Jewish Influence and Ethnic Networking in France: In Their Own Words . . .

It is often difficult for ordinary people to understand how small groups can achieve such a preponderant influence in the life of a country. But such influence should not be surprising: Modern societies have a highly complex division of labor leading to enormous power asymmetries, with huge amounts of power being concentrated in the hands of the tiny elites making up the media, top oligarchs, and the political class—as the Donald Trump candidacy in the United States is bringing into stark relief.

This is a world of chummy networks and mutual back-scratching, one where even small ethnocentric elite networks can have a decisive impact. And, concerning Jewish ethnic networks, I have documented extensively (e.g., here) that they are massively overrepresented among French elites, that they are completely intolerant of criticism of Jewish power and ethnocentrism, and are equally intolerant of French ethno-nationalism. As further evidence, I present in this article a number of interesting statements, mostly from Jews, taken from Paul-Éric Blanrue’s books on Jewish power networks.

Even sympathetic observers have commented upon Jewish power even during the earliest years of the Fifth Republic in the 1960s. The famous Jewish anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss denounced in private the fact that Jewish media influence and bias were distorting coverage of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Lévy-Strauss went so far as to defend and repeat President Charles de Gaulle’s comments following the Six Day War that Jews were “an elite people, self-confident and dominating.”[1] Lévi-Strauss wrote to the Jewish liberal intellectual Raymond Aron on April 9, 1968:

Certain Jewish elements in France, taking advantage of their control over print or audiovisual media and of acquired positions, and arrogating to themselves the right to speak in the name of all the others, showed themselves to be “self-confident and dominating” [. . .]. From the first hour, we witnessed a systematic attempt to manipulate public opinion in this country. Remember France-Soir headlining on the entire page: “The Egyptians Attacked,” and this continued long after the Six Day War. [2]

“Secular Jews,” in effect liberal Zionists, were strongly represented in the senior ranks of opposition leader François Mitterrand’s Socialist Party. Mitterrand’s election as president in 1981 was quickly followed by closer ties with Israel. In particular, a May 1980 directive which had permitted French companies to boycott Israel if they so wished was abrogated. Arab countries had instituted a wider boycott of Israel due to the Jewish state’s persecution of the Palestinians. Mitterrand would in contrast rapidly institute economic sanctions against Apartheid South Africa and be the first head of state to be hosted by Nelson Mandela as president in 1994.

In 1991, the Jewish senior Socialist politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn stated in a Jewish publication that every diaspora Jew had a duty to support Israel and even to influence their host nation’s foreign policy to that end:

I consider that any diaspora Jew, and therefore this is true in France, must wherever they are support Israel. [. . .] [O]ne cannot at once complain that a country like France, for example, has had in the past and perhaps still today has, a too pro-Arab policy, and not try  to influence this policy [. . .]. In short, in my functions and in my everyday life, throughout all my actions, I try to ensure that my modest stone contribute to the building of the land of Israel.[3]

In 1992, the center-left Jewish journalist Claude Askolovitch cited the case of Bernard-Henri Lévy in a book on the power of nepotistic networks in France:

In 1992, Lévy entered [the major publishing house] Grasset as the collection director. The young man learned in three years what the elegant world of publishing houses took a century to take in. [. . .] As soon as he was in place, BHL works to swamp his publishing firm with the manuscripts of his little friends! [. . .] The principle is simple: Wherever these young people are, they talk about each other. The glory of the one redounds on the others, and so forth.[4]

These kinds of nepotistic networks are no doubt the principal factor in determining who is recognized with lofty titles like “intellectual” and “philosopher” in France today, even if these individuals are otherwise widely seen as mediocrities.

Alexandre Adler is a Jewish “geostrategist” who claims to have not received any Jewish identity from his parents “except the humor.” His life story is however stereotypically Jewish: raised by secular socialist parents, marrying the half-Jewish daughter of a Jewish communist, joining the French Communist Party himself in the 1960s, and finally reinventing himself as a neoconservative pundit in the early 2000s in which capacity he was a strong supporter of America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Adler wrote reassuringly in September 2000 that, although Jews’ numbers worldwide were declining, their influence was still growing:

The shrinking number of Jews compared the world population is largely compensated by a second and inverse phenomenon: The concentration of this population at the center of the global economic system and the near-total abandonment of the periphery. [. . .] Rural Judaism is a memory even in Israel. [. . .] This movement includes an upwards slide of this population towards senior management roles and towards a greater and greater participation in economic life and decision-making. New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris perfectly symbolize this period in Jewish history.[5]

Thus Adler argued that a tiny minority like the Jews could retain considerable power by concentrating themselves in the most elite cities and circles that are so influential in a modern society: Finance, culture, and politics.

