Gallic Gall…writes Michael Kuttner

January 16, 2015 by Michael Kuttner
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The capacity for France as a country and the French themselves to display unmitigated hypocrisy has been on full display for all to witness.

The sickening part unfortunately is the equally gullible and dare one say blithely ignorant or biased international political establishment, media and many spokespersons of various groups and communities.

Michael Kuttner

Michael Kuttner

The ability of the French to perform contortions in the face of hatred against its Jewish citizens is not something of recent vintage but it rather goes back a long way, well before the revolution and certainly subsequent to that event which was supposed to herald an enduring age of fraternity & equality. In actual fact, much like the Russian revolution, which was also seen as the dawn of Jewish liberation from pogroms & religious hatred, the end result was more of the same.

These thoughts went through my mind as the events of the last week unfolded in all their gory detail. Quite clearly the French were not alone in their frantic efforts to salvage the unsalvageable but their performance has certainly elevated them into a class of their own. With typical flair and admittedly much help from their friends they have staged a Hollywood production made for television and the mass media. As I watched the drama and then the subsequent hoopla I could not help having distinctly non politically correct thoughts.

Without harking back to the Middle Ages and the Church inspired French mobs baying for Jewish blood, my memories took me back to the days of Alfred Dreyfus as he faced the Parisian multitudes screaming “death to the Jews” as he was stripped of his rank and shipped off to Devil’s Island. In the crowd was an assimilated Jew called Herzl whose encounter with raw French Jew hatred that day made him realize that there was no future for Jews in Europe and that only a strong Jewish State could bring some sort of protection. Dreyfus was eventually exonerated thanks to Emile Zola and other brave French citizens but the reservoir of Jew hatred remained undiminished. It resurfaced at periodic intervals such as when Leon Blum was appointed Premier and with the assistance of rabid newspapers released its poisonous pus into the mainstream of French political and civil society. Thus, by the time the Germans invaded and the French threw in the towel, the ground was well prepared for Vichy and its army of willing helpers. These ranged from Government officials to the police force plus other agencies of the State who all conspired to denounce, round up and eventually deport thousands of French Jews to Auschwitz and other similar destinations of hell. Yes, there were brave French citizens who hid, protected and saved Jews, but they were a minority battling evil carried out by a mob poisoned with hatred of French Jewish citizens and sanctioned by the highest French authorities.

At the end of the war, the French like the Austrians and others claimed they were themselves victims and conveniently tucked away in their collective memory any guilt for the atrocities carried out with their enthusiastic assistance.

Fast forward to the present time. For the last few years French Jews have faced an ever-increasing avalanche of rising hatred and violence against themselves and their institutions. The unpalatable truth (for those addicted to non PC) is that France can claim the dubious distinction of having the most anti-Jewish incidents of any European country. I have heard horrendous stories from French neighbours which reminded me of the accounts my parents told me of their experiences in Germany during the 1930’s. The assaults, harassment, intimidation, verbal and physical threats against Jewish adults and children alike are bad enough. Add to that, though, the terrorist shootings in Jewish schools, synagogues and shops and you will get some inkling of the scope of the problem. Bear in mind that all these events have taken place over a period of years and after each such outrage the French authorities have expressed “remorse” and promised to do better in protecting Jews. All to no avail it seems.

Everyone knows but officialdom would rather deny that the source of this murderous mayhem is Islamic in origin. When the terrorists scream Allah al Akbar and revenge for the Prophet we know that they are followers of Islam and not Martians from some distant galaxy as Obama, Cameron, Hollande and others would have us believe. Here is where hypocrisy kicks in. Consider the following:

Where were the millions of “Charlies” when Jewish children were murdered in cold blood at their school in Toulouse?

Where were they when for the last few years Jews have been assaulted and murdered in France?

Where were the “je Suis Juif” signs this week?

The Charlie frenzy is a brilliant PR job but merely highlights that French and other Charlies are more interested in freedom of expression for controversial cartoonists than in combating Jew hatred.

Despite evasive mumbling, it seems that the “moral” French authorities did not want Israel’s PM to attend the rally in Paris. It is not hard to understand why, because the presence of Israel at such a parade would draw attention to a very uncomfortable truth. The Jewish State is the prime target of Islamic terror and, having its PM attend, highlights the origin and source of the scourge, something the other hypocrites are desperate to avoid mentioning. When the PM decided nevertheless to attend, the French, acting true to character, invited Abbas and plunked him right in the front row within kissing distance of Hollande. When Netanyahu had the gall to elbow his way to the front row, having been relegated no doubt by the furious French to the second row, all hell broke out amongst the media and political opponents at home and abroad. In actual fact if anyone should have had pride of place it was Israel’s PM and not the Hamas/Fatah promoter of terror and hate.

It gets even better though. Also taking part in this parade was the Turkish PM whose country hosts Hamas, issues xenophobic statements against Israel and in 2013 had more journalists in jail than any other country. Also included was the Foreign Minister of Russia where journalists are hounded and jailed on a regular basis, Bahrain which targets journalists and Qatar which finances and sponsors terror groups. Is this not the height of hypocrisy on the part of the French hosts? At least Obama was not present because having someone who has banned the words Islamic terror would have only rubbed even more salt into a raw wound.

I watched the rally at the Grande Synagogue which was attended by Netanyahu, Hollande and other French dignitaries. The glacial expressions of the French as the assembled multitude of Jews shouted Am Yisrael Chai (The People of Israel live) and bravo Bibi was a joy to behold and therefore I was not surprised when Hollande and entourage left as Netanyahu got up to speak and left. The spontaneous burst of cheering and applause at the end of his speech said it all.

