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By any measure, Charles de Gaulle was one of the greatest and most visionary statesmen of the twentieth century.  In France's darkest hour, amid military collapse and German occupation in 1940, he escaped to London and called upon his compatriots to carry on a struggle that most of them believed to be lost.  Four years later, he returned in triumph to head a provisional postwar government, from which he resigned two years later, frustrated by political squabbling and a return to business as usual.  In 1958, he was called out of retirement to avoid the danger of civil war resulting from a disastrous colonial war in Algeria.  He ended the war in Algeria, oversaw a mostly smooth transition to independence in the rest of France's remaining colonies, and preserved democracy and the rule of law in France itself, introducing a new constitution that remains in force today.  An early advocate of European integration, he built a strong partnership with France's longtime enemy, (West) Germany, and at the height of the Cold War, dared to dream of a Europe united "from the Atlantic to the Urals."  For the United States, he was an often difficult ally, and was a particularly outspoken critic of the American war in Vietnam, criticism inspired in no small part by France's own experience with costly and ultimately futile wars of decolonization.

One fact often forgotten today, as public opinion in France (as throughout Europe and much of the world) has turned increasingly against Israel and in favor of the Palestinian cause, is that France was once a strong supporter, ally, and trade partner of Israel, cooperating, notably, in the disastrous Suez invasion of 1956.  France was the first European nation to grant full civil rights to the Jews (in 1791), and was (and is) home to a substantial Jewish population, many of whom initially saw the Zionist project, with its social-democratic aspirations, as parallel to France's own republican tradition.  All of that changed in 1967, when Israel, as the result of a victorious war against its Arab neighbors, brought the west bank and Gaza under military occupation.

I recently came across several statements made by De Gaulle, then in his ninth year as president of France, regarding the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, which in light of current events struck me as amazingly prophetic.  As diplomatic tensions between Israel and Egypt escalated in the early months of 1967, De Gaulle appealed to both nations to preserve the peace.  On May 24, De Gaulle, at this point still an ally of Israel, gave the following warning to the Israeli Foreign Minister:

"Don't make war.  You will be considered the aggressor by the world and by me.  You will cause the Soviet Union to penetrate more deeply into the Middle East, and Israel will suffer the consequences.  You will create a Palestinian nationalism, and you will never get rid of it."

Of course, this well-meaning warning was ignored, and war broke out soon thereafter.  With American arms and assistance, Israel quickly defeated its enemies and occupied territories overwhelmingly inhabited by Palestinians.  De Gaulle recognized the danger that this situation posed for peace in the Middle East, and for Israel's own existence as a democratic Jewish state, and warned on November 27:

"Now, Israel is organizing on the territories it holds an occupation which can only lead to oppression, repression, expulsions, and against which there is already a resistance, which Israel calls terrorism."

Nearly fifty years later, with seemingly endless bloodshed and the loss of innocent lives on both sides, these warnings appear especially prescient.  Israel has consistently won the battle of arms, but the losses to its international reputation have been far more significant than any military objective it has been able to achieve, and much like France's own experience in the Algerian War, settler colonialism poses a deadly threat to its continued existence as a democratic state.  While I fear it may now be too late, the two-state solution, with Israel returning to the boundaries of 1967, remains the only path to a lasting peace.

[Note:  both De Gaulle quotes are taken from a recent book, Jay Winter and Antoine Prost, Rene Cassin and Human Rights:  From the Great War to the Universal Declaration (Cambridge, 2014), pp. 329-330.]

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Comment Preferences

  •  "It's not the stench about the French, (9+ / 0-)

    it's De Gaulle that annoys us all."

    That's the little ditty I was taught back then, and pretty well expresses American attitudes at the time.

    So much better if we had listened to him, both on Vietnam and on Israel.

    •  And Bush should have listened to Chirac (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Pilsner, mookins, Lepanto, SCFrog, jasan

      about Iraq.  We would never have invaded.  

      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:00:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chirac had sold the Osirak nuclear reactor (0+ / 0-)

        to Iraq. There really wasn't any reason to consider him to be an unbiased source of information.

        •  And the US sold chemical weapons tech... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          benamery21, jasan, unfangus, ypochris

          ...to Saddam:

          US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped Saddam Hussein build up his arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons, it was revealed last night.

          As an envoy from President Reagan 19 years ago, he had a secret meeting with the Iraqi dictator and arranged enormous military assistance for his war with Iran.