In 1994, Arno Klarsfeld, the son of “Nazi-hunters” Serge and Beate Klarsfeld, has emphasized his strong Jewish identity as being the determinant factor in his politics: “I consider myself a Jew politically. [. . .] I would prefer to marry a Jewess — at the synagogue of Venice if possible — and that my children be Jewish also. [. . .] It goes without saying that I am very attached to the State of Israel.”[6] Klarsfeld has strongly defended Israel, both by making arguments which can only be described as Talmudic nonsense[7] and serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, noting he would not serve in the French Army. While Klarsfeld is then a passioante supporter of the Jewish ethno-state, as a top government lawyer in France he has expressed strong support for the race-denying jus soli, granting non-Europeans born and raised in France automatic citizenship.[8]

Jews’ open professions of dual loyalty or even of first loyalty to Israel must be considered a marker of growing Jewish self-confidence (or even arrogance) and power. In the nineteenth century, the founder of Zionism Theodor Herzl was much more modest, writing in his diary: “A man must choose between Zion and France.”[9]

Blanrue highlights the fact that mainstream journalists are purged from the media for being too critical of Israel, let alone for mentioning Jewish power. Alain Ménargues was fired from two radio stations for comments on Palestine in 2004. He explained to Libération: “I was the victim of a manipulation [. . .] by a core of ethnocentric Jews [juifs communautaires].”[10] Ménargues later told a pro-Palestinian website that freedom of speech was disappearing and that Zionist advertisers were able to put pressure on the media, leading to self-censorship:

I have been practicing this profession for thirty years. [. . .] I am strongly irritated at seeing that in France a fundamental freedom is disappearing. [. . .] In my country, which is France, I cannot conceive that there be an intellectual terrorism which is forcing people to remain quiet under threat of becoming completely crushed. [. . .] Some need to make ends meet at the end of the month. There are many journalists who understand things as I do. But they are not free. Press bosses are afraid of losing subscribers, advertising revenue.[11]

The aptly-named Roger Cuckierman, the head of the official Jewish lobby,[12] gave a bizarre account of his decision to become a banker in a book published in 2008:

I discovered my vocation as a financier, notably after reading an anti-Semitic book by Henry Coston, entitled The Financiers Who Lead the World (1955). He convinced me that bankers had a considerable power over the economy and no other profession could be more interesting.[13]

The title of Cuckierman’s book is Ni fiers ni dominateurs, precisely spoofing General de Gaulle’s “stereotypical” description of Jews as proud and dominating. Yet, Cuckierman provides a stereotype-confirming account of his joining high finance precisely to attain economic influence. Very strange.

French Jews have been somewhat different from their American cousins in recent years in that they have often supported the neoconservative center-right over the more overtly multiculturalist center-left. This dates to the early 2000s and to the basic split between Muslims and Jews in France during the Second Intifada, when Israeli Jews intensified their persecution of Muslim Palestinians. Blanrue cites a 2006 poll showing 65% of Jews in favor of the quarter-Jewish Nicolas Sarkozy as candidate to the presidency, as against only 47% of non-Jews.[14] Patrick Gaubert, a center-right politician and president of the League Against Anti-Semitism and Racism (LICRA, an entirely Jewish-run organization), declared that Sarkozy is “a real star for Jews.”[15]

In 2008, Bruno Guigue, a subprefect (senior civil servant in a French county), was personally fired by the minister of justice for criticizing the Israel Lobby’s hostility to the United Nations and international law. Far-left Jews like the Green politician Esther Benbassa were critical of this, writing:

The firing of B. Guigue is first of all the sign of the impossibility of having a genuine debate in our country on the influence of ethnic pressure groups over public offices. [. . .] [Instead of a debate] they preferred to fire him, as though we lived in a State of divine right or simply of totalitarianism.[16]

In terms of direct political influence, Blanrue notes that 113 out of 577 members of parliament (including 18 presidents and vice-presidents of committees) and 64 out of 343 senators are members of the France-Israel parliamentary friendship groups, making them among of the largest and most influential such groups in the National Assembly.[17]

More generally, Blanrue notes that while French media and politicians do sometimes show critical debate on and negative portrayals of immigration or Islam, the issue of Judaism and Jewish ethnocentrism remains taboo. Thus, the impact of Islam on French culture and public life is often attacked, but the far greater role of Jewish culture through French Jewish elites, Hollywood, the Ivy Leagues, Jewish-American media, and anti-European oligarchs like George Soros is simply ignored.