This leads me to recount my own personal exposure to French hypocrisy on a grand scale. My paternal grandparents were deported from Karlsruhe, Germany, to Gurs in France from where they were transported (via various places) to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Their transportation from France to Auschwitz was facilitated by the enthusiastic support of the French railways system and its employees. For 72 years the French railways denied any culpability and it was only after some years of agitation & pressure by various groups that towards the end of 2014 they admitted some sort of belated moral responsibility and offered to donate 60 million Euros to a US administered fund as compensation for those they transported to their grizzly deaths. As a grandson of two of these victims and suspicious that all was not as it sounded, I was moved to make further inquiries. I received a very sympathetic response from one of the US attorneys who had been instrumental in pushing for this long overdue and belated “gesture.” His reply did not surprise me but I was nevertheless astounded by his revelations. Here is the relevant part of his explanation:

Although the final terms have not been published, it is clear that, contrary to our efforts to influence these discussions and against our protestations, the agreement reached between the State Department and France primarily benefits only surviving deportees and the spouses of non-surviving deportees, and their heirs. That means that children who lost both parents after deportation will receive nothing under this agreement, nor will the grandchildren or other relatives. Moreover, the agreement will not come into force until and only if the French parliament approves it sometime early in 2015. For this reason there is no system established yet officially to handle inquiries or claims.

We plan to continue our efforts to seek justice from SNCF on behalf of the families of those deported and murdered in the Nazi camps.

Note: The number of actual surviving deportees is miniscule and would only include babies or very young children deported who may still be alive. Orphans, who like my late father managed to escape elsewhere, are NOT eligible. Most of them are also deceased. This despicable charade was concocted and cooked up between France and the US State Department, over the protestations of lawyers trying to obtain delayed justice. Moreover not one Euro will be paid until the French Parliament approves and a system is put in place to administer and distribute the funds. By that time there will be no survivors left and the question then is what happens to the money?

Is this not a classic case of French hypocrisy aided and abetted by the US State Department? Its cynical audacity is breathless but given the track record of both the French and the State Department when it comes to Jews, one should not be amazed.

President Hollande and other leaders maintain that the French fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion. Denial continues to reign.

The French PM has stated that France without Jews would be a failure. I have got news for him. France is already a failure closely followed by most of Europe and Scandinavia.

Jews in Europe are caught between growing Islamic terror and a resurgent fascist right which will be the beneficiary of the increasing mayhem. The sooner they move to their real home the better it will be.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in the region.


6 Responses to “Gallic Gall…writes Michael Kuttner”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Michael Kuttner, I am sorry for your grievous personal history. I know you did not write of it with this kind of individual response in mind, and yet the outline you give of your family’s experience and the murder of your grandparents is raw and immediate in nature, and I cannot but respond to it.

    I am aware of French history in relation to Jews and know to an extent French literature, as well as French cultural and societal mores. I am of the opinion that the extremely intense response by so many of the French to the killing of the cartoonists and journalists at the offices of Charlie Ebdo was triggered far more by what they saw as an attack on their rights to publish than it was by the men and the single woman killed. If these people had been in a factory or anywhere else the response would have been different, not as huge. The French are an ‘abstract’ people who favour ‘intellectual’ discourse and ideas, analysis to the point of obscurity, as in their literary criticism. The fact is the Charlie Ebdo magazine print run was usually only around 60,000 copies, so, although part of French publishing output for 60 odd years, not exactly every French man or woman’s cup of tea. Now, of course, it’s taken up with a vengeance because no one can interfere with the language or ideas of the French! To them that is what is supremely important. (I’m not implying it shouldn’t be important.) To them those dead cartoonists and journalists represent that, I think, more than the human beings they were. If this indicates a certain ‘coldness’ that would seem aberrant, it doesn’t make it incorrect, just complex. Under those circumstances the death of the four Jewish people and the police were also secondary – without the dimension of the publication attached. I think ‘Je Suis Charlie’ was related to the written published language first and to people second.

    I will probably be accused of over-intellectualising, however it’s important to be able to include all elements of an issue in order to more fully understand it. It doesn’t for a moment excuse them for their hypocrisy, their history of inhumanity or anything else.

    I am angry at the initial French response to Netanyahu and glad he had the courage to stand his ground. What a farce it all is. Although I am sure there were many well-meaning ordinary people involved, and, on some level, they will realise the threat they now live with and be changed by that. President Hollande had better get his act together and shift his stance on the separateness of Islam from the problem, for the sake of the people of France. His attempt at religious tolerance is destructive in this case, although perhaps aimed at preventing civil unrest on the streets.

  2. Patrick Mehr says:

    Two new eBooks provide chilling evidence of France’s institutional antisemitism during the Dreyfus affair, the very comprehensive by lawyer Jean-Denis Bredin of the Académie française and which includes original documents, including from France’s antisemitic press of that time.

  3. Jeff gould says:


  4. Michael Kay says:

    Wonderful article.
    May ALL Jews listen and take notice.
    The French are a meretricious lot who don’t deserve any sympathy or cooperation from any Jew and/or Israel. They are getting rid of the Jews. Good luck to them. May they enjoy the Moslems who will run their county soon, anyway.

    FULL CREDIT TO BIBI for having the guts to show up at the march in Paris and put himself in the front row with world leaders where he belongs. AM ISRAEL CHAI.

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