Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was paid 150,000 euros, nearly a quarter million dollars, to speak at a United Israel Appeal fundraiser Friday, in Davos, Switzerland. But the speech he delivered was not the one the organizers meant to pay for. Sarkozy blasted the State of Israel, saying that Israel has “surrounded herself with the walls of Jericho…it will be necessary to bring these walls down to prevent disaster.” His speech called for international pressure to establish a Palestinian state, according to the Times of Israel.
Immediately after delivering his speech, Sarkozy left the room, $202,000 dollars richer. Participants at the fundraiser were reportedly offended, some even threatening to withdraw their donations.
The closed door event at the Hotel President Wilson was held in conjunction with the World Economic Forum conference currently taking place in Davos.
Sarkozy’s maternal grandfather was a Greek Jew who converted to Catholicism. Sarkozy himself is a practicing Catholic. His UMP party once accused a rival politician who was Jewish of being a “champagne socialist who does not represent the image of rural France, the image of French soil we love.”
Ron Agam, a French Jewish artist and Algemeiner blogger, told the Algemeiner he was surprised by Sarkozy’s actions. “I am disappointed by President Sarkozy’s speech. Pressuring Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians will never be the way to peace. When the entire Arab world, including the Palestinians will be pressured to recognize Israel as a Jewish State then, maybe, equal pressure will bear its fruit,” he said.