Jews and Israel Should Cheer Emmanuel Macron’s Victory

April 26 2022

In France’s runoff presidential election, held on Sunday, the incumbent Emmanuel Macron beat out the far-right Marine Le Pen. Le Pen has changed her party’s tone since taking the reins from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen—an anti-Semite who has dabbled in Holocaust denial and defended the Vichy regime. But Ariel Kandel, writing on the eve of the election, argued that she represents a danger to both French Jewry and the Jewish state:

Marine Le Pen . . . is more sophisticated than her father. She understood that ahead of the election, it would benefit her to moderate her comments about Jews and Israel, letting others do the work—mainly . . . the Jewish former French TV pundit Eric Zemmour, who ran in the first round of the election and won 7.1 percent of the votes (which translates to nearly 2.5 million voters). Zemmour, who was convicted of inciting hatred in the past, claimed during the campaign that the Vichy government actually “protected Jews,” that Alfred Dreyfus was perhaps wrongfully exonerated, and called on his supporters to vote for Le Pen in the runoff.

Although Marine Le Pen kept silent in recent months in relation to Israel and Jews, she only did so because it served her temporary interests. Her views are established: she champions ridding the public sphere of all religious symbols, including Jewish symbols; she has supported a ban on kosher slaughter in France; declared she would prohibit Jews from holding dual citizenship; and contrary to the official position of the French government, she also doesn’t recognize France’s role in collaborating with the Nazis and sending its Jewish citizens to the concentration camps. . . . She has not abandoned her views, rather she has “hidden” them for the time being to appear less extreme.

There are those who claim that Le Pen is a friend of Israel, but this is a grave mistake. She espouses turning Jerusalem into a city with a special international status that would serve as the capital of the three major religions. For all intents and purposes, this means Jerusalem would no longer be under Israel’s control, rather subject to the whims of the United Nations.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Emmanuel Macron, France, French Jewry, Marine Le Pen

 

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter