put another way: Sustained anti-Israel propaganda, with which France is flooded, encourages terrorism.
My late father, former MK Zvi (Henry) Weinberg, was a professor of French literature and a respected scholar of sociocultural trends in France. More than 30 years ago, he wrote a book called The Myth of the Jew in France 1967- 1982 in which he dissected the techniques by which highbrow publications such as Le Monde and the upper echelons of French literary society pursued a long campaign of psychological warfare against the Jewish state. Under the mask of high-minded objectivity and fealty to human rights, they adopted narratives fiercely hostile to Israel, ineluctably sliding into the murky waters of anti-Jewish prejudice. My father chronicled the lifting of taboos on public expression of anti-Semitism in France – from Voltaire and the Encyclopédistes of the 18th century; to the French laboratories for “scientific” racism and National Socialism of the 19th century; to French collaboration with the Nazis under the Vichy regime; to President Charles de Gaulle’s notorious “Sermon to the Hebrews” in 1967; to French policies of appeasement toward Palestinian terrorism under presidents Georges Pompidou and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in the 1970s and 1980s; to lingering far-right French preoccupation with Holocaust denial; to the rhetorical excesses, vehemence and consistency of French attacks on Israeli policy ever since the First Lebanon War; to the malicious depredation wrought by the fashionable antagonism to everything Israeli peddled by French intellectuals.
Since he wrote the book, the “myth,” or defamation, of the Jew and the Zionist in France has only darkened and deteriorated. “Progressive” circles in the West, which dominate the discourse in France, are deep into a campaign of vilification against Israel and Zionism. They define what Israel “is doing” to the Palestinians as genocide and crimes against humanity, and as a threat to world peace and security. They promote boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. All this, alongside total disregard for the genocidal threats against Israel and Jews by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and deafness to willful distortions of history and current reality peddled by Mahmoud Abbas. Just last month, the UN General Assembly passed 20 resolutions targeting Israel (supported by France); the European Parliament rejected a working group on anti-Semitism; and the European Court of Justice removed Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations. None of these august bodies had anything to say about the urgent plight of political prisoners under repressive governments in Iran, Venezuela, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia; or the desperate situation of refuges in Syria; or escalating suffering of Christians in the Middle East at the hands of Muslim regimes and radicals.
“The preoccupation with Israel has the effect of sanitizing other evils,” Prof. Irwin Cotler of Canada points out. Worse still, says the preeminent international human rights jurist, the obsession with Israel and the exaggeration of Israel’s misdeeds has the effect of legitimizing anti-Semitism against supporters of Israel, such as French Jews. In a 2006 study, the European Jewish Congress demonstrated a clear correlation between one-sided media coverage of the Second Lebanon War, which emphasized the suffering inflicted by Israel on the Lebanese, and the anti-Semitic violence that ensued in France. Roger Cukierman, the former president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), wrote that “There is an incompatibility between France’s foreign policy and its internal struggle against anti-Semitism. It is not possible to fight effectively in France against anti-Semitism without doing all that can be done to seek to bring a greater balance in the appreciation of the situation in the Middle East among the general public.”
Dr. Tsilla Hershco, an expert on Franco-Israeli relations at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is even blunter. “France’s unbalanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict – as reflected in de rigueur Elysee condemnations of Israel’s legitimate wars of self-defense, in media coverage of the conflict, and in slavish and blind support for destructive Palestinian initiatives at the UN – has created an altogether too-comfortable environment for the resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in France,” she has written. "The Jewish question” has played a significant role in the cultural, social and political life of France in the modern era. French historian Patrice Higonnet has written that the fate of Jews in France is a touchstone for evaluation of French history and society as a whole. We can now add that the increasing hostility toward Israel in French Mideast policy is a benchmark for the (im)morality of France, and, alas, a direct cause of attacks in France against Jews.
Arutz Sheva, Jan. 15, 2015
After the recent spate of killings in Paris, French President François Hollande said that, “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.” Hollande’s words whitewash rather than clarify the problem, but his statement was just one of the many events in the aftermath of the Paris murders which merit further attention. Among world leaders, Hollande is not alone in whitewashing the Muslim identity of criminals. In a speech about the Islamic State movement, President Barack Obama said it was “not ‘Islamic’” and added, “No religion condones the killing of innocents.” This sentiment about the extreme Muslim movement was shared by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who stated, “They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.”