          The CIA had already warned that Iraq was using chemical weapons almost daily. But Mr Rumsfeld, at the time a successful executive in the pharmaceutical industry, still made it possible for Saddam to buy supplies from American firms.

          They included viruses such as anthrax and bubonic plague, according to the Washington Post.

          The extraordinary details have come to light because thousands of State Department documents dealing with the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war have just been declassified and released under the Freedom of Information Act.

          ...and Israel offered to sell nuclear weapons  (not reactors) to apartheid South Africa:
          Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.

          The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.

          ...and your point is what, exactly? That powerful nations behave like gangsters, when it suits them? We know. Gaza makes it clear.

          Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill

          by Retroactive Genius on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 12:21:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I would add... (6+ / 0-)

    that France was instrumental in Israel's acquisition of nuclear weapons.

    I ride the wild horse .

    by BelgianBastard on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:38:35 PM PDT

    •  I thought the plans were stolen from America? n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  The French secretly built the... (8+ / 0-)

        Dimona reactor for the Israeli's. Dimona is the centerpiece of Israel's plutonium production.

        I don't know if the French gave them plans for weapons, but they definitely knew this reactor's primary purpose was to produce plutonium for weapons.

        I ride the wild horse .

        by BelgianBastard on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:52:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correct. And it was Shimon Peres who got it done. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          Peres went to the right folks. France's nuclear industry is MUCH better run than that of the US.

        •  are you sure it was a reactor? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BelgianBastard

          Here's the only candidate puppy around Dimona, Israel, and I'm not sure I can see any reactor containment building there.

          https://www.google.com/...

          Instead of a showing a nuclear reactor, it looks more like it is some kind of nuclear fuels processing or refinement site, or even a nuclear waste reprocesing site, or something of that nature.

        •  One more paragraph (0+ / 0-)
          Brzezinski also passed off the FBI’s findings as amounting to no more than confirmation that the president of NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro, had frequent contacts with Israeli officials, including a science attaché “thought to be an intelligence officer,” and received unexplained VIP treatment in Israel. In fact, Shapiro was by then known to have had contacts with Israel’s head of military intelligence and the head of its nuclear weapons program. He later acknowledged knowing Binyamin Blumberg, head of Israel’s “bureau of scientific liaison,” which engaged in high-risk intelligence capers. On one strange occasion in 1968, Shapiro hosted an Israeli intelligence foursome at the Apollo plant. One was the Mossad agent who headed the team that spirited former Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann out of Argentina and who later ran Jonathan Pollard’s spying on the United States for Israel.
      •  No, the uranium was (0+ / 0-)
        Last month the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), the nation’s highest classification authority, released a number of top-level government memoranda that shed additional light on the so-called NUMEC affair, "the story that won't go away—the possibility that in the 1960s, Israel stole bomb-grade uranium from a US nuclear fuel-processing plant.”
        The context of NUMEC. A bit of background is in order here. After a 1965 inventory, NUMEC was found to be missing about 100 kilograms of bomb-grade uranium, even after accounting for all processing losses. The close personal and commercial ties to Israel of the plant owners and operators raised suspicions that remained unresolved. The affair of the missing bomb-grade uranium was revived in 1976. The newly formed NRC was in the process of writing licensing regulations for commercial fuel firms—of which NUMEC was one—and had heard rumors of possible theft in the 1960s from NUMEC's Apollo facility.

        The NRC asked for a CIA briefing. Duckett startled the NRC group with CIA’s conclusion that the missing uranium was in Israeli bombs.

        http://thebulletin.org/...
  •  Interesting diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard

    I had no idea, but then I can't claim to be the least bit knowledgeable about de Gaulle.  Beyond The Jackal (fictional, I know).

    People are like stained glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within. - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

    by penelope pnortney on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 02:53:45 PM PDT

  •  Rec'd for historical context. n/t (5+ / 0-)
  •  This interesting diary should be on the reclist. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, Lepanto, jadt65
  •  For historical accuracy, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, beltane

    Kazimierz III Wielki in 1334 was the first to grant Jews full rights as "people of the king".

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:17:48 PM PDT

    •  Actually it was the Roman Republic (3+ / 0-)

      Many Jews became Roman citizens. One famous example of this was Saul (Paul) of Tarsus, famous and important in Christianity.  

