July 18, 2019

Israel Doesn't Have to "Get Over" the Holocaust

“Many years ago, I asked a senior French official to explain the strategic logic of France’s independent nuclear capacity, its force de frappe. The Soviet Union, after all, had immeasurably greater and more powerful nuclear capacities. There was no question of mutual destruction or mutual deterrence.

I will never forget his gobsmacking reply. “Our force de frappe’s not aimed at Russia; it’s aimed at Germany.” The previous century had been an intermittent saga of Franco-German wars, he continued, all of them the results of German militarism and aggression. Even though they were allies and partners now (with West Germany), France still needed to keep its guard up.

In other words, its recent historical experience was the basis for a central part of France’s defense policy.

And that was sans a Holocaust. There had “just” been bombing, shelling, invasion, trench warfare, tank warfare, and periods of occupation.”

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