Baron De Rothschild: French Mideast Policy Wrong; French Officials Not Anti-semitic

Baron Guy De Rothschild, one of the foremost leaders of French Jewry, denounced the French Government’s policies toward Israel last night but defended French officials against charges of anti-Semitism. He described the government’s attitude toward Israel as “lacking understanding and sympathy. “However,” he said, “we have no right to suspect France’s leaders of anti-Semitism. We all know that there is no sentiment more lowly and abject than that, and without serious justifications, we have no right to level such a charge at anyone.” Baron De Rothschild is president of the Fonds Social Juife Unifie. the central representative organization of French Jewry. He spoke at a dinner organized by the Alliance Israelite Universelle to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Mikve Israel Agricultural School in Israel. It was his first public statement on France’s relations with Israel. Baron De Rothschild said that “No single one of us Jews has managed to escape the traumatising and humiliating experience of anti-Semitism. Only Jews can understand the depth of this wound.” He drew a parallel between the effects of anti-Semitism and the psychological conditions existing among colonial people and the colored population of America. What has changed the situation for Jews, he said, “was the creation of Israel which de-colonized part of our souls.” He said that explained why fully assimilated diaspora Jews who have no intention of migrating to Israel “feel so strongly whenever the existence, the identity or the honor of Israel are at stake. This is why I can only treat with disdain any insinuation of a Jewish double allegiance.”

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