The fact that the Paris murderers were very much Muslims was made even clearer when a variety of Muslim religious leaders and organizations in the Middle East identified with them. One does not even need to go that far. Many Muslim pupils in France refused to participate in the minute of silence, held at schools out of respect for the victims. The murderous events in Paris and the subsequent reactions are still too fresh to allow for a full-fledged assessment. Yet there are already a number of aspects which can be pointed out in the meantime, even if they merit further investigation. First of all, between the two main killing sprees, there were marked differences in motive. The Charlie Hebdo journalists were killed for what they wrote and drew; the Jews in the supermarket were killed for who they were.
There is great symbolism in the four Jewish victims having been buried in Israel, even though they are Frenchmen. France has deceived them. The betrayal started long ago. France gave entry to millions of immigrants from a culture hostile to Jews. Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco are among the ten most anti-Semitic countries in the world. These results are from a 2014 ADL study on classic anti-Semitism in the world. The situation in France would have been radically different had there been 500,000 Muslims in the country instead of the actual five million. The number of jihadis could then have been counted in the hundreds, rather than in the thousands, as is now the case. This unselective immigration policy of large anti-Semitic populations might be considered an unconscious form of state anti-Semitism. To make matters worse, only a part of these people have integrated into the general French population and thousands of them have become radicalized.
There were other acts over the past few days that carried symbolic meaning. It is understandable that on Friday afternoon the French authorities asked Jewish shop owners to close down their shops, because it wasn’t clear whether or not there were other Muslim killers on the loose. However, the closure of the Great Synagogue of Paris on Friday night by the authorities last happened during the German occupation. Many noticed its symbolism. The only vaguely similar precedent of synagogues closing on the Sabbath, due to threats, is a cancelled synagogue service in 2010 in the small Conservative synagogue of the town of Weesp, in the Netherlands. In this case, the decision was taken by the community leaders after they received a threat. In 2006, on one occasion, the Jewish community of Malmö, Sweden moved the service from the synagogue to a secret location. The Paris unity march, its positive message and the number of participants was impressive. Yet by inviting a variety of dictators who actively suppress freedom of the press, it became tainted. Reporters Without Borders mentions the participation of leaders from Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates. These are all countries where freedom of the press, among a variety of other freedoms and human rights, are suppressed.
The invitation sent by Hollande to the chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas was a direct offense to Israelis and to the Jewish people. Abbas has massively glorified the murder of civilians, Israelis, Jews, and others. Abbas should not have been invited by the French to begin with, and certainly should not have been put in the first row. It was a symptom of France’s recurrent duplicity. It has been said that Netanyahu was hurting the French by calling on all French Jews to immigrate to Israel. In referring to Jews who are native French citizens, the form in which it was initially done was tactless; the call for Aliya should have been phrased differently. Netanyahu could also have remarked to the French leaders that Israel has gone through a period where every restaurant has been obliged to have an armed guard. In the current French reality, police or soldiers are now guarding Jewish day schools so that children can go to class. It would not be an exaggeration to take such measures to protect Jewish restaurants and major shops in France, as well. When the hostage situation in the kosher supermarket became publicly known, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a socialist, came to the scene of the crime. This minister said during the past summer’s Protective Edge campaign that he would have participated in pro-Gaza demonstrations had he not been a member of the government. In other words, Cazeneuve would have supported the Islamo-Nazi Hamas movement.
Finally, France recently backed the Jordanian UN resolution for the establishment of a Palestinian state. France’s ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, claimed that there was an “urgent need to act”. He added, "Our efforts must not stop here. It is our responsibility to try again, before it's too late." It would have been far more truthful for Delattre to admit that France had voted for the resolution primarily to reward the Muslims who had voted massively for Hollande in the last presidential elections. As far as “an urgent need to act” is concerned, the French need to act urgently at home against the extreme violence perpetuated by criminal elements of its Muslim population. This need seems to be far more urgent than their involvement in the Middle East through messing up the Palestinian-Israeli conflict even further…
[To Read the Full Article With Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow
Wall Street Journal, Jan. 20, 2015
The recent terror attacks in Paris at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and at a kosher supermarket, leaving 17 people dead, represented the latest offensive in a struggle that most people, even many of its casualties, are unaware is even taking place. Globalization has effectively compressed the world in size, increasing the mobility of goods, capital and labor. Simultaneously this has led to globalization across time, as the 21st century collides with cultures and regimes intent on existing as in centuries past. It is less the famous clash of civilizations than an attempt by these “time travelers” to hold on to their waning authority by stopping the advance of the ideas essential to an open society.
