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Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews Paperback – April 18, 2008
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From the Publisher
"David Pryce-Jones has long been an indispensable guide to the realities of the Arab world, and now, with the chilling story he so brilliantly tells in Betrayal, he
broadens the focus to encompass the role played by French perfidy in helping to create the threat to us all of political Islam."
--Norman Podhoretz, editor-at-large of Commentary --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
David Pryce-Jones was born in Vienna in 1936 and studied modern history at Magdalen College, Oxford. His career has included spells teaching creative writing in Iowa and in California, as well as being a special correspondent for the Daily Telegraph covering international assignments such as the Middle East wars of 1967 and 1973. He has written nine novels and twelve books of nonfiction, among which are The Closed Circle and The Strange Death of the Soviet Union. Since 1999, he has been a senior editor of National Review. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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I do recommend this book to help understand the situation in which we have become embroiled. The more we know, the more likely we are to find a way out.
Short chapters, shorn of unnecessary verbiage, help make Mr. Pryce-Jones' book a pleasant reading experience.
France's motive was to emulate and even surpass the British Empire. "The British might have India, but the French would move into, and ultimately colonize, the Arab World." The institution most responsible for the attempt to realize this grandiose scheme was The Foreign Ministry, referred to in France as "Quai d'Orsay." Pryce-Jones gained (through an anonymous source) access to the archives of Quai d'Orsay, and his researches are the basis for his book, "Betrayal".
Early on the French conceived their grand France-Arab empire as "une puissance musulmane" - "A Muslim Power." And this fantasy dovetailed neatly with the anti-Semitism that had long existed in France and reached its height during the Vichy occupation by Germany.
The main part of Pryce-Jones' study shows how these two ideologies, anti-Semitism and pro-Arabism, have made France an unreliable ally of Western values and interests. This was true of the lead-up to WWI, the inter-war period, and modernity since the conclusion of WWII. Many instances of French perfidy in dealings with the Western Powers, and particularly the United States, are related in compelling detail. Anti-Americanism fit well with Anti-Semitism to advance France's standing with the Arabs and these became recurring themes in the machinations of the Quay d'Orsay.
Yet, in one of those fateful ironies of history, France is now beset by a demographic explosion of unassimilated Islamic Arabs within its own borders. One out of every three children born in France is Islamic. Arabs and Muslim youth routinely go on riots, shouting "Allahu Akbar", burning cars and vandalizing property. In 2005 there were 110,206 recorded incidents of urban violence, and 45,588 vehicles had been burned. This seems incredible, but Pryce-Jones provides the documentation.
The lust for empire and power have resulted in the betrayal of democracy in France, as well as its own national interest. Yet France continues to behave in defiance of reality, assuming that it has to pursue its own political agenda regardless of the present day context of Islamic expansion and militancy. This context of political Islam that France has aided and abetted now threatens France, the entire continent of Europe, and all the West.
France, who boasts of being the cradle of Democracy and humanistic values, has a dark and very different history when it comes to the Middle East generally and Arabs and Jews specifically.
By going to the archives of the Quai d'Orsay (France's foreign ministry), Pryce-Jones cites detailed examples of years, of endemic anti-Semitism. In his book, Betrayal, he shows pervasive French cynicism and prejudice.
The aspect that makes this book more than just a historical catalogue of examples, is his showing the connection between years of prejudice and the current riots and civil disruption that France is experiencing today.
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