chapter  1
16 Pages

Tracing the Shadow of Palestine: The Zionist-Arab Confl ict and Jewish-Muslim Relations in France, 1914–1945


Though the day’s events are little remembered now, October 29, 1944, witnessed the fi rst large-scale confrontation between Jews and Muslims in France over the Palestinian question. That afternoon in Paris, an estimated 1,400 to 2,000 people gathered for a meeting of the Organisation Sioniste de France. While most attendees were Jewish, two to three hundred of them were Muslim.1 Before the gathering began, several Muslims gained permission to address the audience. As the meeting started, French Zionist leader Marc Jarblum spoke fi rst, lamenting the horrors of deportation and highlighting the heroism of Jewish resisters. He saluted the presence of Muslims in the hall, and assured them of the Zionists’ desire not to dominate, but to work with the Arabs of Palestine.