Radical Islamists, from the Taliban and al Qaeda to Boko Haram and Islamic State, set the time machine to the Dark Ages and encourage the murder of all who oppose them, often supported by fatwas and funds from terror sponsors like Iran. The religious monarchies in the Middle East are guilty by association, creating favorable conditions for extremism by clamping down on any stirring of freedom. Vladimir Putin wants Russia to exist in the Great Power era of czars and monarchs, dominating its neighbors by force and undisturbed by elections and rights complaints. The post-Communist autocracies, led by Mr. Putin’s closest dictator allies in Belarus and Kazakhstan, exploit ideology only as a means of hanging on to power at any cost. In the East, Kim Jong Un ’s North Korea attempts to freeze time in a Stalinist prison-camp bubble. In the West, Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and the Castros in Cuba use anachronistic socialist propaganda to resist increasing pressure for human rights. What unites the time travelers is their rejection of modernity—or what we should instead call modern values, to replace the obsolete and condescending term “Western values.” With violence and with violent rhetoric, the time travelers’ natural target is often the traditional champion of the rights that threaten them: the United States. The guaranteed freedoms represented by the First Amendment frighten the radical mullahs and dictators more than any drone strike or economic sanction.
In addition to bringing these relics into contact and competition with the modern world that threatens their power, globalization provides the time travelers with markets for their natural resources and with the technology they use for murder and repression. Thus they cannot disengage from the modern world entirely. Since the time travelers cannot fight head-to-head with the ideas and prosperity of the Free World, they fall back on their arsenal of ideology, violence and disregard for human life. They combat the lure of free speech and free markets with irrationality: radical religion and nationalism, cults of personality and dogma, hatred and fear. Many politicians and pundits in the Free World seem to think that refusing to acknowledge you are in a fight means you can avoid losing it. But ignoring the reality of the conflict puts more innocents like the Paris victims—instead of trained soldiers and law enforcement—on the front lines. There are no easy ways to deter homegrown terrorists or nuclear-armed dictators, but this culture of denial must end before true progress can be made. We know that facing reality works because the Free World was willing to sacrifice to stop the advance of communism and to bring down the Berlin Wall. The 1990s were a honeymoon period with the peace dividend, the economic benefits of globalization and the miracle of the Internet shrinking the world even further. Yet when the 9/11 terror attacks ended the party, they didn’t dispel, for some, the belief that all we had to do was wait for the obvious advantages of liberal democracy and individual rights to spread on their own. Instead, the mullahs, monarchs and dictators are pushing back against the threat to their time-warped reigns. This is the common thread connecting the Putin attack on Ukraine and the murderous Islam-derived ideology that fuels jihadists like the Paris killers…
Although the modern world’s broader goal must be to bring those stuck in the past into the present, it cannot be achieved by force. Presenting an overwhelmingly appealing alternative, for instance, is the best way to blunt the jihadist appeal to young, susceptible Muslims. None of this means coddling or tolerating violent extremists or those who create them, at home or abroad. An open society that cannot defend its citizens will not be open for long. Symbols matter in this fight, symbols like Charlie Hebdo still publishing after the attack, and photographs of world leaders marching together for free speech (with the very notable absence of the supposed leader of the Free World). It is not enough to tell the billions of souls still living in the unfree world that these ideals matter; we also must show them. The terrorists and their teachers and the dictators and their enablers are quick to point out every hypocrisy, every double standard. We cannot compromise because, as Victor Hugo wrote in “ Les Travailleurs de la Mer,” “Men grow accustomed to poison by degrees.”…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review, Jan. 22, 2015
Fifty years ago this Saturday, former British prime minister Winston Churchill died at age 90. Churchill is remembered for his multiple nonstop careers as a statesman, cabinet minister, politician, journalist, Nobel laureate historian, and combat veteran. He began his career serving the British military as a Victorian-era mounted lancer and ended it as custodian of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. But he is most renowned for an astounding five-year-tenure as Britain’s wartime prime minister from May 10, 1940, to June 26, 1945, when he was voted out of office not long after the surrender of Nazi Germany.
