This article was originally published in French by our partner LICRA on 25 October 2019.
The fuel of hatemongers, sentenced by the courts for inciting hatred against Muslims, "in the name of the French people", that is what this is all about. As President of the LICRA , without echoing this nauseating rumour, I must on the one hand remind historians.
Historians, real historians, those who searched the archives, defended theses, published articles, have demonstrated from every angle that the regime of former Marshal Pétain handed the Jews over to the Nazis to exterminate them. They drew up the list of 74,182 names of men, women and children who, in France, were sent to centres to be put to death with the active and voluntary complicity of the Vichy government.
Historians, real historians, have exhumed, analysed and explained the Dannecker report of 6 July 1942 in which everyone can understand that Pétain and his clique handed over Jewish children, who the Nazis themselves did not even want. Historians, real historians, have shown that Pétain himself had, by his own hand, made measures more severe against Jews, French or foreign. Historians, real historians, have shown that most of the children rounded up in Marseille or Paris were of French nationality. Everything has been written on this issue. Everything has been substantiated. Zemmour's revisionism is overwhelmed by facts and History. Time will take its toll and send all the small-minded Faurissons back to the terminus of counterfeiters and revisionists.
But I must also ask myself about the responsibility of this information channel in this rhetoric of misinformation.
The most serious thing is not even the contempt. We have just seen that he did not resist the historical truth. The most serious thing is the responsibility of the media, who echo this rumour, this "cavalcade of soulless words" (Marcel Bloch) by Eric Zemmour.
One can legitimately question the editorial choice of CNEWS. What is the point of a media that shamelessly displays the rehabilitation of former Marshal Pétain or, more recently, the crimes of General Bugeaud in Algeria? What is the sense of a media that contributes to the burning of consciences by entrusting its antenna to a patented pyromaniac?
The channel encourages freedom of expression.
And I am encouraging it too!
As President of the LICRA, I claim the freedom to say that CNEWS, along with Zemmour, is part of the harmful populist climate that is killing the Republic more and more every day. I claim the freedom to say that when you have an audience for a channel of this significance, being a spokesperson for hatred is completely irresponsible. I claim the freedom to say that CNEWS undoes, every time it puts Zemmour on the air, the groundwork we do every day, with teachers and young people, to ease tensions, thwart the traps of fear and fantasies, deconstruct prejudices, defeat falsifications and fight threats to republican universalism. I claim the freedom to say that CNEWS should re-read Albert Camus who, in 1939, asked "free journalists" to "not publish anything that could stir up hatred or cause despair". I claim the freedom to say that offering a platform for lies is not worthy of a large mass media and undermines national cohesion. I claim the freedom to say that pluralism is not 5 minutes for Pétain and 5 minutes for the Jews! I claim the freedom to say that I refuse, with Jaurès, to be subjected to "the law of the triumphant lie that passes".
As for the rest, everyone is now responsible for their choices and will have to report back to the public and, if necessary, to the courts.
What will be the revisionist outrage or racist or xenophobic provocation that will cause the channel to one day dissociate itself from white-collar hatred and re-examine itself?
Until then, every time the line is crossed, we will act, without hesitation, to keep the law in force.
Mario Stasi, President of the LICRA