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Criticism Mounts Against De Gaulle in France for Attack on Israel, Jewish People

December 1, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

President Charles de Gaulle’s attack on Israel and his animadversions against the Jewish people in the course of his press conference last Monday continued today to generate a furor here.

Grand Rabbi of France Jacob Kaplan charged today that President de Gaulle has given “the highest possible sanction” to a possible wave of anti-Semitic discrimination by the bitter attack he leveled against Israel and the Jewish people in the course of his press conference last Monday. Rabbi Kaplan made his charge following two days of consultation among the leaders of France’s major Jewish organizations.

In order to shore up his denunciation of Israel as an aggressor, the General attributed to the Jewish people a secular inclination to domination, Dr. Kaplan said. “Does Gen. de Gaulle not run the risk of taking a dangerous lead and of giving the highest possible sanction to a campaign of discrimination? In the face of Israel’s trials in her fight for survival and security, French Judaism declares its solidarity with (Israel) and supports (Israel’s) efforts in favor of a fair and lasting peace.”

Gen. de Gaulle had said in his press conference that the Jews were “at all times an elite people, sure of itself and dominating.” He used the French word “dominateur” which, according to the leading French-English dictionary is defined as “domineering, overbearing.” (The official translation of the statement, distributed in New York by the French Embassy press service, also used the word “dominating.”

Many prominent Frenchmen, including members of Gen. de Gaulle’s party, took issue with him today and demonstrated their sympathy for Israel and for the Jewish community.

Former Prime Minister Guy Mollet, who served under Gen. de Gaulle as a Cabinet minister, called a press conference today in the name of his Democratic and Socialist Federation to denounce de Gaulle’s policies in the Middle East and his attack on Israel. M. Mollet charged that de Gaulle “smelled the oil of the Middle East” and that interested him, “but not the future of peace in the area nor the fate of a martyr-nation.”

Prominent among those attending a meeting of “solidarity with Israel” last night was M, Diomede Catroux, formerly a Gaullist cabinet minister. Another prominent Gaullist, M, Claude Gerard Marcus, a member of the Paris Council, made public a statement critical of Gen, de Gaulle on the Jewish issue. Jean Louis Tixier-Vignancourt, the rightwing leader, and Jean Adrien Lecanuet, president of the Mouvement Republicain Populaire, also came out against Gen. de Gaulle on this issue today.

Two leading French publicists, Andre Francois-Poincet, editor of Figaro, and Emile Servan-Schreiber, editor of Combat, also took positions today sharply critical of the French president.

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