Churchill took over the day Hitler invaded Western Europe. Within six weeks, an isolated Great Britain was left alone facing the Third Reich. What is now the European Union was then either under Nazi occupation, allied with Germany, or ostensibly neutral while favoring Hitler. The United States was not just neutral. It had no intention of entering another European war — at least not until after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor a year and half later. From August 1939 to June 1941, the Soviet Union was an accomplice of the Third Reich. Russian leader Joseph Stalin was supplying Hitler with critical resources to help finish off Great Britain, the last obstacle in Germany’s path of European domination. Some of the British elite wished to cut a peace deal with Hitler to save their empire and keep Britain from being bombed or invaded. They understandably argued that Britain could hardly hold out when Poland, Denmark, Norway the Netherlands, Belgium, and France all had not. Yet Churchill voiced defiance and vowed to keep on fighting. After the fall of France, Churchill readied Britain’s defenses against a Nazi bombing blitz, and then went on the offensive against Italy in the Mediterranean. As much of London went up in flames, Churchill never flinched, despite the deaths of more than 40,000 British civilians. By some estimates, the Soviet Red Army eventually killed three out of four German soldiers who died in World War II. The American economic colossus built more military ships, aircraft, vehicles, and tanks than did any other country during World War II.
In comparison with such later huge human and material sacrifices, the original, critical British role in winning World War II is often forgotten. But Britain was the only major power on either side of the war to fight continuously the entire six years, from September 3, 1939, to September 2, 1945. Britain was the only nation of the alliance to have fought Nazi Germany alone without allies. Churchill’s defiant wartime rhetoric anchored the entire moral case against the Third Reich. Unlike the Soviet Union or the United States, Britain entered the war without being attacked, on the principle of protecting independent Poland from Hitler. Unlike America, Britain fought Germany from the first day of the war to its surrender. Unlike Russia, it fought the Japanese from the moment Japan started the Pacific War to the Japanese general surrender.
Churchill’s Britain had a far smaller population and economy than either the Soviet Union or the United States. Its industry and army were smaller than Germany’s. Defeat would have meant the end of British civilization. But victory would ensure the end of the British Empire and a future world dominated by the victorious and all-powerful United States and Soviet Union. It was Churchill’s decision that Britain would fight on all fronts of both the European and Pacific theaters. He ordered strategic bombing over occupied Europe, a naval war against the German submarine and surface fleets, and a full-blown land campaign in Burma. He ensured that the Mediterranean stayed open from Gibraltar to Suez. Churchill partnered with America from North Africa to Normandy, and he helped to supply Russia — even as Britain was broke and its manpower exhausted.
In the mid-1930s, Churchill first — and loudest — had damned appeasement and warned Europe and the United States about the dangers of an aggressive Nazi Germany. For that prescience, he was labeled a warmonger who wished to revisit the horrors of World War I. After the end of World War II, the lone voice of Churchill cautioned the West that its former wartime ally, the Soviet Union, was creating an “Iron Curtain” and was as ruthless as Hitler’s Germany had been. Again, he was branded a paranoid who unfairly demonized Communists. The wisdom and spirit of Winston Churchill not only saved Britain from the Third Reich, but Western civilization from a Nazi dark age, when there was no other nation willing to take up that defense. Churchill was the greatest military, political, and spiritual leader of the 20th century. The United States has never owed more to a foreign citizen than to Winston Churchill, a monumental presence 50 years after his death.
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!
Does Europe Have No-Go Zones?: Daniel Pipes, The Blaze, Jan. 20, 2014—Comments by Steven Emerson on Fox News have prompted a heated debate over whether predominantly Muslim “no-go zones” exist in Europe.
France’s Moment of Truth: Michael Gurfinkiel, PJ Media, Jan. 16, 2015—The jihadist killing spree in Paris last week (seventeen people murdered, twice as many wounded) has been described as ”France’s 9/11“ by Le Monde, the French liberal daily newspaper.
The Answer to French Anti-Semitism: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015 —January 16 is the nine-year anniversary of the beginning of the Ilan Halimi disaster.
In Israel, Debate Over Whether French Jews Should Come — Or Stay Home: William Booth and Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, Jan. 15, 2014—Soon after four Jewish men were killed in a hostage-taking siege at a kosher market in Paris last week, the Israeli leadership leapt to offer refuge.
Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.
CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.
The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.
CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.
Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/ L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org
Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; firstname.lastname@example.org