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Casey Babb

France is not responsible for this terror

Analysts, academics, and so-called experts continually point out two things when trying to explain the waves of terrorism France has faced in recent years. First, France’s 135 year reign over Algeria is often cited as being the main impetus for their struggles with, and the pervasiveness of radical Islam within their country. The second main point, which is usually raised as a by-product of the first, is that French Muslims have been unable, both socially and economically, to integrate into French society on any meaningful level. While these points and events are undoubtedly part of the bigger picture that’s led to the current crisis in France, they imply that France is in some way responsible for the mess they find themselves in. This way of thinking is not only myopic, it’s offensive. France, you are not to blame. In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte convened a meeting called the Great Sanhedrin, named after the Jewish high court in ancient Israel. Napoleon didn’t feel like the Jews were integrating fast enough into French society, and so he organized a meeting with Jewish leaders to see where their allegiances lay: in Judaism, or in France? They were forced to choose. Over 130 years later at the onset of the Holocaust, Jews once again found themselves having to make life and death decisions in order to stay in France. Through 1940-1944, the Vichy Government in France headed by Philippe Pétain willingly collaborated with the Nazis and assisted them in rounding up the Jews for deportation. Over 70,000 Jews were taken from their homes. Most of them perished in concentration camps. Even to this day, Jews are fleeing France in record numbers because of rising anti-Semitism. So, what about Jewish uprisings and terrorist attacks throughout France? That minority group has certainly seen its fair share of… Read More