Monday, September 18, 2006

French elections, in "Haaretz"

Daniel Ben Simon in Haaretz is declaring it 1789 in France, thus conveniently turning my break from reading about the French Revolution into still more reading about the French Revolution, which reminds me why I study what I do. It's all everywhere!

Ben Simon worries that Le Pen will keep getting more popular, that the extreme left and right in France will take over, and that the Fifth Republic is kaput.

During the upcoming [French] elections, the question of the national identity of the country will be at stake. Quite a number of Frenchman fear the spread of the Israeli and American models, which replaced officialdom with a federation of identities and interest groups. Sarkozy is seen as someone who is liable to unite them around the fading values of the Republic. The question of religion will come up as well: One hundred-and-one years after its separation from the state, many Frenchmen are afraid that religion is returning to center stage. The law prohibiting the wearing of religious symbols inside schools did not calm the fever of the return to religion that has seized the large local Muslim community. There is a genuine fear that if the Muslims manage to organize themselves into a communal-ethnic structure, other communities are likely to follow suit.

Do many in France really think about their goverment in reference to the Israeli goverment? Or is that just something thrown in there for Haaretz readers? Regardless, I find it interesting that Haaretz would devote so much space to a story about France's government, a story that has nothing directly to do with Jews or Israel. I guess it's just implied that there are 600,000 Jews in France, and that enough people will care to read the thing. I did, for one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would a far right Le Pen style government be such a bad thing for French Jews? The main threat to french jews seems to come from the Muslim French population (who are coddled and enabled by the French left).