The Ex-Anti-Semite Who Risked His Life to Fight the Nazis

Daniel Cordier, who recently died at the age of one hundred, was in his youth a passionate fascist and committed anti-Semite—until Nazi forces marched into his native France in the spring of 1940. Reflecting upon his life, Kevin Williamson writes:

[After the German invasion], Cordier’s family bribed the captain of a Belgian cargo ship to take him to North Africa, but he was instead redirected to the United Kingdom, where he met Charles de Gaulle, received some military training, and was sent back to France, parachuting in with documents for the Resistance leader known as “Rex.” “Rex” was, in fact, de Gaulle’s lieutenant, Jean Moulin, who immediately took Cordier on as his personal assistant. Service in the French Resistance was not very much like association with modern political tendencies that have hijacked its name and drafted on its moral stature: Moulin survived less than two months as president of the National Council of the Resistance before he was captured by the Gestapo and tortured to death by Klaus Barbie, “the Butcher of Lyon,” dying on a transport train before it crossed the border into Germany.

As the New York Times tells the story, Cordier and other refugees had been greeted in the United Kingdom by de Gaulle, who said: “I will not congratulate you for coming here. You did your duty.” Back in France, Cordier was scandalized by the sight of German soldiers posing for photographs in front of the Arc de Triomphe—and by the sight of French Jews wearing yellow stars. He described feeling “unbearable shame” at the sight, but also realizing: “I am not in Paris to care for my conscience.” There was work to be done, and some of that work fell to him to do. His politics gave way to his patriotism, and his philosophical inclinations gave way to the practical business of saving his country.

If there had been a French Resistance equivalent of “cancel culture” in the 1940s, it surely would have set upon Cordier, who as a teenager in Bordeaux had not been a passive anti-Semite and quasi-fascist but an active and positive one, establishing the Cercle Charles-Maurras, a kind of fascist fan club dedicated to the man who would later criticize Nazi policy toward French Jews as too lax.

In their pettiness and hatred, many of those who believe themselves to be the heirs to the French Resistance have come to resemble more closely the other guys, compiling blacklists and dreaming of putsches.

Read more at National Review

More about: Anti-Semitism, Charles de Gaulle, France, Holocaust, World War II


Planning for the Day after the War in the Gaza Strip

At the center of much political debate in Israel during the past week, as well as, reportedly, of disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington, is the problem of how Gaza should be governed if not by Hamas. Thus far, the IDF has only held on to small parts of the Strip from which it has cleared out the terrorists. Michael Oren lays out the parameters of this debate over what he has previous called Israel’s unsolvable problem, and sets forth ten principles that any plan should adhere to. Herewith, the first five:

  1. Israel retains total security control in Gaza, including control of all borders and crossings, until Hamas is demonstrably defeated. Operations continue in Rafah and elsewhere following effective civilian evacuations. Military and diplomatic efforts to secure the hostages’ release continue unabated.
  2. Civil affairs, including health services and aid distribution, are administered by Gazans unaffiliated with Hamas. The model will be Area B of Judea and Samaria, where Israel is in charge of security and Palestinians are responsible for the civil administration.
  3. The civil administration is supervised by the Palestinian Authority once it is “revitalized.” The PA first meets benchmarks for ending corruption and establishing transparent institutions. The designation and fulfillment of the benchmarks is carried out in coordination with Israel.
  4. The United States sends a greatly expanded and improved version of the Dayton Mission that trained PA police forces in Gaza after Israel’s disengagement.
  5. Abraham Accords countries launch a major inter-Arab initiative to rebuild and modernize Gaza.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship