ט"ו לחודש האחד עשר תשע"ה
Tu b'Shevat 5775
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, January 29, 2015
Earlier this week, before leaving for Auschwitz to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet liberation of the Nazi German extermination camp, President Francois Hollande appealed to French Jews, saying that “You, French people of the Jewish faith, France is your country, your place is here, in your home.”
Earlier in January, in an interview in The Atlantic, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that “If 100,000 people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.”
What have we here? The country of Dreyfus– the country of Vichy and Drancy, Nobel Peace Prize winner Yasser Arafat’s home away from home, the country in which “Death to the Jews” has been yelled by mobs in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries—is this country actually waking up? (cont.)Esser Agaroth (2¢):
Chesler is quite right to criticize France. She quite right in pointing out the grave errors of other European countries, such as Holland, Germany, England, Italy, and the Scandinavia nations, in their handling of their Muslim immigrant populations.
Chesler is right again in her allusions to the double standards, and to the failure of Jewish assimilation. Of course, I would have liked her to have been a little pointed about this, but that was not the point of her piece.
I am not sure that wealthy and sophisticated French Jews will willingly leave lavish lives for an impoverished or uncertain future in Israel. Many wealthy German Jews lingered until it was too late to get out. Prime Minister Netanyahu is to be congratulated, not condemned, for welcoming French Jews “to the land of (their) forefathers.”Here, Chesler is right again. And, in particular, she is unfortunately right about the potential lack of willingness of French Jews to leave their familiar galuth (exile) of France for an uncertain and unfamiliar life in Israel. Without minimalizing the tragic loss of Jewish lives over the past several years by the violent hands of terrorists, these might very well be the only experiences strong enough to encourage French Jews to pick up and leave.
Chesler concludes with, what I consider to be, two very important pieces of information...
If France is so ready to arm each and every French Jew with their own bodyguard, I wonder why President Hollande exited the Great Synagogue of Paris when PM Netanyahu spoke?Pretty much says it all about the real attitudes of the French, as well as the American, governments toward Jews and Israel.
Likewise, how can we blame Netanyahu for accepting Congress’s invitation to speak—when President Obama did not see fit to send a single high profile representative to march in solidarity with France and the world, and given that he was able to bring a 30 person high-profile delegation to extend condolences upon the death of Saudi King Abdullah?
This is not about how safe or how well off Jews are in France or, yes, even in the U. S.
This is not about our "right" to live without fear of physical attack on our person or property.
This is about where Jews are supposed to be. If at all possible, Jews are supposed to reside, work, love, be challenged, struggle, and invest our blood, sweat, and tears in Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel), and nowhere else.
The gates were opened in 1948/תש"ח, and were widened in 1967/תשע"ה. There are no more excuses.
And, so I ask you, Dr. Chesler, when's your aliyah flight?