Thursday, July 10, 2003

In truth, the indictment is largely unfair, for it ignores another, far more admirable France. This other France granted Jews full civil rights long before any other European state did. It protested Alfred Dreyfus's prosecution, fought his tormentors and ultimately won his exoneration. This other France sheltered thousands of Jews from the Nazis and most recently has taken to the street in the millions to protest antisemitic violence and Le Pen's success. For all his sound and fury, Le Pen has never received more than 20% of the vote. This other France has not always prevailed, but in the European context, its very existence is notable.

From a book review in the Forward. This is total garbage, and really underlines the intellectual blindness of the Jewish Left. The French in fact argued for nearly a decade over whether to grant equal rights to the Jews, and in the end only did so in order to bring the Jewish religious institutions under state control. They did this so early not because they were so enlightened but because they were in the process of founding the first totalitarian state of the modern era, and had to control every single citizen whatever their race or religion. Dreyfuss was defended by absolutely nobody until a courageous journalist wrote his famous "J'Accuse" and made the case a cause celebre. Even with this, it never became a populist cause, a small group of immensely admirable intellectuals engineered Dreyfuss's long overdue exoneration. Certain individual French people aided the Jews in the Holocaust, and God bless them for it, but there was no official or collective effort to do so. The Vichy government collaborated and the French Resistance did nothing. As for LePen, he was protested for being a fascist, not an anti-semite. The Leftist crowds attacking LePen were the same who would march a few weeks later denouncing Israel and excusing Arab terrorism. So much for the other France.

What this comes down to is the total inability of the Forward and those of its ideological ilk - good socialists and liberals all - to admit that the movement they belong to and the nations that originated and embrace it are infected with hatred of the Jews and Judaism. They cannot face the immensity of the betrayal, one for which history ought to have prepared them, but did not. They prefer to cover their ears and pretend its not happening. Disgraceful, but hardly surprising. They'll be forced to deal with it sooner or later, and it cant be soon enough.