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Betrayal: France, the Arabs and the Jews [Paperback]

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Item Number 393480  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   171
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 25, 2008
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  1594032203  
EAN  9781594032202  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
David Pryce-Jones believes that France has done more damage to the Middle East than any other country, backing Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian cause, supporting Saddam Hussein, giving safe harbor to the Ayatollah Khomeini. One aim of these policies was to sponsor the Arab's belief that they could be incorporated into a Franco-Arab power bloc that might one day rival the United States. Simultaneously, France encouraged the mass immigration of Arabs. A huge and growing minority in the country now believes that is has rights and claims which have not been met. This minority also believes that Israel should not exist. Middle East geopolitics are spreading from French soil to an increasingly Islamized Europe.

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More About David Pryce-Jones

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Pryce-Jones is the author of nineteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including The War That Never Was, Paris in the Third Reich, The Face of Defeat, and The Hungarian Revolution, as well as novels and literary biography. He lives in London.

David Pryce-Jones was born in 1936.

David Pryce-Jones has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Edward Burlingame Book

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Product Categories
1Books > Bargain Books   [3580  similar products]
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > History > Europe   [2054  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > France > General   [32008  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > History > Middle East > General   [1506  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Boring but important  Jun 25, 2007
A weekly magazine I read has a category of news that it calls "boring but important." This book could be categorized in the same way. This is a history of French foreign policy in the Near East. The author does seem to be unnecessarily hostile to the French, but he also shows how French intrigues and chauvinism have contributed to the turmoil in the area. But both those words have French derivations, don't they?

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.
The Quai d'Orsay's Anti-Semitism  Jun 19, 2007
David Pryce-Jones has written an insightful and incisive history of the anti-Semitic abd pro-Arab mindset of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the past two centuries. Based on original archival research, Pryce-Jones shows how the Ministry's career officials came from similar conservative, Catholic, anti-Republican backgrounds with similar prejudices and predilections. They steered a consistent foreign policy despite the changes of political regimes in France which to this day tries to position France as the Islamic and Arab world's European friend and the opponent of putative Anglo-Saxon and Zionist designs in North Africa and the Middle East. The book is engaging and well written.
Mind Numbingly Boring  Jun 13, 2007

In Betrayal: France, the Arabs, and the Jews, David Pryce-Jones chronicles the convoluted machinations of French foreign policy in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this important material is presented in a manner that renders it almost unreadable.

On page 20, for instance, we make the acquaintance of Jonathon Frankel, Adolphe Thiers, Ulysse de Ratti-Menton, Paul Frederic-Jean Grunebaum, Louis Herbette, Edouard Drumont, and The Marquis de Mores. On page 21 they are joined by Monsieur Kahn, Paul Blanc, M. Hanotaux, Mr. Almond, Madame de Schwartz and J.-B. Barbier.

Keeping track of this growing and obscure cast of characters represents a challenging chore, and after fighting through page after page of this I found myself befuddled and exhausted.

And then there is the writing itself.

Try to get your mind around this whopper of a sentence: "It was not possible for him to guarantee the authenticity of the enclosed document, he explained in a sentence revealing his belief in conspiracy, but it could be linked to information the department had received a few years earlier `on the subject of the preparation in the United States of the bolshevik movement whose trace it might be possible to recover' (M.A.E.-C.P.C/E-Levant/Palestine/1918-1929/Vol.15)".

It's like quicksand - you just get bogged down, you sink in, and eventually you give up.

This is unfortunate.

The author's argument that France's cynical exercise of power in the region has borne and will continue to bear bitter fruit is inherently sound. This message contributes to an understanding of the growing alienation and unrest of the very constituency that the French have sought to court.

Too bad that only the most determined of readers will be able to cut through Pryce-Jones' ponderous prose so as to be able to absorb what he is trying to say.
An interesting introduction but lacks depth  May 2, 2007
The subject of France's relationship and attitude towards Jews and Israel is surely one worthy of study, and David Pryce-Jones does a fair job in detailing the historical origins and patterns of bias within this history. To his credit, he here quotes documents never before made public detailing the depth of the anti-Semitism to be found in France's governing elite. He further does a good job detailing the degree to which France's desire to retain a fig leaf of its vanished glory as a great power and therefore insinuates itself into the conflict in the Middle East in order to confront the United State.

That said, Pryce-Jones does come up short in a number of ways in this thin work. On the subject of anti-Semitism among French elites in the 19th and pre-war 20th century he fails to contextualize how pervasive these attitudes were through out the Western World. Bendersky's "The Jewish Threat" does an excellent and exhaustive job of demonstrating these same attitudes in the US Army just as David Orren does regarding the diplomatic core. In Britain, such prejudices were likewise widespread. Granted, in France they mixed with militant Catholicism to form a particularly noxious brew, but still a discussion of this context would certainly have added to this book.

On the subject of the political ramifications of the presence of a large Muslim population in France, Pryce-Jones again does not delve sufficiently deeply. For example, that the center right candidate David Sarkozy derives support from attacking this portion of the population and arguing for a closer relationship with Israel. Again, a more thorough work would have provided interesting insights on the history and ongoing evolution of this social phenomenon.

Lastly, Pryce-Jones does not give sufficient attention to France's role in the EU and how it has managed to make the Union adopt is strategic vision regarding the Middle East despite other nations which tend to have differing outlooks.

That French policy is arrogant, perfidious, and self serving comes as a surprise to no one with any familiarity of the subject. Pryce-Jones does a good job indicting France's leaders with their own words and details their often serpentine and a moral strategy. For all of that, a subject of such importance deserved a more thorough examination. While this provides a good instruction, another longer work on the subject is surely required.
ignorant political fanaticism  Apr 5, 2007
David Pryce-Jones is a British neo-con who suffers from the well-known disease of "Franophobia". He has produced a book that is totally at odds with history and is little more the propaganda.

Reading this book, you would have no idea the role France had in the 1950s and 1960s in providing Israel with weapons. The Mirage jets that Israel fought the 1967 war with came from a collaborative relationship with France. France also collaborated with Israel in the 1950s and beyond in the area of nuclear technology and yes even nuclear weapons. In 1956, the French fought with the British and Israelis in a coordinated plan during the suez war. But out of hate, David Pryce-Jones erases the long relationship between Israel and France from history.

He also doesn't quite catch on the fact that France fought a bloody, devistating war in Algeria for many years or how the Crémieux Decree in 1870 gave all Algerian Jews full french citizenship even if they had been in Algeria for generations and had no tie to France. Or explain given his claims about how pro-arab/anti-jewish French diplomats and governments have always been, why such a decree was granted.

The author bashes france for having too many muslims living the country. Of course he has nothing to say about why the UK for decades allowed itself to openly serve as the worldwide base for the worst and most dangerous muslim political groups. Much easier to bash france than it is to accept the grim reality of what goes on at home. Everything he says about muslims in france can be said about almost every country in europe. Immigration is a reality. And the grim reality is that while David Pryce-Jones and his conservative friends whine over the issue, they are unwilling to give up the advantages that a cheap migrant labor underclass provides them.

France plays the "game" in the middle east in exactly the same way that the US, the UK and every other country does. Anyone concerned about the morality of French conduct would best not look at the American role in Saudi Arabia or Egypt or Jordan or any number of other states that the US props up. It would also be best not to look at American-Iraqi relations in the 1980s or Iran-Contra or any number of other sensiative subjects.

The author doeesn't understand France or the French view of the world at all. He is an outsider looking into something that doesn't have the ability to even begin to understand. After the Americans took over the role of being Israel's financial and military backers in the early 1970s, for all their contributions to the security of Israel they were pushed out of the way. If that situation changed, France would change. Like every other country, the relationships of France with the rest of the world are driven by its own interests.

David Pryce-Jones misinterpretes French political culture. He doesn't understand the long tradition in France of asslimilation of all groups into a broader French Culture and the importance of that within the society. That religion and ethnic identity should not play a part in the public sphere. He sees views expressed along these lines as evidence of hatred.

He draws up sinister conspiracies in the French diplomatic corps. But provides little evidence to support his ideas.

He is also upset that Ayatollah Khomeini was in France for four months before he returned to Iran. He doesn't seem to remember that Khomeini spent most of his time in exile in Iraq and Turkey...not France. He also sees the French as somehow putting Khomeini in power but offers nothing beyond conspiracy theory.

He blames France for Mohammad Amin al-Husayni not being put on trial as a war criminal after the second world war. What he leaves out is British role in that decision and British concerns about opinion in the muslim parts of their empire.

There is nothing useful in the book. David Pryce-Jones displays nothing but his own ignorance and fanaticism while being blind to what goes on in his own British back yard.

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