Benjamin Stora’s Report Faces Criticism In Algeria and France
Benjamin Stora’s report on the French colonial era in Algeria faces many questions about his fate, and whether France will stick to it or abandon it in light of the criticisms which he received in Paris and Algeria.
The report of Benjamin Stora was subjected to great criticism from the Algerians after neglecting a major demand, which is France’s apology for its crimes during the colonial period of Algeria, and its focus on marginal aspects such as organizing joint celebrations and honouring historical figures from the two countries.
The National Organization of the Mujahideen (war veterans) said; “The context in which the historian prepared his report suggests that he betrayed his ideas and that what he wrote was imposed on him for purely political purposes”.
“The French always approached this issue with hidden goals, considering that French President Emmanuel Macron aims to use the memory file as a “winning card” in the upcoming presidential elections”, the NOM added.
Similar criticisms were also issued by parties, personalities and citizens regarding the contents of the report, which was considered an attempt to jump over the demands of an apology for the crimes of colonialism.
Among the points that angered the Algerians, was the attempt of the editor of the report to restore the dignity of the Harkis and facilitate their return to Algeria, in addition to equating the victim with the executioner.
On the other hand, Benjamin Stora’s report did not escape criticism from the right parties, which considered it a betrayal of the history of France and an attempt to abandon the sacrifices of the Harkis and Pieds-Noirs.
Benjamin Stora’s report sparked controversy in Paris as well, especially among right-wing circles, and revived an old demand of the Harkis towards the French government, which is accused of leaving this group to its fate following the signing of the ceasefire agreement on March 19, 1962, a demand that some are trying to legislate by the French President through a special law.
It is known that the right-wing rejects any form of recognition of the crimes committed by the French occupation throughout its occupation of Algeria.
Benjamin Stora is a French historian of Algerian origin, from an ancient Jewish family in the country, and is considered one of the most prominent contemporary French historians specializing in the history of the Algerian national movement and the events of the liberation revolution that ended with the independence of Algeria from France.
In the midst of this tug of war between the two banks, the fate of Benjamin Stora’s report remains linked to the extent to which France is willing to recognize the massacres it committed against the Algerian people during its 132 years of occupation.