The enormous influence of (Jewish-)American culture over France cannot be overemphasized. Blanrue notes that few French books are translated abroad, and in particular in the American market, whereas 30% of fiction books published in France are translated from English.[18] Blanrue suggests that ethnically-motivated censorship and the inbred cliques dominating the French cultural scene today are in part responsible for the decline in prestige and influence of France’s formerly “exceptional” culture.

Blanrue emphasizes the massive legal, professional, and social costs associated with being thought anti-Semitic or of otherwise offending the ruling establishment. He eloquently notes: “The trade union of doughy thought [la pensée pâteuse] hurries to speak with one voice when its vital interests are at stake.”[19] Those Blanrue cites as having been sued by Jewish ethnic lobbies include the journalist Daniel Mermet (for broadcasting radio listeners’ critiques of Israel), the Jewish writer Edgar Morin (who was critical of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon), the journalist Alain Ménargues, and the Franco-Cameroonian comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala (for a sketch making fun of Jewish fundamentalist settlers in Palestine). Blanrue writes:

Despite their various origins and careers, they have several points in common: They all become momentarily disconcerted, had to face terrible accusation of anti-Semitism (even though one of them was of Israelite confession), and had to endure the path of the cross. If they ultimately, most of the time, were vindicated before the courts, they needed great courage, patience and abnegation to resist the pressure of the opposing side.[20]

Needless to say, most people do not have the financial resources or inclination to risk being attacked in such court cases, let alone see their careers ruined. This results in a substantial chilling effect throughout the French media and cultural landscape, which is precisely the objective of these ethnic lobbies.

Censorious ethnic lobbies are not restricted to the political left. Neoconservative Jews like Gilles-William Goldnadel, while sometimes themselves supportive of French groups opposed to Muslim immigration, have also taken a leading role in suing critics of Jewish power and policing the boundaries of public discourse.

These quotes, from leading Jews and those persecuted by Jewish lobbies, give some sense of the the behind-the-scenes ethnic power dynamics in France. Actually, these dynamics are often starkly visible — for instance in the really extraordinary and sometimes overwhelming overrepresentation of Jews in French television talk shows and the “pundit class” (éditocrates). However, it seems to take time for the goyim to notice this and become uneasy about it.

These dynamics, as Blanrue documents, account for a critical part of French nationalist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen’s marginalization from French politics in the 1990s. Le Pen was not a political anti-Semite (some Jews, especially some evicted from French Algeria by the Muslim Arabs, were members of his party), and he was not a political racist (his second-in-command Bruno Gollnisch is married to a Japanese woman). Nor did he advocate an authoritarian ideology. He was merely a populist cornering the “right-of-the-center-right” electoral market share. Jewish groups were hostile to him long before he famously termed the gas chambers “a point of detail of the Second World War,” which historians should be free to study critically. Nevertheless, his stubborn refusal to bow before the universal postwar civil religion of the Shoah effectively made him a political untouchable.

Finally, these ethnic power dynamics no doubt account, in a significant measure, for the decline of Gaullist France from a proud and self-consciously independent power, to a mere lackey of the Israeli-American Empire. But I would personally add, that if France has become so influenced by these ethnic networks, it is also because the country

— is increasingly dominated by egalitarian and individualist values
— and was dangerously vulnerable to such networks in the first place.

[1]Charles de Gaulle, “An Elite People, Self-Confident and Dominating,” November 27, 1967 press conference, translation published by North American New Right, December 2, 2014.

[2]Paul-Éric Blanrue, Sarkozy, Israël et les Juifs (Embourg, Belgium: Oser Dire, 2009), 118-119. Aron reproduced the letter in his memoirs.

[3]Ibid, 113.

[4]Ibid, 152.

[5]Ibid, 143.

[6]Ibid, 103.

[7]Consider this example of extreme ethnically-motivated context denial: “They often say that Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are an obstacle to peace. Perhaps. But one can also reverse the statement. Why shouldn’t Jews be able to live in the West Bank and Gaza, given that one million Arabs live in Israel?” Ibid, 104.

[8]Arno Klarsfeld, “Revenir sur le droit du sol est une grave erreur !,” Le Monde, June 15, 2015.

[9]Blanrue, Sarkozy, 179.

[10]Ibid, 169.

[11]Ibid, 170.

[12]The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF). See Guillaume Durocher, “The Culture of Critique in France: Anne Kling’s Books on Jewish Influence,” The Occidental Observer, May 24, 2015.

[13]Paul-Éric Blanrue, Jean-Marie, Marine et les Juifs (Embourg, Belgium: Oser Dire, 2014), 144.

[14]Blanrue, Sarkozy, 28.

[15]Ibid, 28.

[16]Ibid, 147.

[17]Ibid, 145-46.

[18]Ibid, 149.

[19]Ibid, 13.

[20]Ibid, 165.

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