Monday, November 20, 2006

France, its Arabs and the Jews

At Augean Stables, a fitting subject: France, the Arabs and the Jews. He quotes from a WSJ review of Betrayal : France, the Arabs, and the Jews by David Pryce-Jones. (The review is available only to subscribers.)

Pryce-Jones' book is really about the Quai d’Orsay, or Foreign Ministry and its immense power.

Under the Third and Fourth Republics — from 1870 to 1940 and then from 1945 to 1958 — the foreign ministry took advantage of a succession of weak cabinets to impose its own idea of France’s role in the world. Under the Fifth Republic — i.e., the current, presidential regime founded by Charles de Gaulle — the Quai d’Orsay virtually seized the executive’s diplomatic powers.
To what end?
Ever since Waterloo, the French foreign service’s self-imposed mission has been to restore French grandeur and to resist Anglo-Saxon “hegemony,” whether British or American.
Find better friends
A corollary to this grand sense of national mission is the Quai’s conception of France as “an Arab power” or “a Muslim power.” During the heyday of European colonialism, such a self-conception meant carving out of Egypt, North Africa and the Levant an equivalent to British India. Today it means nearly the opposite: either serving the interests of radical Arab or Muslim governments or promoting the fusion of Europe and the Muslim world into an Islamic-dominated “Mediterranean” civilization.
Give practical help
Mr. Pryce-Jones describes how, immediately after World War II, senior officers in the French foreign service conspired to rescue Haj Amin Al-Husseini, the former mufti of Jerusalem, who had taken up residence in Nazi Germany during the war and who was answerable, upon Germany’s defeat, for various war crimes, including active support for the extermination of the Jews. The French, having sheltered him in Paris for months, eventually let him escape to Egypt in 1946 carrying a forged passport.
Accept the comeuppance
The Quai’s flirtation with Islam over the years resulted in official France turning a blind eye to the mass immigration of Arabs and Muslims. The result, today, is street violence, ethnic rioting and terrorist activity.

No comments: