Patrick Modiano, Nobel Prize-Winning French Novelist of the Holocaust

Patrick Modiano, recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, has made French Jewry, and the Holocaust, the main subjects of his four-decade literary career. Much of his work has been informed by the experiences of his own father, a Salonikan Jew who survived the war as a collaborator. Modiano’s work helped push France toward coming to grips with its own participation in the murder of its Jews, writes Clémence Boulouque:

With his hallucinatory debut and the two books that followed, also centered on the Occupation and first-person accounts of traitors or sons of collaborators, Modiano signaled a shift in the Zeitgeist and subsequent self-perception of France. La Place de l’Etoile came out a few months before Marcel Ophuls’s movie The Sorrow and the Pity, which dealt with the complex question of passivity and collaboration in the small town of Clermont-Ferrand—a microcosm of France. Robert O. Paxton’s Vichy France was published in 1972. France had embarked on a soul-searching journey about the country’s wartime past, and Modiano’s work was a key part of the ousting of the postwar myth of a “nation of resisters” and the ushering in of an era of gray zones and elusive moral clarity.

Read more at Tablet

More about: French Jewry, Holocaust fiction, Jewish literature, Nobel Prize, Patrick Modiano

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security