|Photo: Koby Gideon/GPO|
The commentators seemed to know more about the history of French-American relations than of French-Israel. For those of us long in the tooth, we remember that there was a time before the Americans paid much mind to Israel. We were banned from even buying American weapons; forget about getting American shopping coupons aka "aid." That's when Israel had a better relationship with France. We bought military weapons and supplies from them. That is until the French joined the anti-Israel boycott after our victory in the 1967 Six Days War and reneged on a purchase contract for ships, the Cherbourg Project.
The Boats of Cherbourg was an Israeli military operation which took place on 24 December 1969, and involved the escape of five Sa'ar 3 class missile boats from the French port ofCherbourg. The boats had been paid for by the Israeli government but had not been delivered due to the French arms embargo in 1969.
|French President Hollande and|
PM Netanyahu in Yad Veshem
Vichy France, officially the French State (l'État français), was France during the regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain, during World War II, from the German victory in the Battle of France (July 1940) to the Allied liberation in August 1944. Following the defeat in June 1940, President Albert Lebrun appointed Marshal Pétain aspremier. After making peace with Germany, Pétain and his government voted to reorganize the discredited Third Republic into an authoritarian regime.But today, all of a sudden, France is Israel's best friend. Politics does make strange bedfellows, and recent international politics certainly isn't dull.
Here are two quotations from PM Netanyahu sent out by his media staff:
"At the welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport, you said that it is better to be right and in the minority, than to be wrong with a majority. Well, I couldn’t agree with you more. The deal that is being put on the table in Geneva is not a good deal. I believe it’s a bad deal and a dangerous one. I applaud the fact that you, personally, have taken a stance to make it tougher and firmer, but I‘m concerned, gravely concerned that this deal will go through and in one stroke of the pen it will reduce the sanctions on Iran, sanctions that took years to put in place. And in return for this Iran gives practically nothing...
"It’s clear that this agreement is good only for Iran and that it’s really bad for the rest of the world. Iran’s dream deal is the world’s nightmare. So today. I believe the choice is not between a bad deal and war.After the visit to Yad Veshem: We understand exactly when somebody says that they’re out to destroy you, we've learned in our Jewish history to take them seriously. And I think from humanity’s point of view, there should be another lesson. When somebody starts by attacking the Jews, they generally don’t end there, and the fire soon catches and burns many lands.Now in Yad Vashem, I was moved by the fact that you were so visibly moved, and you said, when you came out, you said that the experience of the Holocaust places a very special responsibility on all of us. François, I want to tell you the burden it places on me, as the Prime Minister of Israel. It is my duty to prevent anyone from credibly threatening or executing another holocaust against the Jewish people. This is my obligation, but I also believe it’s our common obligation for the sake of mankind, for the sake of our common future."
This picture puts the situation very clearly.
Hat tip: A Soldier's Mother