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Charles De Gaulle and the Flame of French Resistance:

Today is the anniversary of the 1890 birth of Charles De Gaulle, perhaps the greatest French leader since Charlemagne. His greatest moment came shortly after the French government had surrendered to the Nazis. In a radio broadcast from London, he delivered what would become France's most famous speech, the "Appeal of June 18." The speech concluded:

Believe me, I speak to you with full knowledge of the facts and tell you that nothing is lost for France. The same means that overcame us can bring us to a day of victory. For France is not alone! She is not alone! She is not alone! She has a vast Empire behind her. She can align with the British Empire that holds the sea and continues the fight. She can, like England, use without limit the immense industry of United States.

This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war is not finished by the battle of France. This war is a world-wide war. All the faults, all the delays, all the suffering, do not prevent there to be, in the world, all the necessary means to one day crush our enemies. Vanquished today by mechanical force, we will be able to overcome in the future by a superior mechanical force.

The destiny of the world is here. I, General of Gaulle, currently in London, invite the officers and the French soldiers who are located in British territory or who would come there, with their weapons or without their weapons, I invite the engineers and the special workers of armament industries who are located in British territory or who would come there, to put themselves in contact with me.

Whatever happens, the flame of the French resistance not must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished. Tomorrow, as today, I will speak on Radio London.

A special section of the Charles De Gaulle website provides more information, and the full text, in French. My National Review Online article about the speech is here.

France's current situation is not as terrible as its position on June 17, 1940, but modern France has, in effect, surrendered sovereignty over a significant portion of its cities to Jew-hating totalitarian thugs. I hope that the French of the early 21st century will, as did so many of their parents and grandparents, develop the nerve to resist and to fight back in the current world-wide war against another manifestation of totalitarian Evil.


UPDATE: For those of you looking for more information on French anti-Semitism and the violent "youths" of the French suburbs, here's a start: NY Sun, Jan. 21, 2004 (article by French journalist, "French Muslims of Arab descent are usually religious Muslims and unreconstructed anti-Semites."); NY Times, Nov. 18, 2003 (blog reprint)("Reflecting concern that disaffected Muslim youths are behind anti-Semitic acts in France, President Jacques Chirac on Monday called an emergency high-level meeting to approve measures to stop attacks on Jewish sites."); Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs ("Youth from the immigrant community also have prevented, in many schools, the teaching of the Shoah."). If you want a longer treatment of the subject in French, read the books Les territoires perdus de la République and France, prend garde de perdre ton âme, which detail the direct connection between the rise of anti-Semitism in France and the disaffected "youths."

Of course there will be many people who will see the evidence, and attempt somehow to deny it. Others will try to make excuses for the Jew-haters -- as if attacking Jews were somehow an understandable response to the French unemployment rate. But General De Gaulle recognized, as does Mr. Sarkozy, that the war against the Jews is merely an advanced battle in a war against Western Civilization.

James Balmer (mail):
Karl der Grosse wasn't French, nor was Markgraf Hrudland
11.22.2005 3:40pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Yes, join the Muslim-hating totalitarian thugs in a world war against the Jew-hating totalitarian thugs. Hurrah for the New Crusades!
11.22.2005 3:45pm
gvibes (mail):
What's this "surrendered sovereignty over a significant portion of its cities to Jew-hating totalitarian thugs" all about? I know nothing of this. Any links out there?
11.22.2005 3:47pm
JosephSlater (mail):
I'm Jewish and I take anti-semitism quite seriously. I also frequently vacation in France, have spent a lot of time in a number of French cities (including but not limited to Paris), and have some French friends. That does not mean I love all things about France. But in my opinion, the claim that France has "surrendered sovereignty over a significant portion of its cities to Jew-hating totalitarian thugs" belongs to the bizarre and hateful fantasy world of folks like Bill O'Reilly, and not on a serious law blog.
11.22.2005 3:55pm
JohnAnnArbor:
But in my opinion, the claim that France has "surrendered sovereignty over a significant portion of its cities to Jew-hating totalitarian thugs" belongs to the bizarre and hateful fantasy world of folks like Bill O'Reilly, and not on a serious law blog.

