By New Left Review
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Extra info for New Left Review 71, September-October 2011
Israel was already ‘a multi-cultural society in all but name’, yet ranked its citizens according to ethno-religious criteria. Furthermore, ‘Israel’s behaviour has been a disaster for American foreign policy’— ‘Washington’s unconditional support for Israel even in spite of (silent) 57 Prospect, August 2010. riley: Judt 51 misgivings is the main reason why most of the world no longer credits our good faith’: It is now tacitly conceded by those in a position to know that America’s reasons for going to war in Iraq were not necessarily those advertised at the time.
21 The French historian Judt’s first cycle of work, focused on France, comes to a close with Marxism and the French Left. How should it be assessed? Historiographically, the argument of Socialism in Provence is obviously superior to its successor. France’s industrialization was relatively slow in the nineteenth century; it had a large artisan and peasant sector—still almost half the population in 1945; yet it had introduced effective male suffrage as early as 1848. But such an account, linking political consciousness to class structure, raised a problem for Judt: it was too Marxian.
45 Both Camus and Aron approved the Anglo-French-Israeli aggression against Egypt in 1956, Aron warning of the ‘Führer on the Nile’ and Camus of the menace of Soviet-backed ‘Arab imperialism’. 46 When asked why he never spoke out against French torture in Algeria, Aron replied that he had never known anyone speak in favour of torture, so what was the point? Judt appears to be perfectly satisfied with this example of moral responsibility, whose logic is that the subject need never have been mentioned.