He May Be Jewish, but Eric Zemmour Is No Friend of the Jews

Last week, the far-right French pundit and provocateur Éric Zemmour announced his candidacy for the country’s 2022 presidential elections. His platform rests on social conservatism, hostility to immigrants, national pride, and nostalgia for an idealized past. Although Zemmour is himself Jewish, Ben Cohen offers this caution:

When you examine the depressing chronology of anti-Semitic attacks in France over the last twenty years, you note pretty quickly that many of the offenders were Muslims who were influenced in some way by radical Islam. . . . Some Jews, inside and outside France, believe that Zemmour will deal with the problem of domestic Muslim radicalism and that alone would justify voting for him. They will then point to his Jewish origins and his habit of occasionally attending synagogue for additional support.

Still, to reach that conclusion requires you to ignore other pertinent considerations, such as Zemmour’s nauseating Holocaust revisionism, which falsely depicts the Vichy regime as the savior of French Jews at the expense of the foreign-born, and his crackpot belief that Alfred Dreyfus—falsely convicted of espionage amid a surge of violent anti-Semitism in France at the end of the 19th century—might have been guilty after all.

You would have to forget that Zemmour described the victims of the 2012 Islamist massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse as not truly French because they were laid to rest in the state of Israel. And you would have to overlook the fact that Zemmour has no experience of government, a past conviction for racist utterances, and a boorish side to his personality.

Read more at JNS

More about: Alfred Dreyfus, Anti-Semitism, European Islam, French Jewry, Vichy France

 

Iran’s President May Be Dead. What Next?

At the moment, Hizballah’s superiors in Tehran probably aren’t giving much thought to the militia’s next move. More likely, they are focused on the fact that their country’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, along with the foreign minister, may have been killed in a helicopter crash near the Iran-Azerbaijan border. Iranians set off fireworks to celebrate the possible death of this man known as “butcher of Tehran” for his role in executing dissidents. Shay Khatiri explains what will happen next:

If the president is dead or unable to perform his duties for longer than two months, the first vice-president, the speaker of the parliament, and the chief justice, with the consent of the supreme leader, form a council to choose the succession mechanism. In effect, this means that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei will decide [how to proceed]. Either a new election is called, or Khamenei will dictate that the council chooses a single person to avoid an election in time of crisis.

Whatever happens next, however, Raisi’s “hard landing” will mark the first chapter in a game of musical chairs that will consume the Islamic Republic for months and will set the stage not only for the post-Raisi era, but the post-Khamenei one as well.

As for the inevitable speculation that Raisi’s death wasn’t an accident: everything I have read so far suggests that it was. Still, that its foremost enemy will be distracted by a succession struggle is good news for Israel. And it wouldn’t be terrible if Iran’s leaders suspect that the Mossad just might have taken out Raisi. For all their rhetoric about martyrdom, I doubt they relish the prospect of becoming martyrs themselves.

Read more at Middle East Forum

More about: Ali Khamenei, Iran, Mossad