Jean Daniel

Jean Daniel, (born Jean Daniel Bensaid) (born 21 July 1920) is an Algerian-born French-Jewish journalist and author. He is the founder and executive editor of Le Nouvel Observateur weekly now known as L'Obs.

Jean Daniel
Born21 July 1920 (age 98)


Daniel is a Jewish humanist in the tradition of the French Left. He was a former colleague and friend of Albert Camus, a fellow pied-noir. In La prison juive: Humeurs et méditations d'un témoin (The Jewish Prison), Daniel argues that prosperous, assimilated Jews in the west live in a self-imposed prison made of up of three invisible walls: the idea of the Chosen People, Holocaust remembrance, and support for Israel. "Having trapped themselves inside these walls...," wrote Adam Shatz in describing the book, "they were less able to see themselves clearly, or to appreciate the suffering of others -- particularly the Palestinians living behind the 'separation fence'."[1]

Jean Daniel was a member of the Saint-Simon Foundation think-tank.


Daniel co-founded the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur. The magazine had already existed since 1950 and initially called L'Observateur politique, économique et littéraire. It had turned to L'Observateur aujourd'hui in 1953 and France Observateur in 1954. The name Le Nouvel Observateur was adopted in 1964.[2][3][4]

The 1964 incarnation of the magazine was when Jean Daniel and Claude Perdriel took over renaming the magazine and starting its best known phase under the name Le Nouvel Observateur as a weekly. Since then it has been published by Groupe Nouvel Observateur on a weekly basis and has covered political, business and economic news in France and internationally. On 23 October 2014, the magazine was renamed L'Obs.

Published works


  • The Jewish Prison: a Rebellious Meditation on the State of Judaism translated into English by Charlotte Mandell, 2005, Melville House Publishing, USA



  1. ^ Shatz, Adam (5 April 2012) "Nothing He Hasn't Done, Nowhere He Hasn't Been." London Review of Books; page 15.
  2. ^ Philip Thody (1 December 2000). Le Franglais: Forbidden English, Forbidden American: Law, Politics and Language in Contemporary France: A Study in. A&C Black. p. 290. ISBN 978-1-4411-7760-5. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Weekly Magazines: Second in a Series on French Media". Wikileaks. 1 December 2006. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  4. ^ Serge Berstein; Jean-Pierre Rioux (13 March 2000). The Pompidou Years, 1969-1974. Cambridge University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-521-58061-8. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
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Colladon studied law but then worked in the laboratories of Ampère and Fourier. He received an Académie des Sciences award with his friend Charles Sturm for their measurement of the speed of sound and the breaking up of water jets. Stymied by the lack of a sight of the water jet provided to the audience, he used a tube to collect and pipe sunlight to the lecture table. The light was trapped by the total internal reflection of the tube until the water jet, upon which edge the light incidented at a glancing angle, broke up and carried the light in a curved flow. Colladon reported this experiment to a wider audience in the Comptes rendus, the French Academy of Sciences' journal, in 1842.

His experiments formed one of the core principles of modern-day optical fiber, alongside those of Auguste Arthur de la Rive — who demonstrated Colladon's experiment using electric arc light —, Jacques Babinet — who, separately, had created the same effect using candlelight and a glass bottle —, and John Tyndall — who, in 1870, demonstrated that light used internal reflection to follow a specific path using a jet of water that flowed from one container to another and a beam of light.

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On December 25, 1844, Geneva was first illuminated by a network of gas lights, a project Colladon had been instrumental in advocating and promoting.

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His laboratory, LAMI (LAboratoire de Micro-Informatique), developed the Smaky computer, in addition to the optical computer mouse, an update of the traditional kinetic mouse invented by Douglas Engelbart. The Khepera mobile robot was also developed at the LAMI.

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