David Pryce-Jones has a new book out, Betrayal: France, Arabs and the Jews. Pryce-Jones’ previous book; The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs, is by far the best primer Kid Various has read on Arab culture and provides the most cogent explanations for the bizarre and often self-destructive behaviours within Arab society that he has often observed.
The new book details the complex nature of the French and their relationship to the Arabs, which has traditionally been tempered with a nice dollop of anti-Semitism. As Daniel Johnson notes in his review; the historical tendency of the French to indulge in Jew hatred had been peripheral, until the rise of Zionism and the creation of
Like so many misfortunes, this one has its origins in the megalomania of the Bonaparte clan. For more than two centuries, since Napoleon's expedition to
Egypt, French diplomacy has been gripped by a delusion of grandeur: the idea of as une puissance musulmane, 'a Muslim power' - a phrase that has a new and sinister echo now. France
French diplomats, determined to outdo their British and German rivals in great-power politics, were also convinced that
had a special mission civilisatrice in the Islamic world. Yet their sentimental orientalism was entirely compatible with an institutional anti-Semitism that is documented in shocking detail by Pryce-Jones. The rise of Zionism transformed this anti-Semitism from a mere prejudice, odious perhaps but peripheral to foreign policy, into a distorting mirror which motivated and reinforced the fatal misjudgements that have led France to its present predicament. France
It’s on the Kid's reading list.
And while we’re on the Jew hatred topic, take a look at Victor Davis Hanson’s latest blog post where he speculates about why
On this Christmas day there is a terrible amount of injustice in the world. All of
Tibethas simply been absorbed by . Greek Cyprus is still occupied by an illegitimate Turkish state. China Iranis killing innocents in and violating UN accords to get the bomb. In Iraq Darfurthere is a real genocide. Somali Islamists are killing Ethiopians. Hezbollah and are trying to destroy Lebanese democracy. The list of injustice and carnage could be expanded. Syria
…The answer can only be that something about Israel—not any facts that it is uniquely harsh to its neighbors by the world’s standards—infuriates a few elite Westerners to the point of driving them out on the streets of Fresno at Christmas. And that singular emotion that privileges purported Israeli felonies over all the others in the world, I submit, can only be explicable in terms of hating the notion of a Jewish state.
In this, The Kid thinks VDH is mostly wrong (a rare thing for him.) Surely, in the constant condemnation of
What we are seeing is a general hatred of the West. The reason