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November 1, 2011 3:20 pm

France’s UNESCO Shame

avatar by Ron Agam

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Photo: World Economic Forum.

The French vote yesterday in favor of the admission of ‘Palestine’ as a member state of UNESCO was a big disappointment to many countries including Germany, England and most importantly the United States. As an ally of the United States, France has betrayed the trust that is demanded of an ally, it was a cynical and selfish demonstration of misplaced Gallic pride, especially after the Libyan adventure where the US spent over 1 billion dollars to support Sarkozy’s war.

The so-called dependable US ally characterized by the French President has alienated a  number of American politicians and supporters of the French-American alliance.  Many of them in Congress are also supporters of Israel. This French initiative will have political consequences and will reignite old demons, pertaining to France and its pro-Arab stance.

One more very important constituent that is being alienated, is the American Jewish community. It is noticeable that the French vote has awakened old suspicions raised about the true nature of French foreign policy. The impression until now, was that Sarkozy was a sincere friend of Israel, this understanding has now been put to rest as the French initiative at UNESCO was hardily promoted by the French President himself.  Sources have confirmed that Sarkozy exercised his influence to favor the Palestine inclusion.

Personally as one of the most vocal and active people that have helped foster better relations between France, the US and Israel, I am profoundly hurt and disappointed with President Sarkozy. I suppose that 600,000 French Jews are also irate.

I never expected that he would be the one that would deceive us at a time when Israel needed critical support to achieve Peace in the Middle-East. This vote was a travesty,  influenced by France’s dependence on oil and internal politics where the will of over 5 million French Muslims counts more than that of 600,000 French Jews.

Morality and decency were not part of this decision, and that is a huge blemish on the integrity of France’s foreign policy and national honor, Arab blackmail and incitement should not be rewarded. For a grandson of Salonika’s Jews, whose family was decimated in the holocaust, he should know better.

It is matter of principle and human dignity, the Palestinian Authority has promoted an active anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli campaign of incitement through their educational organizations that has never stopped, using culture and education to promote hatred and intolerance. For the French to have supported the entrance of  terrorists and blackmailers to UNESCO is a blemish and an insult.

I will never forget nor excuse this vote, I am profoundly disturbed by what happened this past Monday in Paris.

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  • otto

    Why it is a shame to accept palestine to Unesco ? This article gives no information or explanation about its title. France is an ally to US and US says “NO” so France has to say “NO”. Is that your reasoning. Come on guys be objective and think a little bit more.

  • Sam

    The tomb of Matriarch Rachel
    has already been handed to the Palestinians and is now a mosque. What next? Maybe the church of the Nativity will be next.
    Can’t see the point of a corrupt UNESCO.

  • Ron Agam

    I use to have a great affection and appreciation for President Sarkozy, this for me has been an immense deception because principles matters, when you know you are dealing with ex-terrorists, you have to be 100 time more carefull when you help introduce them to such a prestigious cultural arena like UNESCO.
    In my opnion , its way to early to consider them for membership in any int’l organisation, there are still a terror organisation whose (Fatah) charter is dedicated to the destruction of Israel
    For France it was a vote without consequence for them, for Israel it can become an existential issue.

  • Alain Juppé a demandé la “libération” du prisonnier franco-palestinien auteur de l’attentat non abouti contre le Rav Obadia Yossef. Cette confusion entre emprisonnement d’un terroriste et capture d’un otage est révélateur d’une politique française partiale.
    Politique renforcée par le vote récent de la France à l’UNESCO et qui préfigure le sens que prendront les “négociations” pour la paix au proche Orient.

  • Alain Juppé said: France has an Arab politic and will keep it that way…


    Ron Agam…

    Yes, this disappointing act casts a “huge blemish on the integrity of France’s foreign policy and national honor” as you have written. Just when we thought French leadership was, finally, becoming more realistic towards world events and becoming more even-handed in their politics”… they go and perform such a blatant pander to Arab blackmail combined with the smell of oil. I am sorry and embarrassed for my French friends who know better and are disgusted by their country’s lack of moral principle.

    D U K E