      But the late Republic and early Empire leaders were quite friendly to Jews. Jews allied with the Maccabees in their  successful attempt to throw off Greek rule. Julius Caesar exempted Jews from taxation every seven years, and Augustus followed suit and allowed Jews to have a form of self-government under Herod the Great. (He realized that he had picked the wrong guy, once commenting that it was better to be Herod's pig than his wife, alluding the the fact that Herod kept kosher but murdered his wife and children.) Even after the destruction of the Temple and the genocide/expulsion 70 years later in the wake of the revolt led by Bar Kochba, Jews lived in Rome and elsewhere around the rest of Empire in relative peace. This ended with the rise of Christianity and the persecution would not end until the Muslim conquests of the 7th/early 8th centuries and the rise of the much more tolerant Charlemagne  in the late 8th century. The Byzantines and the Visigoths were particularly bad.

      Oh, I'm sorry. I just screwed up the Narrative. I'm reminding people that the region was Jewish and that the Zionist movement is an anti-colonial movement seeking to reclaim a land for its indigenous people. My bad.

      •  Abraham was from Ur. In Iraq. The Hebrews just (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BelgianBastard

        conquered it from whoever had it before after they left Egypt.

        The Palestinians were probably first of Greek descent (Philistines) but later merged with the Arabic and other Semitic peoples as the centuries passed.

        "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 08:37:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No Evidence of an Invasion (0+ / 0-)

          There is no evidence of an invasion.

          The Hebrews are the descendants of what the Bible calls the Canaanites.  There was no invasion.  City-states grew up among pastoral lands and conquered each other -- over time becoming the Hebrews (and the Arabs).

          •  The Hebrews invaded Canaan after they left Egypt. (0+ / 0-)

            The first city they conquered was Jericho.

            "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 04:50:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a nice story (0+ / 0-)

              But...

              The Semitics in Egypt were invaders, not slaves.  They successfully invaded Egypt and founded the 15th Dynasty which lasted about 108 years.

              They never escaped Egypt.  Power simply shifted to another faction.

              There was never an exodus in the Sinai of large numbers of people.  And certainly never one that lasted 40 years.

              The people known as the Hebrews are not descended from the Egyptian Semitics, but from the Canaanites.

              Again, no evidence of an invasion of Semitics, just natural evolution of a city/state culture.  There are invasions from Egypt, Phoenicia, Babylonia, etc.

              The biblical narrative really doesn't do well as history until after the Babylonian occupation, which is when most of the stories began to be collected.  Many of the stories (the flood, Moses, etc.) seem to be reworkings of Babylonian myths, no doubt leafed during the occupation.

  •  A niggle (8+ / 0-)
    cooperating, notably, in the disastrous Suez invasion of 1956.
    That's a slightly kind way of putting a conspiracy between Israel, France and the UK to provide a pretext for the joint French/British invasion of the canal zone. The idea of the deal at Sevres was that the French and British would invade to "safeguard" passage through the canal after the Israelis reached it.

    In the event, the Israelis never reached the canal so the pretext was blown apart. The Americans insisted that the parties withdraw, about the last time Israel took any notice of a US President.

    This is not, by the way, a crank conspiracy theory as will no doubt be claimed. British secret archives are released after set periods. These details came to light when files on the 1956 war were released under the 30 year rule. Other release points are at 50 and 100 years (although the latter are for the most part reserved for Royal archives and the full census)

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:25:05 PM PDT

  •  If someone gives you advice that ends with... (8+ / 0-)

    "... been there, done that." and they look and act like they got the crap kicked out of them when the subject comes up, it's a pretty safe bet that they know what they're talking about.

    Chuckie D. knew a thing or two about Vietnam... the Viet Cong had kicked France's ass in the 50's with unconventional warfare - but as far as Eisenhower and LBJ were concerned, DeGaulle was just a senile, old French wino who liked to yell "Descendre ma pelouse!" Conversely, JFK had readied an executive order to completely withdraw all U.S armed forces from South Vietnam (contrary to the desires of MacNamara, General LeMay and the entire Joint Chiefs) just days before he was murdered which was never issued. Kennedy was even on video record as a Senator after having visited the place with a dark view of any U.S. involvement there after what had happened to France.

    Save for Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, there isn't a single modern politician that comes to mind who has taken advice from anybody other than astrologers, Ouija boards, Magic 8 Balls, Tarot cards, party sooth sayers or corporate handlers. This country has a real problem with believing experienced people who happen to be of a different nationality - and they regard documented history with even less credibility. This failing in our collective national mindset has cost everyone who lives here dearly in money, time and the lives of loved ones - not to mention our image among the world's nations... and it appears as though it isn't going to change anytime soon.

