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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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