France and Israel: "When leaders fall in love, so do the people"

Photo AFP

"Sarkozy did not hide his great support for Israel and openly expressed how impressed he was by the young country's achievements," the diplomat said.

"Throughout his presidential campaign, Sarkozy unabashedly declared he was an admirer of Israel. To his inner circle he spoke of a real affinity and on the occasion of his acceptance speech of his party's candidacy for president he described his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as one of the two most important events in his life.

"A French diplomat talking on condition of anonymity said the French were rediscovering Israel, and Israel was rediscovering France. "The music sounded by France is very pleasing to Israel, particularly on the Iranian issue. We see eye-to-eye on the issue of Iran nuclear armament," he said.

Israel's ambassador to France, Daniel Shek, also sounded upbeat about the warming of relations.

"I wouldn't say there was a fundamental shift on the basic policies of France toward Israel, but the tone has certainly changed," the ambassador said. "Sarkozy is stating clearly and openly that he is pro-Israel, pro-America and against Iran. What more can you ask for?" "


Wolfie said...

This looks like a load of obsequious diplomatic fawning, most likely without a shred of truth in it. Somebody wants a favour. I'd put it in the re-cycle bin if I were you Sophia. French diplomacy has been cool-ish on Israel for years and I haven't seen the headline "Zarkozy replaces entire Diplomatic Corps", only the CEO has changed. P.S. No citation?

Sophia said...


Sorry, this time I put the link in the title because the whole post was copy and paste from Haaretz.

I agree with you that he didn't replace diplomatic corps. But I have known members of the French diplomatic corps here in Montreal from the time of Chirac and I can tell that the foreign service in France takes directly its orders from the president. Add to that the fact that Sarkozy is doing the job of his government and his ministers and the fact that Kouchner is just happy to have been named minister, Sarkozy does effectively control 100% foreign policy and he doesn't have to replace people from the Chirac era.

Now where you are right is that Chirac's foreign pôlicy was different only on the surface. But in foreign policy the surface of things matters.
I know that you dislike my dislike of Sarkozy but even though I think some of the objectives of his policy, economic policy may be what france actually needs, I do not agree with his manners of doing politics. I never liked people shaking the tree. I believe in piecemeal reforms with a goal at the end, I believe in social harmony instead of social division. And Sarkozy has been doing just that; fast sweeping reforms in a climate of social division which he is encouraging. If you put on top of that the fact that I think that the man is definitely not qualified for the job and he is mobilised by an implicit backward ideology never explicited to the French people and not even to himself. I think if someone tells Sarkozy what is the essence of his thinking in terms of politics he would be surprised because this is a man who acts and lives at the rythm of TV news. All that matters for him is media coverage.

Richard said...

Sophia, have you heard the very latest on Israel AND IRAN?

Please tell me it's not as bad as I'm thinking it may be.

Sophia said...

I have sent you my answer. I think it is still too early to cheer. the report will be used to level tougher sanctions against Iran.

Richard said...

Sophia, thanks for your thoughts, opinions, etc on the latest over at my place. While either of our 'expectations(?)' are far from optomistic, yours are the lesser of two evils.

Wolfie said...

"I know that you dislike my dislike of Sarkozy..."

Not at all Sophia, I have no personal feelings on the man or indeed your feelings toward him. I think that, to coin a very British saying, that you are "over-egging your pudding" in relation to his Israelophillia and his overall control over Franco-Israeli policy. I think you need to stand back a bit and wait to see what he does because he has many obstacles in his way and how he approaches them should be carefully observed until he has some experience in office. By striking a little too early I think you undermine your arguments. If he is as flawed as you suspect then your wait will not be a long one and you will garner more popular support in the long-run.

Sophia said...


You are right. I have a bias against the man and I cannot hide it. But I don't believe it obscures my analysis of him. On the other hand, the wait and see may hold some surprises.
Thanks for introducing me to a new English expression; "over-egging the pudding". I like it very much.

Since March 29th 2006