    •  Because... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfangus

      we're such an "exceptional" country, we couldn't possibly have the difficulties just ordinary countries have. We know better - we're the USA!

       "This country has a real problem with believing experienced people who happen to be of a different nationality - and they regard documented history with even less credibility."

    •  My late father in law was an American soldier (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Norton

      who did a tour of duty in Vietnam in the mid 1950s. He recalled years later talking to his French counterparts who were leaving as the Americans were arriving. The French asked him what the h*** the US was doing getting involved there.

      Chalk another failure up to Eisenhower.

  •  Now 50 years later, 40% of French Jews are (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zornorph, the fan man, Radiowalla, hmi, G2geek

    considering emigration to Israel because they consider France too dangerous for them.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:35:43 PM PDT

    •  Any danger is created by the fallout (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto

      from the I/P conflict, not from something inherent in the French.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:41:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes and no (13+ / 0-)

        France has the largest Muslim population in Europe, partly due to proximity, but mostly to its imperial history in North Africa.  This population tends to be poor and marginalized, living in the post-industrial ghettoes that circle most large French cities.  Due to a generous welfare state and strict gun control, the banlieue is probably safer than many American inner cities, but Muslim unemployment remains higher than an already high national average, and discrimination and police harassment remain major problems.  Many of France's "Beurs" (a slang term young Franco-Arabs use for themselves) are secular and highly assimilated, and most just want better living conditions and job prospects, but there is a minority among them that is subject to Islamic radicalization, and which is susceptible to anti-Zionist appeals that are often tinged with anti-Semitism.

        France also has a substantial and fairly nasty party of the far right, the Front National, which is both anti-Arab and anti-Jewish.  They have no chance of coming to power at the national level, but they routinely win between 10 and 20% of the vote, and they inject a lot of hatred into the political culture.  I'm not surprised that many French Jews feel threatened from both sides.  It's a sad position for the country that called itself "le pays des droits de l'homme," and for much of its modern history lived up to the hype.

        •  well said /nt (0+ / 0-)

          We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

          by mimi on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:02:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There are many Muslim immigrants in France (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zornorph, G2geek

          who aren't interested in participating in the life of a secular state.  They want their children, especially their daughters, to be given dispensation from P.E. classes and don't want them to attend certain science classes.   They don't want their girls to sit next to the boys.  They want the schools to stop serving pork and to allow the Muslim girls to wear head scarves in class.  They don't give a rat's about the principles behind contemporary French society.  

          France's very identity is wrapped up in the concept of a secular state which respects "les droits de l'homme," and radical Islam is not compatible with the Rights of Man.  

          Hence the disconnect.  

          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

          by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:03:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A country that allows crosses (0+ / 0-)

            but not head scarves to be worn, and attempts to punitively tax minority Christian groups over the objections of the ECHR has more issues than secularism.

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:48:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They do NOT allow crosses. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              The wearing of large crosses is not allowed.  Nor is the wearing of yarmulkes in French schools.    

              I am not aware of this tax on minority Christian groups.  Please elaborate.

              It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

              by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:51:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  French discriminatory taxation (0+ / 0-)

                http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/...{%22itemid%22:[%22001-23238%22]}

                The religious symbol ban is discriminatory.  Crosses MAY be worn, as long as they aren't 'conspicuous.'  

                Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                by benamery21 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:59:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Better link (0+ / 0-)

                Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                by benamery21 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 08:06:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't know much about the history (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek

                  of Jehovah's Witnesses in France and I'll try to look into it more.  The link you provided has too much info to absorb in one reading.

                  I do know that France takes a very hard stand against certain religions that it considers to be "cults."  They do not, for example, recognize Scientology as a religion as we do in the US.

                  Wikipedia offers this explanation

                  The association of Jehovah's Witnesses forbids its members to defend the nation, to take part in public life, to give blood transfusions to their minor children and that the parliamentary commission on cults has listed them as a cult which can disturb public order.[16]

                  It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                  by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:08:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Short story (0+ / 0-)

                    The Witnesses have been present in France since the 1800's.  France created a 108% tax on all their religious donations which was clearly discriminatory.  The Witnesses have prevailed in ECHR after almost two decades, Europe admonished France for violating basic human rights and required the government to pay the Witnesses.  