So, would you walk, wearing something obvious that declares you to be Jewish, through one of the neighborhoods that was torching cars by the dozen over the last few weeks?
11.22.2005 4:00pm
Just Edited:
Um, aside from the rather facile and relatively unsupported comment about Jew-hating thugs, there are problems with canonizing De Gaulle. First, his alleged "greatest moment," the 18 June address, was heard by very few Frenchmen. Second, De Gaulle owes his bacon to Churchill fighting for him at Tehran, Casablanca, and Yalta (why do you think France has a seat on teh Security Council). Third, I wonder if any reader of this blog would agree that anybody is a "great leader" when that person claims to be the "saviour" of a country and then fashions a Constitution that enshrines his own power.

Yes, De Gaulle was a resistance leader, but only one among many (although far too few compared to the collaborators). And yes he made necessary concessions on Algeria, but only at the expense of creating a "new" republican order centered around himself, and which is inherently unproductive without him (see France's political mess since 1969).
11.22.2005 4:15pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

Yes, join the Muslim-hating totalitarian thugs in a world war against the Jew-hating totalitarian thugs. Hurrah for the New Crusades!
I must have missed this: where did David say anything that suggests hatred of Muslims? President Bush has been very careful to emphasize that our battle is with a relatively small fanatical group within Islam that is quite prepared to kill Muslims in vast numbers, blow up mosques, and otherwise give indications that they are pretty poor Muslims.

Totalitarian thugs: let's discuss what that really means. An acquaintance (Ernst Ghermann) grew up in Germany. An uncle of his said something uncomplimentary (although hardly seditious) about Hitler to a co-worker as he was leaving the factory. By the time Ernst's uncle had bicycled home, the Gestapo was waiting for him. He spent six weeks in a jail cell being interrogated--and if he had not been an engineer, and vital to the war effort, he might not have returned home at all.

If you can respond to this, I guess the "Muslim-hating totalitarian thugs" aren't doing their job, are they?
11.22.2005 4:19pm
Steve:
So, would you walk, wearing something obvious that declares you to be Jewish, through one of the neighborhoods that was torching cars by the dozen over the last few weeks?

I doubt many of us, Jewish or otherwise, would gladly walk through a neighborhood in the midst of rioting.

To address the question on the merits, I have seen no evidence that the riots were motivated by anti-Semitism, but I have seen plenty of evidence that they were motivated by anger towards the French power structure which, in their view, has marginalized the immigrant population for years.
11.22.2005 4:26pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I doubt many of us, Jewish or otherwise, would gladly walk through a neighborhood in the midst of rioting.
Would you want through most of these neighbors when they were not in riot wearing a yarmulke? Tell me truthfully: do you think that your risk of injury is equal to that of a Frenchman who was not obviously Jewish?

To address the question on the merits, I have seen no evidence that the riots were motivated by anti-Semitism, but I have seen plenty of evidence that they were motivated by anger towards the French power structure which, in their view, has marginalized the immigrant population for years.
I don't believe that anyone has claimed that the riots were motivated by anti-Semitism.

It is the case, however, that there has been a startling increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France in the last few years because Islamofascists have encouraged such behavior among French Muslims.
11.22.2005 4:36pm
JohnAnnArbor:
I have seen no evidence that the riots were motivated by anti-Semitism

Not the point. Those neighborhoods are steeped in the very same "hate the Jew" stuff that is common in Arab nations. The spillover is that Jewish cemeteries are routinely vandalized and anti-Jewish violence is so common the French government feels the need to routinely deny that it's rising.
11.22.2005 4:39pm
TDPerkins (mail):
Defending wrote:


"Yes, join the Muslim-hating totalitarian thugs in a world war against the Jew-hating totalitarian thugs. Hurrah for the New Crusades!"


And it occurs to me that, yeah, I had you pegged for that sort.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
11.22.2005 4:47pm
Gordon (mail):
DeGaulle was the last great French military/political leader. He wasn't perfect, but he was the man for the times.

I don't see any man for the times today in France, unless it is Sarkozy.
11.22.2005 4:56pm
Jack S. (mail) (www):
It is the case, however, that there has been a startling increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France in the last few years because Islamofascists have encouraged such behavior among French Muslims.

Really? And no starting increase in attacks against mosques or false accusations of a bands of young northern Africans (read muslims) attacking a pregnant jewish teenager on the RER?

Stop talking about situations that you receive only filtered American news on, and that includes you D. Kopel. Your title as a lawyer is highly compromised by you apparent lack of objectivity.

Until you start reading French news sources, and when I say that, I mean all of them. Think before you make such broad generalizations.

[DK: Sorry to disappoint you, but like almost everyone in France, I don't have time to read all the French new sources. I do, however, read Le Figaro's weekly edition for American francophones; the current issue has several articles on the government's surrender of sovereignty in the Muslim suburbs. Chirac actually promised to restore government authority there back in 1995, but then backed down.]
11.22.2005 5:08pm
Steveo987 (mail):
But in my opinion, the claim that France has "surrendered sovereignty over a significant portion of its cities to Jew-hating totalitarian thugs" belongs to the bizarre and hateful fantasy world of folks like Bill O'Reilly, and not on a serious law blog.

Unfortunately, this sort of dreck is becomming more common on this site. See Todd Zywicki's "Lysenkoist" comment yesterday for another regretable example.
11.22.2005 5:16pm
JohnAnnArbor:
Until you start reading French news sources

Yep, like your typical AFP article on the Middle East that lauds the Iraqi "resistance" and treats Hamas as a respectable organization.
11.22.2005 5:28pm
Colin:
Steveo: It should be mentioned that because the author deleted his "Lysenkoist" slur, for better or for worse it can't be seen at the Conspiracy. I've seen it preserved at several other blogs, however, so Google is your friend.

/slightly offtopic
11.22.2005 6:18pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Steve, Steve0987, and Jack S. made points with which I agree. Thanks. Beyond that ...

Not that anecdote is data, but since others brought it up, I would ask my interlocutors this: what makes you think I *haven't* walked through neighborhoods (say, in Paris) that have African and other immigrant populations and that I don't "look Jewish"? In fact, I've had a number of dealings in such neighborhoods, and they've all been perfectly pleasant, even given that my French comprehension often fails me when confronted with strong accents. Yet people have been quite nice and helpful.

I'm not naive about anti-semitism within some strains of Islam. I'm also well aware that French cities (like cities everywhere) have some neighborhoods that are tough and crime-ridden, period.

But I'm also not jumping on the bandwagon of French or Europe-bashing that is too common on the right, especially after the Iraq war. And I continue to be disappointed when I see, on serious sites such as this, a near-hysterical claim that France has "surrendered sovereignty over a significant portion of its cities to Jew-hating totalitarian thugs."

I note that nobody has even tried to offer any proof of that claim. Instead, they seem interested in where I would be comfortable walking. I hope I've answered that.
11.22.2005 6:45pm
carmachu2@msn.com (mail):
Until you start reading French news sources, and when I say that, I mean all of them. Think before you make such broad generalizations.



Why would we do that? The ones that I run through a translator are so obviously bias and slanted, that getting the straight shoot on the situation was so far out of wack, you had to lok to blogs and other information centers to find out anything useful.
11.22.2005 6:55pm
Tom Tildrum:
Apart from anything else, I was amused to see that the translation showed his name as "General of Gaulle."
11.22.2005 7:31pm
ronbo (mail):
I have to agree, on the whole, with Joseph Slater. In 2004 and especially in 2003 the pervasiveness and violence of antisemitism in France was frightening. Jewish neighborhoods in Paris were really tense.

I found the level of antisemitism considerably lower this spring, for some reason (not the government "crackdown", which never happened). Maybe I'm wrong but these riots just doesn't seem the same as the previous violence - which had the look and feel of proto-pogroms.
11.22.2005 9:24pm
Defending the Indefensible:
TDP:
Apparently you do not understand sarcasm.

Clayton:

I must have missed this: where did David say anything that suggests hatred of Muslims? President Bush has been very careful to emphasize that our battle is with a relatively small fanatical group within Islam that is quite prepared to kill Muslims in vast numbers, blow up mosques, and otherwise give indications that they are pretty poor Muslims.

Quoting David Kopel: "I hope that the French of the early 21st century will, as did so many of their parents and grandparents, develop the nerve to resist and to fight back in the current world-wide war against another manifestation of totalitarian Evil."

Totalitarians on the left of me, totalitarians on the right, here I am...stuck in the middle.
11.22.2005 11:03pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
David, you have no idea what you are talking about. De Gaulle was infamous for uttering anti-semitic remarks. In the 60's, after his alliance with Israel disintegrated, he was heard by many people close to him saying things like "the jews are a horrible race" and similar such things. Look it up before you post. And like the other commenter said, it is customary to actually link to some sources when you make assertions. You have a habit of saying outrageous things and backing it up with zero evidence.
11.23.2005 12:08am
hey (mail):
For those interested in facts and data rather than anecdote, please see the national post's series on Jews in France. Part 1 http://tinyurl.com/7te3g Part 2 http://tinyurl.com/7kptk and Part 3 http://tinyurl.com/alogu.

Highlights: hundreds of attacks on Jews annually, Jewish schools banning the wearing of any Jewish symbols off premises, Jewish schools not having any distinguishing marks, radically increasing emigration of French Jews to Israel and Canada...

While some here apparently have no fear of walking in the cites (no accent sorry) wearing a skullcap or star of david, the french jewish council advises against it.

Crazytrain: that's just the kind of bigoted bloviation that is expected from a far left democrat. Nice how you deny being part of western civilisation. The fact that my ancestors likely did unpleasant things to Jews doesn't deny the fact that western civilisation is based on Jewish ideas and history. The fact that so many people you despise view a jewish carpenter as a messiah does tend to indicate that Western civilisation, whether it wanted to admit it or not, has some very Jewish roots.

You also should note that all of the residents of the lands surrounding the mediterranean were Romans up until the Arab conquest. The fact that those in Arab countries deny their history and origins to proclaim that they were there first, when they were demonstrably not and that they continue to persecute the original inhabitants mercilessly, is not the West's crime. The "West" is a civilisation that has many non-european parts, as you may have noticed.

As for De Gaulle: horrible man. One of the worst mistakes of the war was in recreating France. The worst, of course, was not going all the way to Moscow, but recreating a France that was incapable of defending itself and placing it under the control of an idiotic dictator definitely ranks highly. Yes I'm aware that De Gaulle was elected several times and even left office when he lost. Looking over his record in and out of government, would you really deny that he was rather undemocratic?
11.23.2005 1:37am
gvibes (mail):
I read the update


I originally read the "surrended sovereignity to anti-semitic totalitarian thugs" to imply that "totalitarian thugs" are governing various areas of France. I see, from the update, that the blogger was more referring to a form of violent anti-semitism.


As a person of Dutch heritage (i.e., not "looking Jewish" at all), I was brutally beaten in an attempted mugging right outside a train station in Brussels (Gare du Nord, to be specific) in broad daylight by several persons of North African descent. I would imagine that "looking jewish" and wandering through more "ghetto" areas would be an invitation to disaster.

11.23.2005 11:34am
markm (mail):
Exactly how would one "look Jewish" to a Muslim, short of wearing a yarmulke and a star of David? The traits that make some people look Jewish to Europeans or Americans (big hooked nose, darker skin) are inherited from middle-eastern ancestors, and would be absolutely unexceptional to an Arab. It's the European traits that would make a Jew stand out in, say, Gaza.
11.23.2005 4:49pm