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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Betrayal’ Shows How French Foreign Office Played Off Arabs Against Jews and Gained Hatred of Both

Posted by kinchendavid on December 10, 2006

Reviewed By David M. Kinchen
Huntington News Network Book Critic

Hinton, WV  – The late French President Charles de Gaulle had his Mel Gibson moment, relates author David Pryce-Jones in “Betrayal” (Encounter Books, $23.95, 185 pages) when in November 1967 in his anger at Israel for winning the Six-Day War the previous June, blurted out at a press conference that the Jews were an “elite people, self-assured and domineering” with a “burning ambition for conquest.”

That’s not far from Gibson’s drunken rant earlier this year to the effect that the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world and reveals a powerful Jew-hatred on the part of both men. DeGaulle tried to wiggle out of his comments by saying they were compliments! He had more chutzpah than Gibson.

The subtitle of Pryce-Jones’s slim volume is “France, the Arabs, and the Jews” and uses documents from the Quai d’Orsay – the French equivalent of our State Department – to show how the French themselves have acted exactly as DeGaulle accused the Israelis – and Jews – in their attempt to establish hegemony over the Muslim world.

All this enmity toward Israel – and it was a French diplomat named Daniel Bernard who called the nation a “shitty little country” at a party celebrating his promotion to French Ambassador to London – is detailed by Pryce-Jones, an authority on the Middle East who covered both the 1967 war and the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

Not all of the French are anti-Israel, Pryce-Jones relates: Most of the ordinary populace favors the Israelis, on the front line of a war against radical Islam that has its goal the conquest of Europe. Muslims – mostly North Africans from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – outnumber Jews in France by a factor of at least six to one, Pryce-Jones writes and the culture of many of the Muslims of France is violently anti-West. Jews, on the other hand, tend to assimilate into the greater French culture. Still the authorities, including leaders of the 600,000 French Jewish community — in their timidity – suggest that observant Jews don’t call attention to themselves by wearing distinctive skullcaps and similar signs of Orthodox Judaism.

Critics of Israel and its power in the U.S. through lobbying groups should read the passages in Pryce-Jones’ book that describe – under the administration of Francois Mitterrand – an anti-Israel and pro-Arab lobby in the very heart of the Quai d’Orsay. Mitterrand was a 1930s fascist, Pryce-Jones says and was an official in the Nazi puppet Vichy regime, which enacted anti-Jewish laws beyond those which their German overlords demanded.

For the first three years of Mitterrand’s regime as president (he ruled from 1981 to 1995), his foreign minister – the boss of the Quai d’Orsay – was Claude Cheysson, who displayed unalloyed hatred toward the Jewish state. After he left office, he said: “My condemnation of Zionism is absolute…The State of Israel created itself against the will of the rest of the world” ignoring the fact that Israel was accepted as a member in good standing of the United Nations in 1949, before Jordan (1955), Indonesia (1950), Kuwait (1963), Algeria (1962) and Tunisia (1956), to name just a few of the countries listed in the 2007 “World Almanac and Book of Facts.”

In his conclusion, Pryce-Jones catalogues the anti-Israel – and by extension anti-Jewish – actions of the French government. He concludes that the damage has been done, that “The French state’s hostility to Jewish self-determination coincides with Arab and Muslim resentment and fuels corresponding violence….France is acquiring an internal reality as “une puissance musulmane” [a Muslim Power] on lines quite different from anything envisaged by those who have fostered this intellectual illusion…”

“Betrayal” is an important, well-documented book by an authority on the Middle East. It should be read by all, especially those who persist in believing that the French government is an ally in the war on terror and the concomitant war to preserve Western Civilization.

Publisher’s web site: http://www.encounterbooks.com

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One Response to “BOOK REVIEW: ‘Betrayal’ Shows How French Foreign Office Played Off Arabs Against Jews and Gained Hatred of Both”

  1. rsbodapati said

    all this is due to dirty politics.

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