                    Wikipedia is a bad source on controversial subjects.  That sentence was written by someone with an ax to grind.

                    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                    by benamery21 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:56:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's a general media link (0+ / 0-)

                    Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                    by benamery21 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 09:59:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thank you for the info. (0+ / 0-)

                      I have not followed the story of the JH in France, but I can see that they are considered a cult and the French gov't takes a very hard stand against giving tax exemptions to groups they consider to be cults.  

                      It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                      by Radiowalla on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:39:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They are the 3rd largest Christian religion (0+ / 0-)

                        in the country by membership.  They have spent more than 100 years tax exempt.  The French "Rights of Man" are given lip service while trampled on when it comes to unpopular minorities, be they Muslim or Christian.  

                        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

                        by benamery21 on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:12:09 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  There are indeed inconsistencies in (0+ / 0-)

                          the application of the laws vis a vis religion.  Sounds like you have followed this very carefully.  Maybe you could write a diary about it sometime.  

                          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                          by Radiowalla on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 07:39:23 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  France's extreme right (0+ / 0-)

          Has been heavily influenced by retrograde elements of the Catholic Church, at least since the Commune of Paris in 1871 declared the Church was complicit in the crimes of the monarchy.

          The Right didn't lose any love for Jews, which led to the 1894 Dreyfus accusation though the evidence pointed to Esterhazy.

          Now, of course, they still work to be holier than the Pope on every front, including gay rights, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, worker's rights, and so on.  Torquemada would be proud.

      •  Oh, yeah. (6+ / 0-)

        There was never any anti-semitism in France at all. Nope, not a bit.

        I don't know how I'm meant to act with all of you lot. Sometimes I don't try, I just na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na

        by Zornorph on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 04:27:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, just as in all European countries (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          the fan man, BelgianBastard

          "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

          by Paleo on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:00:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, sadly. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            charliehall2, unfangus

            I'll specifically add Belgium to the list. But America, too. Nixon was a raving anti-semite (it's never a bad time to take a dump on Nixon).

            I ride the wild horse .

            by BelgianBastard on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:09:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nixon was odd (4+ / 0-)

              He claimed that "a Jewish cabal is out to get me", had a administration official compose a list of Jews in the government, yet his most trusted advisor on foreign policy was Henry Kissinger (during his first term, Nixon routinely marginalized the Sos, William Rogers, in favor of NSA Kissinger) and was very supportive of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.

              "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

              by TLS66 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:19:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  As I said elsewhere (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            petral

            French anti-Semitism is directly responsible for the state of Israel being formed.

            I don't know how I'm meant to act with all of you lot. Sometimes I don't try, I just na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na

            by Zornorph on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:15:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But the anti-Dreyfus bloc was completely defeated (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Radiowalla, Woody, Zornorph

              Georges Clemenceau, a great lover of the Jewish people, was the owner and editor of the newspaper that published
                Émile Zola's "J'accuse"  along with hundreds of other articles. He led the successful campaign for separation of Church and State, taking the then-horribly-anti-Semitic Catholic Church away from its source of funding, a blow from which it has yet to recover even though it long ago renounced anti-Semitism. He would end up being the French Prime Minister who won WW1 and strongly supported the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine at the Paris Peace Conference. (He also wanted France to give up its entire colonial empire, which cost him the Presidency of the French Republic in the first 1920 election.)

              •  A few years back I was in Paris (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                petral, BelgianBastard, Zornorph, G2geek

                and attended a lecture by Michel Dreyfus, the grandson of the legendary Dreyfus.  He was speaking about his book "L'Antisémitisme à Gauche,"  Anti-semitism of the Left.  He is a historian of some prominence in France and has made a study of the anti-semitism coming from the Left in France.   After the lecture I asked him if he had studied the anti-semitism found on the Internet and he said "No."  

