Some inexplicable response seems to take hold of the French when the subject concerns Jews in general, and Israel in particular. Whatever has induced the French government to choose this moment to hold a conference in favour of a Palestinian state? The absence of Palestinians and Israelis is confirmation that the self-importance of the French is the sole subject here. Secretary of State John Kerry has already proved that the peace process is dead for the time being; perhaps the Quai d’Orsay wanted only to rub the American nose as usual deep into humiliation.
Contempt for Jews and their state is the other side of France’s continuous pro-Arab policy. When a French ambassador a few years ago called Israel “a shitty little country,” he was only voicing ingrained institutional prejudice. Since the days of Yasser Arafat, France has always supported the cause of Palestine unconditionally, in spite of, or because of the harm to Israel. It is the sole Western country, for instance, to allow its financial subsidies to be paid without supervision, so that the money finishes in the hands of terrorists. Muslim immigrants numbering in the millions are on the edge of lawlessness. France has suffered more Islamist violence and murder than every other country except the United States. In response, Jews are leaving in their thousands for Israel. This has prompted Christophe Barbier, editor of the prestigious magazine L’Express, to accuse them of a cowardly failure to stand their corner. This in a country from which in the last world war at least 75,000 Jews were deported to be murdered — and this in a magazine once edited by Raymond Aron who polemicized against General de Gaulle for observations about Jews as “dominating people.”
At which point, I happened to read a book with the title “The Black Flag of Jihad Stalks la République.” The author, Nidra Poller, is an American living in France. She is the researcher who exposed that photography of a small boy supposedly killed by Israeli gunfire in battle, and therefore a symbol of Palestinian victimhood, was merely a “lethal narrative,” her term for propaganda designed to generate hatred of Jews and Israel. Israel’s self-defense in the recent campaign against Hamas in Gaza gave rise to plenty more lethal narratives that is classic anti-Semitism in a contemporary expression. As if it wasn’t enough to be misled by its government and its media about the reality of Islamism, France also has to endure Socialism. Strikes and riots are already bringing the whole country to the edge of lawlessness. Nidra Poller is in the role of Cassandra.