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The French government has done a bit of an about face on the Israeli separation barrier. According to EJP, The French Foreign Minister, M. Douste-Blazy, who is always full of surprises, said:

“Although the wall was a moral and ethical problem for me, when I realised terror attacks were reduced by 80 percent in the areas where the wall was erected, I understood I didn’t have the right to think that way.

Perhaps this statement has more to do with internal French politics then with foreign policy, since the statement was made on a Jewish television station, TFJ.



The French government hasetened to backtrack and cover its nether parts:

“The question, for us, concerns the route of the fence rather than its mere existence,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei on Friday. “We recognise, of course, Israel’s right to defend itself from terror, but the route of the separation fence must not overlap Palestinian territory and prejudge the final solution.”

Of course, the problem is quite precisely that a fence along the Green line would probably prejudge the final solution, because it would announce to the world that Israel has given up its claim, not only to the old city of Jerusalem for example, but also to the road to Jerusalem, which runs through no-mans land and former Jordanian territory (the so-called "Bab-el Wad" road).

To make sure everyone was confused, the following was quoted::

“French government spokesman Jean-François Cope confirmed the statement on Sunday in an interview on Radio J.

“The route itself is not in question,” said Cope “it would be stupid to question Israel’s right to defend itself.”

But of course, it is precisely the route that is in question. Moreover, the right of Israel to defend itself is what was questioned by the ICJ decision.

If you do not understand the position of the French government now, you are not alone. At least you understand the meaning of the word "diplomacy."

Hat tip: Southern Wolf

The complete "EJP article is below (at http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000282.html for our e-mail audience).

Ami Isseroff



French FM changes his opinion on Israeli separation barrier
http://www.ejpress.org/article/11283

By Shirli Sitbon Updated: 25/Oct/2006 17:28

PARIS (EJP)--- French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy declared last week he has changed his opinion on Israel's controversial separation barrier in light of its drastic effect on terror, forcing French authorities to clarify their position on the issue.

The barrier, which separates the West Bank from the rest of Israel, has garnered much criticism for creating a ghetto-style situation for the Palestinians and for allegedly appropriating Palestinian land on the Israeli side.

But although the French government has been critical of it since the start of its construction four years ago, Douste-Blazy has now reversed the feeling.

“I have significantly evolved on the matter of the separation fence” said Douste-Blazy on French Jewish television TFJ on Thursday. “Although the wall was a moral and ethical problem for me, when I realised terror attacks were reduced by 80 percent in the areas where the wall was erected, I understood I didn’t have the right to think that way.”

Douste-Blazy is the first high ranking French official to openly state his support for the security fence.

UN resolution

France welcomed in July 2004 the UN General Assembly resolution demanding that Israel dismantled the fence as suggested by the International Court of Justice.

Douste-Blazy’s unexpected comments induced the government to clarify its position on the wall.

“The question, for us, concerns the route of the fence rather than its mere existence,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei on Friday. “We recognise, of course, Israel’s right to defend itself from terror, but the route of the separation fence must not overlap Palestinian territory and prejudge the final solution.”

“We are keeping a wary eye on the situation,” added Mattei.

French government spokesman Jean-François Cope confirmed the statement on Sunday in an interview on Radio J.

“The route itself is not in question,” said Cope “it would be stupid to question Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Hamas vigorously criticised the French FM after his statement:

“It is the Palestinian nation which is suffering from the separation fence, not the French nation,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “Our nation is paying a high price for the separation and he [Douste-Blazy] must understand that the wall is the symbol of racial segregation and isolation.”

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000282.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 2 Comments

We should at least view the cup as half full. At least the French Foreign Minister is quoted as saying he understands now the importance of the fence. Of course they are going to do double talk to "Clarify." It's the nature of diplomacy and politics.

Daniel Reed, Sunday, November 12th


Is there anything tha sounds more amoral than a French politician criticizing Israel for defending herself. This is especially the case since the involvement of the French as collaborators with their Nazi conquerors was the rule and not the exception, despite Hollywood film assertions to the contrary. They have no moral standing to take issue with anyone's legitimate right to self defense.

Howard Wolf, Sunday, November 5th


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