                He has the same long face of his grandfather.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

                It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:28:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm. considering they rounded up the Jews and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        killed them 70 years ago, I think this is an ongoing thing. However, the large, radicalized Muslim population is leading the aggressive action against Jews. If Israel wasn't a Terrorist State, I am sure these peaceful people would exercise the "live and let live" attitude they are so well known for.
        It was easier to be sympathetic to Jews when they were easy to victimize. You could say, "Oh, it's so sad, see what is happening to them!" and completely ignore doing anything. Now they have their own country with an army and defend their existence with guns like everyone else, then they aren't so cute and adorable anymore.
        France "repatriated" (expelled) the the Romanis (Gypsies) recently. No doubt all this was for  preserving French culture. Jews are extra pesky as they are much more difficult to push around these days. But the real cultural  issue in France is demographically they are heading to become the Islamic Republic of France which could affect the notorious liberal French sexual attitudes.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:01:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nice Islamphobia (0+ / 0-)

          "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

          by Paleo on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:24:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not really (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Radiowalla, Zornorph

          The people of France are not happy with the unwillingness of many Muslim immigrants to assimilate into French culture and society. The Jews of France did assimilate, many pulling off that feat while remaining very religious. No wonder 89% of the people of France look favorably on Jews:

          http://www.pewglobal.org/...

          •  French Jews (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            are, by and large, willing and eager to accept the French secular state.  Their very safety derives from it.  Those who wish to send their children to more religious schools send them to private schools.  They do not demand that the public system cater to their religious demands.  This has not been the case with many of the Muslim immigrants.  They are not interested in adopting the values of the French state, but want the French state to cater to their religious needs.  Because of their vast numbers, the Muslim demands have been the source of much disagreement.  

            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:38:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Rather than make aliyah, French Jews are more (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pilsner, petral

      likely to join the thousands of Israeli who have moved from Israel to Germany.

      We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

      by Lepanto on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 03:59:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More French Jews made aliyah to Israel last year (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi, G2geek

        than Americans. I did not know about the movement to Germany but I will read up on it.
        It is my opinion that Jews should fight those dedicated to their destruction with all the means at their disposal. Being defenseless and making kaddish doesn't 't work as well as having your enemies being frightened of you and finding someone easier to beat up. Jews won't get shit from Europe although the Europeans certainly like to talk about "human rights" and being fair to oppressed peoples. But outside of the Brits they fold when it comes to defending their own beliefs. We are seeing Israel "drawing the line" in Gaza and it really isn't pretty, but seems inevitable.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 05:16:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  over 5,000 French Jewish families already have. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla

      According to info posted in another diary a couple of weeks ago, by someone else who I consider credible.

      That just blew my mind.

      5,000 Jewish families who concluded that France is no longer safe.

      "Kids, we're packing our bags tonight and getting out.  One bag each, and you can email and call your friends once we're on safe ground."

      IMHO that's just too close to history, for comfort.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 06:51:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DeGaulle was right about a lot of things, and... (7+ / 0-)

    wrong about just as many. Kind of like Babe Ruth, who led in both home runs and strike-outs.

    He was dead right about the Nazis, and a lot more up to speed on the importance of mobile armored warfare rather than fortresses, especially compared to the fatally conservative French Army leadership in 1939-1940.

    On the other hand, DeGaulle never had a millisecond of doubt that he was right about everything, and that what was good for DeGaulle was good for France. And evidence suggests that he was complicit in leaking the identities of the most effective Communist French resistance fighters to the Nazis during the occupation.

  •  France (7+ / 0-)

    Funny diary - events in France are directly related to the creation of the state of Israel. The framing of assimilated French Jew Alfred Dreyfus by the French government was what convinced Theodore Herzl, the father of Zionism, that Europe wouldn't be safe for Jews and it's why he wrote Der Judenstat (The Jewish State - the blueprint for Zionism). Had there been no Dreyfus affair, it's quite possible there's be no Israel.
    De Gaulle's action in WWII tend to be considered over-rated in most histories I have read of the period - I'm less familiar with his second go-round as leader. But in 1967 when Israel's southern port was blockaded by Egypt, he basically told them tough titties, they'd just have to accept it.
    The French had certainly been helpful to Israel prior to 1967 - the bombs that they used to great effect in operation Focus were called Durendal after Roland's sword and had been jointly developed with the French. But by 1967, De Gaulle had decided France's destiny lay with the Arabs and he threw Israel under the bus. But at that point, the IDF had become strong enough that they could afford to go to war without one of the big powers backing them and we all know the results.

    I don't know how I'm meant to act with all of you lot. Sometimes I don't try, I just na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na

    by Zornorph on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 04:26:15 PM PDT

  •  I wish I could take this diary more seriously (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TLS66, charliehall2, petral, G2geek

    but I can't get past the shiny image you present of Charles deGaulle.  His WWII story is not nearly as glorious as stated and his management of the Algerian War was less than brilliant.

    I was in France for part of his tenure and remember his speech at the time of the coup d'état by General Salan.  Oh, those were the days…. but I digress.

    But, yes, France is suffering the wages of their colonial past and they have not seen the end of it.  

    (gotta go now, but will try to flesh out this comment later)

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 04:39:18 PM PDT

    •  He's not the only one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla

      I think Eisenhower and even Churchill are sometimes overrated.

      They all were flawed human beings.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:22:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but de Gaulle was not much of a player. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        petral, BelgianBastard, Major Kong, G2geek

        He was scorned by Roosevelt and, to a lesser extent,  by Churchill.  De Gaulle  did a lot to restore France's "dignity" after the WWII debacle, but at the expense of the truth about their collaboration with the Vichy regime and its unnecessarily eager desire to round up French Jews and ship them off to Auschwitz.  

        Yes, these leaders were all flawed.  I do have a grudging admiration for de Gaulle, mind you.  He had class and he spoke an amazingly pure French that was a work of art in itself.   That's something.

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 06:50:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Churchill made so many military errors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radiowalla, Major Kong

        that it is amazing that he is so respected today. Just to name a few:

        Invading Gallipoli in 1915.

        Militarizing Norway in 1940.

        Botching Singapore in 1941-42.

        Invading Italy in 1943.

        He did, however, invent the tank -- sort of.

        He made two humongous non-military policy errors in the 1930s: opposing self-rule for India and supporting the Nazi sympathizer Edward VIII.

        •  I dispute that list. (0+ / 0-)

          Gallipoli happened at a time when nobody could really pull off an amphibious assault. And the second attempt at a landing would almost certainly have worked if the idiotic officers hadn't decide to just sit on the beach instead of pushing further inland. And that level of operational control is not normally done by a civilian (First Lord of the Admiralty, SecDef, Minister of Defense, whatever).

          As for Italy; Russia, that was taking the most casualties of all the allies was screaming that Britain and the US had to open up a Second Front, and the allies weren't ready for an invaision of France yet.

          And Norway was just throw anything you can think of at the Germans, including the kitchen sink, time.

          I ride the wild horse .

          by BelgianBastard on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 08:36:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Having driven across Italy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            charliehall2

            I think you'd have a hard time finding more easily defensible territory with the possible exception of Switzerland.

            If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

            by Major Kong on Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 04:09:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why Eisenhower refused to allow bombing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radiowalla, TLS66

        of the railroads leading the the Nazi death camps is a question raised by no less a figure than George McGovern, a bomber pilot who would have loved to have flown such a mission. Given Eisenhower's implacable hostility to Israel in the 1950s I've wondered whether the man was a secret anti-Semite.

  •  Had De Gaulle not stabbed Israel in the back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TLS66, G2geek

    there would have been no Six Day War. In fact, had the Socialist Mitterrand defeated the right-wing nationalist De Gaulle in France's 1965 Presidential election, there would have been no Six Day War.

    Had Israel followed De Gaulle's advice, there would likely be no Israel today. (Which would suit a lot of Dailykos commenters.)

    Fortunately Lyndon Johnson tipped Israel off to Egypt's invasion plans and Israel was able to strike first.

    •  I call BS. I don't think there are many (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BelgianBastard, SCFrog, Major Kong

      DKos posters that want "no Israel today" so much as they don't want "today's Israel."

      I, for one, have no problem with Israel as a state, a majority Jewish state, a state whose legal system is descended from Jewish culture, etc.

      What I do have a problem with is state terrorism bordering on genocide. Should today's Israel exist? Not as it is, no.

      Should Israel exist in general? Why the hell not? But only if they can play nice with others (i.e. not kill their children while eating popcorn and cheering and then voting for more of the same).

      Same criteria I apply to any other state.

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:14:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mitterand was so different than (0+ / 0-)

      today's Israel-hating French left.  He understood the need for Israel and French-Israeli relations were very good under him, almost as good as they were under Rene Coty during the 1950s.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 10:08:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From France to the camps (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, G2geek
    France was the first European nation to grant full civil rights to the Jews (in 1791), and was (and is) home to a substantial Jewish population, many of whom initially saw the Zionist project, with its social-democratic aspirations, as parallel to France's own republican tradition.
    This elides the mass deportation of Jews from France to Nazi concentration camps with more French cooperation in the Vichy days than a lot of French in the years since ever cared to admit.

    Full disclosure, I love France, have lived there, speak French and not a day goes by when I don't hope to get to go again - but that shouldn't be ignored.

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