Jewish Political Studies Analysis
Jewish Political Studies Analysis 18:1-2 (Spring 2006)
A Bitter Romance of France and Israel
The purpose of this book, France, Israel and the Arabs: The Bifold Game?, is to accord an annual of the mutual relations amid France and Israel, about from 1974 to the present. Its author, is a chief Israeli diplomat, announcer and arch of the Israel-Europe activity at the Jerusalem Center for Accessible Affairs. His adjustment was to accept a continued time-span and to advance a advanced alternative of documentary accounting and articulate sources. He has based his annual on sources at the accomplished levels of government and the political chic both in France and in Israel, and the accomplished aftereffect reflects this perspective. The book offers a articular annual of the facts and the development of French-Israeli relations over a aeon which has been both bitter and calm.
At times, French-Israeli relations accept been characterized by misunderstandings and claimed drama, so it is advantageous that the columnist cautiously demonstrates a accommodating and adequate acknowledgment of animal weakness. It is additionally bright that he understands the cultural accomplishments and ambient of both France and Israel. Accordingly, Eytan provides biting profiles of such dramatis personae as Jacques Chirac, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Raymond Barre, Ovadia Sofer, Avi Pazner, and Ehud Barak.
If one affection characterizes this book, it is the author’s faculty of appropriateness and generosity in the fullest sense. One would chase in aloof for villains here, although there may accept been a few. Similarly, the clairvoyant may occasionally accept the aftereffect that the columnist knows aloof a bit added than he is telling. This may be the case, because the adumbrated bulletin of this book is a appeal for bigger compassionate amid France and Israel.
The columnist has authentic himself as a journalist, rather than a political scientist or historian, but he delivers abundant added than journalism. He gives able advantage of the accountable and a competent narrative. In addition, the book includes references to sources, a abundant archival table, an addendum of ahead abstruse documents, and an index. Indeed, Eytan has delivered added than he promised.
At the aforementioned time, it is accessible to accomplish a cardinal of analytical observations. Despite the title, the columnist does not allot abiding absorption to the Arabs and the implications of their behavior for France, domestically and internationally. These accept resulted in a massive clearing of Arabs to France, creating the “lost territories” aural France – that is, abundantly Muslim neighborhoods which accept become finer autonomous; anti-Semitic violence; and added afresh civilian insurrection. A action of accepting a abundantly complete clearing from Islamic acreage afterwards a alongside accomplishment to accommodate such populations may accept destabilizing after-effects for French society. Aural a broader perspective, one is confronted with the affair of the “clash of civilizations,” which Bernard Lewis aboriginal raised, and the furnishings of abiding Islamic cultural burden on France and Europe.
The condoning byword of the appellation poses the catechism as to whether France’s action represents a bifold game. The abstraction of authoritative a account followed by a catechism mark entered into appearance with Francis Fukuyama’s book, The End of History? Aloof the same, if an columnist raises this blazon of question, it is his albatross to accomplish the alarm rather than to leave the clairvoyant blind on a catechism mark. Of advance France is arena a bifold bold and it could not be otherwise. Probably every accompaniment which maintains relations with the Arab apple charge do so, but some countries angle over added than others.
France was the midwife at the bearing of today’s Islamic Republic of Iran, a rogue state, which forth with North Korea, now threatens apple peace. President Giscard d’Estaing provided cover and accommodation to Ayatollah Khomeini who resided in Neauphle le Chateau abreast Paris and, on 1 February 1979, triumphally accustomed in Teheran on a appropriate Air France flight. Further, it is not about remembered that, two ancestors earlier, France continued agnate accommodation to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a abutting acquaintance of Heinrich Himmler and agog apostle of the “Final Solution.” Although the French government was answerable to apprehend this war bent and accompany him to law, they lodged him in a alcazar in the fashionable Paris suburb of Rambouillet area he enjoyed an accomplished accepted of active at a time back abounding Frenchmen went hungry.1 Gradually, Haj Amin’s accommodating hosts aerial badge surveillance, abrogation him in the affliction of his domiciliary staff. So, on 28 May 1946, the Mufti artlessly beatific two agents to buy food, while his bear collection him to the airport area he boarded a TWA flight to Cairo.2
One wonders if the absolute motives for this fishing in afflicted amnion may accept been to abet abhorrence and animosity in the arena and one may additionally ask what accurate allowances the makers of French adopted action hoped to gain.
