To some, the very word conjures images of romance: Maurice Chevalier, the Eiffel Tower, damp cobblestones under pale moonlight, elegant women sipping wine, and goofy black berets.
Me, I think of Vichy France. I think of the gendarmes enthusiastically rounding up French Jews, herding them into cattle cars, and shipping them to the crematoria of Auschwitz. All accomplished without the aid of a single German soldier. Even the SS were shocked at how efficiently and ruthlessly the French collaborated in the genocide of the Jewish people.
So: no love for French culture here at Seraphic Secret. In fact, screen a French movie and I won’t be watching. I prefer the New Wave cinema of Upper Volta.
In terms of geopolitical power, France has not mattered since World War II, when she folded like a cheap suit as the Nazis came calling. Churchill famously considered having Charles de Gaulle shot. In many ways, the French narcissist was a bigger problem than Hitler. At least Hitler did not claim to be an ally.
As far as winning the war, the French were less than useless.
But obviously, Obama feels differently. He thinks the French are, y’know, vital allies or something. So the White House is going all Louis XVI for President Francois Hollande of France.
In preparation for the state dinner, Mrs. Obama dressed first dogs Bo and Sunny in diamond necklaces and posed them for White House photographers.
Yes — the Obamas have gone all “Let them eat cake.”
I have to admit, I was perplexed. Obama has consistently treated America’s closest allies — England, Canada, Israel, and Poland — with contempt.
So what gives with Obama and France? How come Obama is all warm and fuzzy toward this particular American ally? Is it because France’s sky-high unemployment is the ideal for a Democrat/Obama economy? Is it because of the 751 Muslim neighborhoods that are no-go rape zones zones for non-Muslim women — a model for liberal tolerance of the intolerant? Or, given the avaricious character of the First Lady, does Michelle expect to score some fab-u-lous couture gowns from Chanel or Valentino — gratis, natch — by making super gentillesse to Hollande?
Yours truly was awake all night pondering this political puzzle with all the migraine-inducing perplexity usually reserved for string theory.
And then, at about four in the morning, it all made sense.
Consider: France is shedding her Jewish population faster than any other country in Europe. Indeed, French anti-Semitism has reached such a fever pitch that French Jews are turning out the lights in Paris and fleeing to Israel.
In fact, just a few days ago, 17,000 Frenchmen gathered in the streets of Paris screaming “Jews, France is not for you!”
No wonder Obama is so hot for France. Jew-haters are Obama’s favorite people.
By any standard, David Tibi is a French success story.
The 44-year-old dentist and father of five has a thriving practice and a house in the affluent Paris suburb of Vincennes. His wife is a doctor and he is a leading member of the Jewish community and holds a senior post in its Central Consistory of Paris.
But in early July, the Tibi family will pack their bags and join the thousands of Jews now leaving France. The house has been sold. A colleague will be handling the dental practice. The family is leaving on a one-way ticket to Israel.
“If my children are to live their full Jewish identity, their future is in Israel and not in France,” Tibi said during an interview at his office in northeastern Paris, an area packed with kosher stores and restaurants. “Many Jews feel this way. There’s a massive desire to leave.”
Worldwide, immigration to Israel has stagnated and even declined. But French Jews are bucking the trend. Last year, a record 3,270 French Jews made aliyah — or immigration to Israel — a 63 percent hike from 2012. The Jewish Agency, which promotes aliyah internationally, estimates that figure could spike to 5,000 as early as this year, dramatically changing the face of Israeli immigration as well as France’s own Jewish community, the largest in Western Europe.
…[R]ising anti-Semitism may be the strongest driver, manifest not only through rhetoric but also action. In 2012, a radical Islamist gunned down four people at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
More recently, two of Tibi’s children were taunted on a tram. Tibi filled out immigration papers three weeks ago, making good on a project he had contemplated for years.
“My son is always asking me why there are police in front of his Jewish school, why we need to be searched each time we go to the synagogue,” he said. “We are raising our children to live with this fear.”
What troubles Tibi most is the lack of response on the part of the French.
“Once we had one million French on the streets against anti-Semitism. Now we have three million on Facebook and Twitter who are supporting Dieudonne,” he said, referring to a controversial French comic who is known for his anti-Jewish discourse.
…Tibi, who is president of the Paris-area Jewish community, is watching the departures and listening to the talk. “It’s a snowball effect,” he said, predicting the exodus may reach 8,000 Jews a year.
The fallout is already evident, he added. Students are leaving Jewish schools. The community is searching for new leaders and reconsidering costly construction projects.
Tibi is feeling the loss in other ways. “I was born in France. I did my studies in France. I am extremely sad to leave a country that gave me a lot,” he said. “But sometimes even when you love, you have to leave.”
Source: Religion News Service, via Elder of Ziyon