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Macron, Chateaubriand and Jerusalem

by Claude Berger*




In 1806, the great Chateaubriand, returning from Jerusalem, wrote: 

« Penetrate in the residence of this people, you will find it in a frightful misery, making read a mysterious book to children who, in their turn, make read it to their children. What they did five thousand years ago, these people still do. He witnessed the ruin of Jerusalem seventeen times; and nothing can discourage him; nothing can prevent him from turning his gaze to Sion. When we see the Jews dispersed over the earth, according to the word of God, we are no doubt surprised: but to be struck with supernatural astonishment, we must find them in Jerusalem; we must see these legitimate masters of Judea as slaves and foreigners in their own country; you have to see them waiting, under all oppressions, for a king who must deliver them. If anything among the nations bears the character of a miracle, we think that character is here. (Chateaubriand, Itinerary from Paris to Jerusalem).

In 2017, Macron, who had become president, told us of his "concern" that Jerusalem was finally recognized, as of right, as the property of "these legitimate masters of Judea, slaves and foreigners in their own country" by a realistic American president endorsing a situation of unification of Jerusalem which dates back to 1967, a situation which in practice ensures free access to the holy places of the three religions concerned. By inquiring, the president-small?-could discover that when Jordan seized the eastern part of Jerusalem from 1947 to 1967, the Jews no longer had access to the Wall and synagogues and cemeteries were then destroyed.

He could then refrain from advocating “negotiation” under international auspices, whereas these, for the most part, have so far had no other purpose than to put constraining pressure on Israel in order to abound in the Palestinian direction. not to recognize a state of the Jewish people and to prevent any presence of Jews in a future state, as is the rule in many Arab-Muslim countries.

Hamas, Hezbollah and the rising Iranian power go further: they want the eradication of Israel and the genocide of its population.

This rejection of the Jewish fact and of the Jewish people, this anti-Semitism of Muslim origin, took concrete form in the past in the status of submission imposed on the Jews, just as the alley, expulsion or the ghetto were imposed on them in Christian Europe and all just as the status of the Jews was imposed in Vichy France and just as the yellow star and extermination were imposed in Nazi Europe. Here again, the Grand Chateaubriand had seen the potential future of the effects of the arrival of the labor market and the market for products of the industrial era on such a Koranic cultural matrix that had not known any Reform.

Some two centuries ago, the same great Chateaubriand, delivered this still topical statement: " Will a new Orient be formed? What will come of it? Will we receive the deserved punishment for having taught the modern art of arms to peoples whose social state is based on slavery and polygamy? Have we carried civilization abroad, or have we brought barbarism within Christendom? What will result from the new interests, the new political relations, the creation of the powers which may arise in the Levant? No one can tell. I do not allow myself to be dazzled by steamboats and railways; by the sale of the products of manufactures and by the fortune of a few French, English, German, and Italian soldiers, enlisted in the service of a pasha: all that is not civilization. We will perhaps see the return, by means of the disciplined troops of the future Ibrahims, of the perils which threatened Europe in the time of Charles Martel, and from which generous Poland later saved us. (Chateaubriand, Memories from beyond the grave, Volume 2, page 390).

And there again the president – ​​the little one? – only seems to have in mind the potential contracts, Iranian among others, that he hopes to obtain for his shop, business being business?

It is therefore useful to recall what stands in the way of peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

In 1947 the Arab-Palestinian movement led by the Nazi mufti, who had been stationed in Berlin for two years alongside his friend Hitler and exfiltrated by France on the liberation to escape English justice, refused the partition plan, driven by a single obsession. : the refusal of a Jewish state and the belief in pan-Islamism to drive out "Jewish intruders". This is followed by the occupation of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem by Jordan, but also the victory of the nascent Israel on the share granted to it.

This refusal of the State of Israel as the State of the Jewish people - which nevertheless has 20 percent of Arab Muslims or Christians enjoying the same rights as Israelis - (what some people call "apartheid" without laughing) - is still current and explains why Abbas's party still rejects direct negotiations and does not consider welcoming Jews into a future Palestinian state.

Palestinian Islamism, at the origin of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is therefore still present and influential in the discourse and actions of Fatah, Abbas's party, which does not suppress terrorism, far from it. And if the Palestinians have their refugees from 1948, the Jews also have theirs expelled from Arab-Muslim countries by the pan-Islamist coalition of the Arab world of the time.

It is therefore time to welcome Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in order to promote a realistic outcome to the conflict by satisfying reasonable Palestinian aspirations for peaceful coexistence.

This is what seems to be taking shape with the American and Saudi initiatives. Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is also said to have invited Mahmud Abbas to accept a demilitarized Palestine in areas A and B which he occupies, with Abu Dis as its capital, because, need we remember, there was never a state Palestinian capital or a Palestinian capital called Jerusalem.

But it is also time for Europe, apart from the Czech Republic which welcomed the American decision, to examine and reject the part of its cultural unconscious which makes it demonize Israel and vote for resolutions hostile to the UN and Unesco, resolutions that abound in the direction of Islamism without directing the Palestinians in the direction of peaceful coexistence. Let's not forget that anti-Semitism (now mutated into anti-Zionism) has a long history in Europe and in France.

After the time of the rouelle, its secularized forms were expressed on the far right as well as on the far left. Marx, Proudhon, Bakounine, Fourier are counterparts to Drumont, Toussenel, Rebatet, Céline, without studying the effects of their anti-Semitism on the religiosity of their ideologies.

The great Chateaubriand had foreseen the consequences of Islamism on the civilization of France.

Can we hope that Macron devotes himself to reading it? Word of a star bearer in the time of Vichy.

*     Author of “Why anti-Semitism? » and « Itinerary of a Jew of the Century » published by Éditions de Paris


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