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Old January 22nd, 2015, 07:36 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Nicolas,

As you may have noticed, I'm a great fan of France's Bonaparte, who's armies forced Alsace and Europeans to adopt the discovery and commitment to the Rights of Man. All ethnicities became equal before the law everywhere! This became the singular and essential basis for our modern concepts of international law. (Nothing is perfect, even in Europe, and the treatment of the Roma, for example, is among many areas for needed improvement, of course.)

Let me add to this the following brief note on the Fench National character, again honed from the hard won values of the French Revolution and painful debates in the National Assembly and streets of Paris.
During the Nazi occupation of France, 76% of France's Jews survived! How come? The surprising explanation is that enough ordinary French did not "out" Jews hiding in plain site in their villages or passing through to escape the Nazis. This, despite the natural personal antisemitic upbringing of some and distrust towards Jews held by more than a few. The latter, in any neighborhood or village, could have so easily doomed those Jews who moved into new locations with fake papers. The neighborhood's newcomers might have thought they were well hidden by their new names and papers. Actually it turns out, that likely as not, they were recognized. After the war, it turned out that all the time, folk in the village knew they were Jews and did nothing!! This factual tolerance is evidence of a French cultural deep respect for humanity, even if the aid was so passive as to not actually help rescue, feed or hide Jews. This widespread phenomenon, "the act of not reporting to the authorities", is a testament to the great lasting treasures the revolutionary debates of the street and Assembly gave to France as an inheritance. It did not solve all issues of ethnic bias, but did provide a moral backbone that's exemplary..................... and those who actually hid Jews were so brave, as they risked the execution of their entire family!
So in France's current challenges, I know the essential backbone of values can ultimately prevail. We do not need to be perfect, but we must be more than "good enough", in every generation to preserve Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité.

Thank you, Nicolas and thank you France!

"Je Suis Charlie!" …………………………..This is not just France in the court of judgement, but all the gains and values of Western Society in an existential fight with forces against blind savagery and delusion under the fanatical banner of faith.

Asher
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