A French Village that Refused to Be Complicit in the Holocaust

As a whole, France was more eager than other European nations to hand over its Jews to the Nazis. Nonetheless, over 300,000 French Jews managed to survive World War II, mostly due to the heroic and often religiously-motivated actions of those willing to hide them. A new book retells the story of Chambon-sur-Lingon, a small mountain village whose residents went to extraordinary lengths to save Jews. Stefan Kanfer writes:

The [villagers] were led by an upright, zealous pastor, André Trocmé, whose moral stance was informed by the Old Testament, “with its many references to the rescue of the oppressed, the sharing of bread with the hungry, the taking in of the homeless into one’s house.” Accordingly, his followers mixed Jewish children among their own, supplying safe new surnames, furnishing Jewish adults with forged identity cards and guiding them to neutral Switzerland. Freedom was not free; the Gestapo raids netted some villagers, who were beaten and murdered. A local doctor who dared to express his disdain for the occupying army was shot. A young woman who had saved dozens of children was finally arrested and sent to Drancy. There she tried to comfort three orphaned Jews. All four were deported to Auschwitz. The little ones were sentenced to death. The young woman was not. But she refused to be separated from her charges and accompanied them to the gas chamber.

Read more at Moment

More about: Christianity, French Jewry, Holocaust, Righteous Among the Nations, Vichy France

The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship