Europeans love to smirk and make snide comments every time George W. Bush (or other senior Americans) makes a gaffe. Just an illiterate cowboy, they snort. Can’t even say "nuclear" correctly. Grammar problems ("Families is where our nation finds hope") and other comments somewhat reminescent [sic] of Yoggi [sic] Berra. We won’t even begin to recite what the Euros say about Dan Quayle, Al Gore, and other gaffe-meisters.
The French are without a doubt the snootiest of them all. Which makes it all the more delicious to discover that the Foreign Minister of France was not aware of the fact that Germany did not conquer the UK during World War II. (Maybe he has been attending a public school with a teachers union?)
Holy merde, what a blunder!
Curious, I clicked on the source link, which turned out to be an article published in Haaretz. And this is what I found [emphasis added].
Haaretz investigates French FM's faux pas at Yad VashemHmm. So the Haaretz "investigation" -- yes, complete with crucial anonymous sources -- was triggered by an "article" in a French satirical magazine? (Douste-Blazy, a cardiologist, is considered by some in France as a political lightweight.) I'm getting very suspicious now.
The French satirical magazine Le Canard Enchaine reported in its September 14th issue that during the visit of French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy to the new Holocaust museum in Jerusalem's Yad Vashem on September 8, he asked - while perusing maps of European sites where Jewish communities had been destroyed - whether British Jews were not also murdered. Needless to say, Douste-Blazy's question was met by his hosts with amazement. "But Monsieur le minister," Le Canard quoted the ensuing conversation, "England was never conquered by the Nazis during World War II."
The minister apparently was not content with this answer, which, according to the magazine, was given by the museum curator, and persisted, asking: "Yes, but were there no Jews who were deported from England?"
Douste-Blazy arrived in Israel earlier this month for a first visit, as the guest of his Israeli counterpart, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.
According to an investigation by Haaretz on Sunday, the event actually occurred as described, although no official source was willing to confirm it. Douste-Blazy did visit Yad Vashem on September 8, at 11 A.M. He was in fact escorted by the curator of the museum, his entourage from the French foreign ministry and several French reporters.
What Haaretz didn't bother to do was to check the history books. Fortunately, several Haaretz blog posters were quick to point out the critical omission: The Germans did occupy the British Channel Islands in World War II, and Jews had been deported from the islands to concentration camps.
No wonder Monsieur le minister was "not content" with the museum curator's answer.