France’s Coming Battle, and What It Means for French Jewry

France may well show more fortitude and perseverance in fighting Islamist terror than is widely expected, argues Michel Gurfinkiel. But whether a reinvigorated French nation will become more sympathetic to its beleaguered Jews is another question entirely:

In recent years Jews have been a main target of jihadist violence in France, from the Jewish school massacre in Toulouse in 2012 to the Hyper Cacher massacre in 2015. It goes on: four days after the November 13 attacks, a Jewish teacher was stabbed in Marseilles by three men wearing pro-Islamic-State t-shirts. While the government and the political class constantly express their concern, and the police have provided large-scale protection to synagogues and other Jewish public places, . . . many Jews wonder whether parts of the public are not in fact indifferent, ready to wave away Muslim anti-Semitism and terrorism, even in France, as an outcome of an alleged Israeli unwillingness to come to terms with the Palestinians.

The new patriotic mood that has been emerging since November 13 seems to have muted this “argument.” Since everybody feels threatened now and everybody demands protection, there is much greater understanding and sympathy for the special case of the Jews. Israel is no longer described in the media as a country engaged in a colonial war of sorts against the Palestinians, but rather as a victim, along with France, of jihadist terrorism—and even sometimes as a positive example of successful anti-terrorist mobilization.

For all that, however, the long-term consequences may not be positive for Jews, and French-Jewish emigration, either to Israel or North America, will likely not subside. One reason is that greater ethnic and religious polarization means less toleration of all third parties.

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Read more at American Interest

More about: Anti-Semitism, France, French Jewry, ISIS, Israel & Zionism, Politics & Current Affairs, Radical Islam

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship