Tuesday, 3 September 2013

I expected to enjoy Bat Ya'or's book Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis. Since I had already concluded that Europe was being islamised, that this was a very bad thing, and that the EU was playing a significant part in facilitating it, I didn't expect to find much to disagree with in it. In the event, however, I found it to be one of the most rebarbative books I had ever read.

Yet I see that the book still enjoys a revered status in the anti-Islam community. For that reason, I will be undertaking a critical review of it. This, the first part of the review, focuses on the claims Ye'or makes about Charles de Gaulle.

She says this of him.
After Algeria gained its independence in 1962, de Gaulle set out to reorient France’s policy toward the Arab/Islamic world. He pursued economic and strategic long-range planning designed to unite the European and Arab countries of the Mediterranean into a single, interdependent economic bloc that would oppose America.

Nothing is cited in support of this claim. There are no quotes from de Gaulle. There are no citations of any kind. She just makes this claim in an absolute vacuum and expects everyone to accept it. And, surprisingly, many do.

Now if this initiative had been something well known and out in the open like, say, Nixon's opening to China, there would be no need to back it up with quotes or references. But read any biography of De Gaulle and you will find no mention of some grand plan to "to unite the European and Arab countries of the Mediterranean into a single, interdependent economic bloc that would oppose America".

Ye'or makes mention of various organisations and initiatives, not directly linked to de Gaulle, such as the Association of Franco-Arab Solidarity, to which she implicitly attributes sinister significance. At no point does she explain in any detail what these organisations are supposed to have done, what real power they had, whether they were governmental or non-governmental, what de Gaulle thought about them or what involvement, if any, he had in them. We are simply supposed to infer from their very existence that they were exerting some awful influence on events and, from the mere juxtaposition of texts, that they were in some way related to de Gaulle. The fact is that, in most major countries, similar friendship associations and the like almost certainly exist for just about every country, region and culture on earth. There is almost certainly an Association of Franco-Israel Solidarity. Its mere existence tells us nothing about government policy. Similarly, at the diplomatic level, it is very common to hear high-level platitudes about cooperation and friendship and partnership between countries. Quoting them artfully may contrive to give a sinister impression. But rigorously-minded people will demand something more substantive before being convinced.

Later, Ye'or references a press conference de Gaulle gave.
...de Gaulle, in a press conference on November 27, 1967, condemned Israel's foreign policy. He presented France's cooperation with the Arab world as "the fundamental basis of our foreign policy."

De Gaulle talks at length about the conflict and tensions in the Middle East. I can't be bothered translating it all here. But anyone reading it could only conclude that his remarks were fairly balanced and to sum them up simply as "condemned Israel's foreign policy" is, at best, a gross oversimplification. Focusing on the next sentence, which is key to the claims she makes, we see that she seriously misquotes De Gaulle.

The transcript of this press conference is available here.

Here is the key quote in the original French:
D'autre part, une fois mis un terme à l'affaire algérienne, nous avions repris avec les peuples arabes d'Orient, la même politique d'amitié et de coopération qui avait été pendant des siècles celle de la France dans cette partie du monde et dont la raison et le sentiment font qu'elle doit être aujourd'hui une des bases fondamentales de notre action extérieure.

Moreover, once the Algerian affair had ended [tn: meaning the Algerian war of independence from France], we resumed with the Arab peoples of the Orient the same policy of friendship and cooperation France has had in that part of the world for centuries and regarding which reason and sentiment today mean that it must be one of the fundamental bases of our foreign policy.
My translation

Quoted in context, we can see that Ye'or's presentation of de Gaulle's statement is seriously misleading. She makes it sound like some new initiative de Gaulle had embarked on, but, in context, it is clear that he is simply calling for the continuation of a policy he claims has been in place for centuries. Of course, in reality, this is just day-to-day grand-sounding diplomatic waffle. It's the kind of thing you hear constantly when politicians talk about foreign relations. In reality, no new policy or initiative is being indicated here at all.

Even more seriously, she mistranslates de Gaulle's statement about this policy. He calls it "one of the fundamental bases of our foreign policy". Ye'or warps this into "the fundamental basis of our foreign policy." This is a crucial distinction. Ye'or's claim is grossly misleading and strongly suggests outright deception.

I have the English language version of Ye'or's book on Kindle. I'm not clear about whether the original was written in French. There is no obvious indication of whether the English text is a translation and, if so, who was responsible for it. Since I don't have the French text, I can't say for certain that it contains the same misquote. I expect that it does, however, and that this is either seriously flawed scholarship or conscious deception on Ye'or's part.

Later in her book, when talking about "the Eurabian doctrine", Ye'or says the following:
As shown earlier, this evolution clearly resulted from the policy initiated by Charles de Gaulle in the late 1960s. The plan for a vast Euro-Arab geostrategic Mediterranean bloc, born after the independence of Algeria in 1962 and advanced through the mixture and interpenetration of populations from both shores (multiculturalism), has already been mentioned.

The problem is that she hasn't shown this at all. She has merely asserted it, in one unsubstantiated sentence in which she makes the initial claim then another grossly misleading quote from a press conference of what, in any case, was simply a vague diplomatic nicety and not the harbinger of some new policy initiative.

That is the sum total of the case she makes, attributing the origins of the islamisation of Europe to Charles de Gaulle, a grotesque historical slander that has been taken up unthinkingly on numerous Counterihad websites whose authors have put blind trust in someone who doesn't deserve it.

Here are some quotes from de Gaulle in 1945 that show us what he really thought about preserving the ethnic distinctiveness and culture of France.
From now on it is important that naturalisations are carried out according to an overall plan. It would be appropriate, in particular, to no longer make them depend exclusively on the study of individual cases, but to subordinate the choice of individuals to national interests in the ethnic, demographic, professional and geographic spheres.

On the ethnic aspect, limiting the inflows of Mediterraneans and Orientals who, in the last half century, have profoundly modified the human structure of France. Without going as far as using a rigid quota system, as in the USA, it is desirable that priority is granted to Nordic naturalisations (Belgians, Luxemburgers, Dutch, Swiss, Danes, Scandinavians, Icelanders, English, Germans, etc.).

The safest position and which allows us to minimise any risk of profoundly changing the French population and any difficulties from a cultural point of view, is certainly the one that consists of looking for immigrants whose ethnic type is already present in the French mosaic.

Source Via: Fdesouche.com

Does this sound like someone who wants to merge his country and continent with the Arab world?

De Gaulle had this to say in 1959, quoted in a recent Daniel Pipes article:
It is very good that there are yellow French, black French, brown French. They show that France is open to all races and has a universal vocation. But [it is good] on condition that they remain a small minority. Otherwise, France would no longer be France. We are still primarily a European people of the white race, Greek and Latin culture, and the Christian religion.

Don’t tell me stories! Muslims, have you gone to see them? Have you watched them with their turbans and jellabiyas? You can see that they are not French! Those who advocate integration have the brain of a hummingbird. Try to mix oil and vinegar. Shake the bottle. After a second, they will separate again.

Arabs are Arabs, the French are French. Do you think the French body politic can absorb ten million Muslims, who tomorrow will be twenty million, after tomorrow forty? If we integrated, if all the Arabs and Berbers of Algeria were considered French, would you prevent them to settle in France, where the standard of living is so much higher? My village would no longer be called Colombey-The-Two-Churches but Colombey-The-Two-Mosques.

I have said before that one of the defining aspects of our era is the way in which political debate moves from the objective realm of fact (what happens in the world) to the subjective realm of emotion (what goes on inside people's heads). And that this is the key technique our rulers use to stigmatise opposition, in effect by accusing people of having moral impurities in their soul or impure motivations. These accusations of wickedness are cast in various forms: racism, islamophobia, antisemitism, bigotry, prejudice. The rational response to this is to say that it doesn't matter what happens in the subjective realm; it doesn't matter what a person's motivations or emotions are. Factual claims can be assessed on their own merits. The touchstone criterion must always be objective truth. In that sense, for the purpose of assessing her work, it doesn't matter what Ye'or's motivations are. She is entitled to whatever emotions and motivations she has, as are we all. When she steps into objective realm and makes factual claims, however, and those factual claims are found to be wanting, we are entitled to speculate on her motivations for making them.