Probably the best austere shortcoming of this book is one of actual periodization. It begins in 1974 when, according to the author, France adopted a action favorable to the PLO, but French-Israeli relations are acutely disconnected otherwise: afore 1967 and afterwards 1967. Afore 1967, mutual relations amid France and Israel were authentic by accord and friendship. France provided aggressive and abstruse training for the adolescent state, entr?e into Africa, and not least, an diminutive reactor. France accurate Israel’s war of ability (just as it had accurate the Americans a few centuries before). France and Israel were allies in 1956, and with the acceding of the United States, France became Israel’s capital accoutrements supplier.
After the Six-Day War, Accepted de Gaulle, at his acclaimed account appointment of 27 November 1967, appear the academic changeabout of French policy. Afterwards France’s abandonment from Algeria, he adopted a absolutely new adopted action orientation, which resulted in a about-face against the Arab apple and, aural the ambience of the Cold War, the action of d?tente. Afterwards his affecting account conference, official French-Israeli relations accomplished in agreement of accord and friendship. This accommodation represented a defining moment not alone for Israel, but additionally for abreast France in its own right, and if one wishes to accept abreast France and Israel one charge accord with the 1967 watershed frontally and in archival sequence.
At his conference, Accepted de Gaulle acclimated the acclaimed phrase: “le peuple juif, sûr de lui meme et dominateur” (the Jewish people, assured and domineering), which the columnist quotes retrospectively in the aftermost affiliate (p. 470). The applied aftereffect of his barbarous statements, which drew heavily on Charles Maurras, a monarchist-nationalist-Catholic thinker and baby-kisser with able anti-Semitic feelings, was to accomplish the accessible announcement of anti-Semitism already afresh adequate in France and in Europe. According to the Canadian historian Henry Weinberg, “De Gaulle around characterized the Israelis as arrogant, expansionist war hawks who seek every befalling to accomplish their imperialistic aims, as militarists abasement for a fight. He additionally ‘invited’ the Jews to accumulate a low profile, implying that Israel’s appropriate to alive in aegis was affiliated to the ‘humility’ of its political behavior.”3 Since then, Israeli attitudes against France accept been characterized by a audible bipolarity: animosity of acknowledgment and homesickness on the one hand, and acerbity and disappointment on the other.
Despite this structural shortcoming, La France, Israel et les Arabes: le bifold jeu? is a admired and awful clear addition to our compassionate of the mutual relations amid France and Israel.
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1. John Roy Carlson, Cairo to Damascus (New York: Knopf, 1951), p. 422.
2. Ibid., pp. 410-11.
3. Henry H. Weinberg, The Myth of the Jew in France, 1967-1982 (Oakville, Ontario: Mosaic Press, 1987), p. 34.
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DR. JOEL FISHMAN is a adolescent of the Jerusalem Center for Accessible Affairs. He has afresh appear on Israel’s position afterwards the Oslo Accords, and his book, with Efraim Karsh, La Guerre d’Oslo, appeared this year.
The opinions bidding herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Board of Fellows of the Jerusalem Center for Accessible Affairs.
The aloft book analysis appears in the Spring 2006 affair of the Jewish Political Studies Review, the aboriginal and alone account committed to the abstraction of Jewish political institutions and behavior, Jewish political thought, and Jewish accessible affairs.
Published by the Jerusalem Center for Accessible Diplomacy (http://www.jcpa.org/), the JPSR appears alert a year in the anatomy of two bifold issues, either of a accepted attributes or thematic, with contributors including outstanding advisers from the United States, Israel, and abroad.
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