An alternative universe
by Elias Blum
Imagine if the Crusaders had won.
The area that is now Syria, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon etc would be a Catholic-majority (but mostly non-practicing), French-speaking country, where people enjoy a European standard of living. They’d have a Mediterranean lifestyle. They would drink red wine, read Rousseau and Voltaire, go to concerts and to football matches, and have a robust (if somewhat corrupt, Southern European-style) democracy.
Oh, and (in this alternative universe, wher…e the state of Israel would not exist), Yiddish would be a major European language, Klezmer would be as mainstream as rap, and although there would be no kebab shops, you’d at least be able to take-away kreplach-on-stick 24hrs a day.
Then a militant zionist terrorist would blow themselves up in Paris, and a bunch of knuckle dragging morons would start blaming all the jews and preparing for pogroms. And Francois Abramovich who runs the local kreplach shop in the 10th arrondisement, obeys the law, pays his taxes, is nice to his neighbours, gives money to charity, and plays in his local petanque team, would be spat at in the face, and worry about his safety, and be called upon to denounce things that are nothing to do with him.