A taste of their own medicine and the back-stabbers are peeved at being “stabbed in the back”!
By David E. Kaplan
The French are puffing profusely!
“BETRAYED” is what they say they are feeling, infuriated over Australia pulling out of their multi-billion dollar defense deal, preferring instead to attain nuclear-powered submarines through a new deal with the United States and the United Kingdom.
Recalling its ambassador to the US for “consultation” – marking what’s believed to be the first time the French have resorted to such a move in modern times – high-ranking French officials referred to the decision “as a stab in the back”.
“I’m very angry and bitter,” said the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian about Australia’s new submarine agreement. “This isn’t done between allies…It’s really a stab in the back.”
The French should know all about “a stab in the back”.
Some years ago but still very much in “Modern Times”, France pulled a similar stunt – but much worse – when it “stabbed” its ally Israel “in the back”.
Why “much worse”?
Apart from its ally living in a lethal neighbourhood facing then enemies bent on its destruction and the annihilation of its people, Israel had not simply “ordered” ships to be built in France but had already paid for the built ships waiting in Cherbourg when France refused to deliver them. Then French President Charles de Gaulle decided – at the time of the Six-Say War of 1967 – that the Arab region was a better bet economically and politically than a sole Jewish state in the Middle East and switched allegiance and reneged on the deal.
Israel’s Defense Minister, Moshe Dayan, was one of the many who were deeply disappointed by the swift shift of relations between de Gaulle and Israel, after all, in the 1950’s, Dayan had agreed with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion when he called de Gaulle:
“a true friend, a true ally”.
Some “friend”; some “ally”!!!!!!!!!
De Gaulle, who had had sent Dayan a personal letter of congratulations on his book ‘The Sinai Campaign 1956’ refused to remove the embargo from the boats that had already been paid for by Israel.
And while tempting to lay all the blame on de Gaulle, he soon resigned and the French presidency passed in 1969 on to Georges Pompidou who affirmed his country’s boycott of Israel.
France again had turned on the Jews.
The Cherbourg boats were, in Israeli military thinking, essential for the modernization of her navy and the security of the state. However, France did what suited France and it was left to the ingenuity of the Israelis, to “steal” – hardly the right word as they had been paid for – the five remaining missile boats under the eyes of the French and sail them to Israel.
At some point on the night of December 24/25, 1969, the five missile boats clandestinely maneouvred their way out of Cherbourg harbour into the English Channel and into Israel’s proud history of striving for survival.
The ship-building contract having provided much needed employment in Cherbourg, many of the local residents, unlike their national leaders, were not unfavourably disposed towards Israel. They had grown accustomed to some “Norwegians” that had recently appeared on the local scene; even some oddities about them such as bring accomplished linguists that included Hebrew among their repertoire of languages. When the five ships suddenly disappeared that December night under darkness, in a dockside cafe, a barman was said to have remarked to customers huddled over their glasses of red wine:
“I see the Norwegians have left for Alaska.”
His all-knowing noisy patrons roared with laughter.
Yet, it was no laughing matter that at a most perilous time in Israel’s history, when it feared annihilation by countries surrounding it, intent on fulfilling Hitler’s mission, France, its main supplier of its arms should suddenly turn on the Jewish state and impose an embargo. With France’s history of its tragic treatment of its Jews, this was a harsh reminder of France’s understanding of the words “friend” and “betrayal”.
In recent years with the alarming rise of violent antisemitism in France from children ruthlessly gunned down at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012 to the savage stabbing of an elderly Holocaust survivor in Paris in 2018; to the more traditional ‘blood libel’ variety in 2020 of widespread conspiracy theories about Jewish officials accused of spreading the coronavirus and profiting from the pandemic, there may not be too many Jews who are going to share France’s anguish at feeling “betrayed”.
There are reasons why you hear more French being spoken on the streets of Israel in recent years.
France should look why they – their former citizens in Israel – feel “BETRAYED”!
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One thought on “What Short Memories the French have!”
There was an amazing book written on the subject called “the Boats of Cherbourg” by Rabinowitch. It was said that everybody in Cherbourg knew that it was Israelis maintaining the boats. While the French reneged on the deal, the Russians were supplying state of the art missile boats to the Arab states. Martin Siem, a widely-respected oil magnate- who had no known links to Israel- was alleged to have re-purchased the outstanding ships.
The part I love the best is what accompanied the boats of the “Cherboug Project” There was a very strong rumour that the Israelis brought the blue-prints of the French Mirage back on one of those boats, which resulted in the development of the Israeli “Kfir” fighter plane.(Ken Follet in his historo-fictional novel ” Mirage ” says that it is true)