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as pertains to France

Reader comment on item: The Scramble for Europe

Submitted by David (United States), Apr 18, 2022 at 19:20

Of tangential relevance to this subject, I would like, with the author's permission, to comment on the bearing of this and related questions to the French election. I noticed a recent tweet in which the author lamented that Marine Le Pen is "the same" as President Macron on the Israeli Palestinian conflict, but better on issues of assimilation and demographics and in particular, better for the Jews of France.

France faces a demographic calamity. This cannot be underestimated or ignored. But I will simply say that until recently, Macron as well has worked to promote the integration of the poorly assimilated Maghreb population in France. It's not clear that Mme Le Pen has any better ideas in this regard, and while Monsieur Macron is backpeddling right now and fighting her on the issue of banning burqas, it's not clear that he really intends to retreat from the longstanding position of the French establishment that the unassimilated population needs to reform its ways. Le Pen, however, has notably added to her demands a desire that the French Jews should also not wear the yarmelke. There is a reason why French Jewry is very suspect of her, including French Jews affiliated with her party. Because she has rightly earned this suspicion.

On a side note, while Macron has certainly left much to be desired on the Israeli Palestinian issue-- serving as the chief opponent within the EU of Israel's extension of sovereignty to the Jordan Valley for example in the summer of 2020-- his ambassador to Israel made some remarks suggesting the prospect of a profound shift following the Abraham Accords, declaring that France "will not negotiate for the Palestinians" and even saying that they may revisit their preferred solution to the conflict.

I will humbly suggest that there is no value added proposition to a Le Pen Presidency. Except, perhaps, the prospect that French Jews will leave and immigrate to Israel, strengthening Israel's Jewish demography. Oftentimes the people with the most skin in the game, so to speak, know the most about what is involved. French Jews are deeply suspect of her. Given her recent and surprising reversals on the Palestinian issue, toward a more Arabist position than any French President in memory, I think it is wise to listen to the French Jewish community regarding whatever "success" she could portend regarding the improvement of the lives of French Jews.

Namely, I think we should listen to the message they are broadcasting rather loudly, to the effect that she promises nothing but immiseration for them as well.

And even in the unlikely event she is elected, and even in the unlikely event she would consistently try to pursue some integrationism for the alienated and increasingly extreme Muslim population of France, one must ask what success she would have in such a project with absolutely zero institutional support to back her in the French legislature. France may or may not prevail in its struggle to preserve its culture. Prospects at the moment do not seem bright. But a reviled figure from the margins of the political spectrum is likely to have more trouble pursuing such a goal than someone who is accepted, however grudgingly, by the French establishment.

I've personally wished Le Pen some success in the past. Recent comments on her part have caused me to reevaluate my position, and my assumption that she is in any way much different from her father. But one thing has always been a constant about her. She would not be able to govern with any ease.

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

To me, the most important issue in France concerns stopping the mass immigration from outside Europe. That's why I prefer Le Pen over Macron.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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