France Can Acknowledge Its Past Crimes against Its Jews, but Can’t Face Its Present Ones

July 16 saw the commemoration of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup in Paris: the 1942 mass arrest, carried out by the French police on Nazi orders, of over 13,000 French Jews who were then shipped off to extermination camps. At the ceremony this year, French President Emmanuel Macron apologized for France’s actions and pledged to make France a country where the Jewish victims, among them over 4,000 children, would have wanted to live. 

But, writes Nidra Poller, the “tragic reality” is this: as shown most recently by the April murder of the sixty-five-year-old Sarah Halimi by a radicalized twenty-seven-year-old Muslim, France can’t and won’t fulfill that pledge:

If the descendants of those [murdered] children lived in France today, they might have to hide their kippot and Magen Davids, they might be harassed out of schools and neighborhoods, beaten up in the métro, accused of genocide against the Palestinians. If the descendants of those children lived in France today, the children hunted like animals by the French and exterminated by the Nazis, . . . they might be assassinated at a Jewish school in Toulouse [as in March 2012], their lives might be shattered by the savage murder of their grandmother in Paris in 2017. And who would be persecuting them? The descendants of immigrants and refugees from Arab-Muslim countries, the underprivileged victims of discrimination whom President Macron vows to protect [by means of the same] tender consideration that put a Kobili Traoré in the apartment downstairs of Sarah Halimi wthout first making sure he had integrated the values of the Republic.

[Unlike the situation in 1942], the French police did not pound on the door and drag Sarah Halimi from her home in the middle of the night. The police stood down, waiting interminably for reinforcements, while Kobili Traoré beat, smashed, and exterminated a defenseless Jewish woman.

The courage and lucidity to acknowledge the French crimes of the past falters in the face of French crimes of the present.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: European Jewry, France, French Jewry, History & Ideas, Holocaust

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy