WASHINGTON, January 14, 2015 — In June 1940, the French, who had the largest standing army in Europe, lined the sidewalks that frame the Champs-Élysées. They wept as Hitler’s invading armies marched under the Arc de Triomphe and down the beautiful boulevard.
“This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country,” said French General Charles de Gaulle in a shortwave radio broadcast from London. “This war is not over as a result of the Battle of France. This war is a worldwide war. All the mistakes, all the delays, all the suffering, do not alter the fact that there are, in the world, all the means necessary to crush our enemies one day… The fate of the world depends on it.”
Almost a half decade later, what Winston Churchill called the “irresistible forces of outraged civilization” liberated the “City of Lights.” When de Gaulle entered Paris and walked down the same boulevard as did the occupying Germans years earlier, French snipers who cooperated with the Nazis fired on him. “There are many moments that go beyond each of our poor little lives,” said de Gaulle.
Last Sunday, millions of French citizens marched in defiance of unassimilated Islamic invaders determined to force their French hosts into subservience. World leaders locked arms and joined the marchers in answer to attacks by Islamic terrorists that left 17 dead.
Among the 60 world leaders in attendance was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He was not supposed to be there.
Socialist French President Fransois Hollande had specifically asked Netanyahu to stay away from the so-called anti-terror march.
However, with Jews having been specifically targeted for death in a European capital city – once again – Netanyahu felt compelled to speak for the victims by confronting radical Islam in France.
“As a soldier, I was wounded in an operation to free hostages [the raid on Entebbe, Uganda] who had been kidnapped on a Sabena airplane,” said Netanyahu. The French president rose and left the Great Synagogue of Paris as a public slap in the face to Israel’s head of state.
Radical Islamists, Netanyahu continued, seek “to impose a dark tyranny on the world, to return humanity one thousand years to the past. They trample anyone who does not share their path, first and foremost their Muslim brothers, but their greatest hatred is saved for Western culture, that same culture that respects freedom and equal rights – all the things they so despise… Radical Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because it is an organic part of the West. It rightly views Israel as an island of Western democracy and tolerance in an ocean of fanaticism and violence that it wishes to impose on the Middle East, Europe and the entire world.”
He reminded the Free World, which does the heavy-lifting for the so-called international community, that only by combatting “our shared enemy in a uniform manner will we know that we are on the path to victory… Israel will continue to fight against terror. Israel will continue to defend itself and we know that when we defend ourselves, we defend the entire civilized world.”
President Fransois Hollande had to know the Israeli prime minister’s words would obliquely address France’s ancient and still seething anti-Semitism.
France’s puppet, pro-German Vichy government began the systematic roundup of Jews in March 1941. And French trains transporting Jews to German death camps continued operating nearly one month after the Allies landed on Normandy Beach.
In 1980, when a bomb planted outside a Paris synagogue exploded prematurely, French Prime Minister Raymond Barre took to the airwaves to condemn the attack – sort of.
Though the bomb was intended to kill hundreds of worshipers as they exited the synagogue, Barre told the French public the device instead struck down “four innocent Frenchmen.”
France’s intellectual giant, Voltaire, once quipped, “The Jewish nation dares to display an irreconcilable hatred toward all nations, and revolts against all masters; always superstitious, always greedy for the well-being enjoyed by others, always barbarous – cringing in misfortune and insolent in prosperity.”
In the third volume of his epic work The History of Anti-Semitism, From Voltaire to Wagner, Leon Poliakov wrote, “Perhaps France is a particularly favorable land for grasping the homo antisemiticus in his pure state, precisely because in its very differentiated intellectual climate, men of this stamp stand out more sharply than other countries… Faced with Jews, their cognitive faculties cease to function normally.”
Avi Mayer, a spokesman for the Israeli immigration organization “Aliyah,” told NBC News, “There’s a sense among many French Jews that it’s simply unsafe to identify openly as a Jew in the streets of France.”
The organization estimates that 15,000 Jews will leave France in 2015.
“Any Jew who wishes to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed with open arms and warm and accepting hearts,” said Netanyahu to France’s Jews, “They will not arrive in a foreign land but rather the land of our forefathers.”
French General Charles de Gaulle re-entered the capital city of his nation thanks to the Allies that fought on the beaches of France in June 1944.
149 graves at Colleville-sur-Mer, sitting on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, serve as the final resting place for Jewish-American servicemen that gave the “last, full measure of devotion” to liberate the home of Voltaire and French President Fransois Hollande.