One must not mistake Sarkozy’s family heritage as being the grounds for a new beginning in France’s relationship with Israel, his first and foremost policies concentrate on domestic issues. Also, France’s foreign policies are dictated solely (like all states) from their own self interests. That said, it will be interesting to see if a new breath of realism will begin to take shape in France’s foreign policy vis-a-vis Israel.
Perhaps the illogical attitudes and policies that drove French policy during the past 30 years in regards to Israel, will be somewhat amended or changed. Zarkozy has said in the past during last year’s war with Lebanon that “Israel has a right to self defence” as well as recently in the Jerusalem Post.
“Only if Israel is guaranteed that its existence will not be threatened and the Palestinians are allowed to form a viable state can we achieve a durable and viable solution.” “I defend the right of Israel to protect itself against external aggression, particularly when it takes the form of blind and cowardly acts of terrorism,” he declared. “But the measures taken must not condemn the search for a negotiated peace settlement. They must be appropriate and proportional.” Then there is the statements by officials close to Sarkozy who go on to elaborate even further:
“When there are Kassams and Katyushas being fired into Israel, where is the problem in defending yourself?” one official said. “Israel cannot compromise its security, otherwise it will be the civilian population that will suffer.” The official argued that Israel’s West Bank barrier, even when it cuts through Palestinian territory, falls under the jurisdiction of security. “When there is peace, the route will be reworked,” he said. “For now, it is in disputed territory. First, let Israel and the Palestinians reach a peace agreement, and then, once there is a deliberate step toward peace by the Palestinians, the details can be worked out.”