De Gaulle broke with Israel following the six-day war in 1967. As he said himself in the press conference that Ye'or misquotes, France had been attempting to mediate peace and had told all of the contending parties that, if war broke out, France would oppose whoever had fired the first shot. Israel did. And de Gaulle did what he said he would do. Now I don't agree with him in this. I think Israel was fully entitled to take pre-emptive action. But it's clear that after this de Gaulle became a hate figure for many Jews. Ye'or is a Jew and it is clear that her primary motivation is safeguarding the interests of Jews and Israel. There's nothing wrong with that either, but I don't see why the sentiment should be shared by Europeans, whose primary motivation ought to be safeguarding the interests of Europe and Europeans.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz rightly mocked Ye'or's book as "Protocols of the Elders of Brussels". It is an example of anti-European hate literature, retailing the same Europeans=Nazis meme that has been used to drive the islamisation of the continent and the European Genocide more generally. In an interview, Ye'or admitted that the book was written not for Europeans, whose continent is in danger, but for Americans.
Remember that Eurabia was written primarily for an American, non-European audience

The entire book snarls with a crackling contempt for Europeans. It is clear that it was written to attempt to get Americans to share this contempt and thus continue their strong support for Israel, distancing themselves from European diplomatic initiatives in favour of the Palestinians. Now I personally hope that America continues its strong support for Israel and would very much like European governments to abandon whatever sympathy they have shown for the bunch of rag-tag Arabs who call themselves Palestinians and embrace Israel instead. But I don't need Bat Ye'or's hateful pseudo-scholarship to help me reach that conclusion.


Anonymous said...

If its jewish stay away from it... they pretend to be white and voice our socalled worries... They control te debate from al sides and are the europeans biggest enemy. Without teir agitprop and medling we can solve this.

Fuck palestine and fuck israel, not our batle. This piece is dissapointing.

Anonymous said...

I've often quoted that last part of de Gaulle's remarks, the bit about Colombey-Les-Deux-Eglises, to acknowledge former European leaders who recognised the dangers of Islamic presence but I'd never seen the full quote. Now that I have, I see that he, too, naively believed that those numbers of other races and ethnicities could be kept to a 'minimum', without imposing strict regulation nor even particularly questioning why one would want them in the first place (I mean as groups, not individual cases such as a particularly qualified scientist or gifted artist, for example). Also, one ought to remember that de Gaulle was quite capable of using French ethnic background, rather than nationhood, when trying to bolster a separatist movement among the Quebecois in Canada --- were they Canadian, or were they French and, if the latter, then why weren't they in France instead of trying to create France amongst the Canadians? Lastly, de Gaulle's eagerness to assert France as the central power in post-war Europe, in opposition to the Anglo-Saxon influence, meant that both Continental Europeans and the British and the Americans (most of whom traced their ancestry then back to European roots) were pitted against one another in absurd political stances which, it could be argued, diverted ALL the white Christian peoples from the destructive forces which were seeking their continental, and civilisational, denigration and eventual conquest.

Anonymous said...

CZ: You have referred to Bat Ye'or as "a Jew and it is clear that her primary motivation is safeguarding Jews and Israel. Nothing wrong with that..."

Europe is not Europe unless it is Christian. Otherwise, it is just a land mass into which the rest of humanity 'emigrates' or 'invades.' Christianity is not just a cultural nicety, it is the foundation of our values, beliefs, morals and our greatness which has enriched
all the world as well as ourselves. Until, and unless, those who say they are committed to the defence and saving of Europe realise that, we will continue to be subsumed by ideologies, Judaism and Islam, which harbour none of our indifference to the source of our being as a people.

Anonymous said...

Islam means submission and will not be at peace with "others" until all submit.

Anonymous said...

The book Eurabia is wrong to conclude that the Islamic takeover of Europe will be due to the cooperation of EU politicians.It will be due to their lack of understanding of the goals of Islam.

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