The French Connection...to Anti-Semitism
When it comes to the Jews, France has a long, checkered history of treachery. French anti-Semitism is well-known and deeply embedded in French culture. It therefore comes as no surprise that France was the first major Western power to recognize Palestinian statehood, according to a statement released by the French Foreign Ministry.
No doubt, the continued Arab migration to France and the influence Muslims wield in that country played a role in shaping France's disastrous foreign policy decision. Yet the French decision is consistent with the nation's past, and it is likely that they would have embarked on the same trajectory with or without indigenous Muslim influence.
The sad fact is that French cultural anti-Semitism is among the most insidious and embedded of all of Europe. Assimilated or not, Jews have always been the preferred target of the French cultural elite, and French history is peppered with such examples.
Consider the infamous case of Alfred Dreyfus, a captain in the French artillery corps and a fully assimilated Jew, falsely accused by the French military establishment of passing military secrets to the Germans. Dreyfus was arrested and charged with treason by French authorities in 1894. He was found guilty by a French kangaroo court and spent the next four years of his life on Devil's Island. Despite overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence of his innocence, French authorities, infected with anti-Semitism from the top down, refused to budge. It was not until 1906 that a French military commission fully exonerated Dreyfus.
It is no secret that among the Western nations occupied by the Nazis during World War II, the French government was among the most willing collaborators, going well beyond what was requested of it by its Nazi masters. It was not until 1995 that the French acknowledged their dastardly role in their systematic efforts to exterminate French Jewry. The stench of French collaboration and the role they played in the murder of their own citizens, simply because they were of Jewish decent, will remain a permanent stain on France.
In 1967, when Israel was under existential threat from her Islamic neighbors, French President Charles de Gaulle initiated an arms embargo on Israel and refused to deliver 50 Mirage Vs, which had already been paid for by Israel. Adding insult to injury, the French sold the aircraft to Gaddafi's Libya, a sworn enemy of the Jewish State.
Iraq under the murderous Saddam Hussein maintained close relations with France. Indeed, France, among all the Western powers, stood out as Iraq's closest ally. French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac even referred to Hussein -- the man who threatened to "burn half of Israel" and who provided cash for the families of homicide bombers -- as his "personal friend." France was also instrumental in providing Hussein with a nuclear reactor despite justifiable fears that such a reactor would be used by Hussein to produce WMD.
France has a long history of cozying up to anti-Western characters. She provided safe haven to Ayatollah Khomeini and embraced arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat as well as Syria's former president and serial killer Hafez al-Assad.
As recent as this year, France's consul general in Jerusalem engaged in historical revisionism by issuing an asinine statement that attempted to sever the historical Jewish nexus with the Land of Israel. In a speech on archeology in Israel, Consul General Frederic Desagneaux made repeated references to "Palestine" and "Palestinian archeology" without once referencing Israel or Jews, as if the history of that region began and ended with so-called Palestinian Arabs.
The French now come full circle with their recent recognition of Palestinian statehood. The French ambassador to London once referred to Israel as "that shitty little country." Judging by France's collaborationist past and its associations with less than reputable characters, the ambassador's pejoratives could accurately be turned toward his own self.