French President François Hollande has accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
of using last week’s Toulouse memorial to benefit himself in the run up to
January’s national election, according to Le Canard enchaîné, which is known for
its reliable sources.
According to the satirical weekly, Hollande spoke
on the airplane to Beirut last week about his joint visit with Netanyahu to
Toulouse, where they participated to a ceremony at the Ohr Torah school in
memory of Jews murdered by Islamist Mohamed Merah last March.
was planned in two parts, memorial first, then speech. Since I was there, he
modified his speech a little bit, but it was not good to change that ceremony
into an electoral meeting,” said the French president, whose decision to visit
Toulouse with the prime minister was taken at the last minute.
newspaper also reported also that Hollande complained that his guest is
“obsessed” by the Iranian issue. “He didn’t stop talking about Iran during
lunch” at the Elysee Palace, the president said.
But after the visit,
Netanyahu warmly praised Hollande for his strong fight against anti-Semitism and
for his efforts to increase the sanctions against Iran. “Israel has a new friend
at the Elysee,” a high ranking diplomatic source said.
A Jewish Zionist
website, AlyaexpressNews, gave a slightly different version of the complaints
reported by Le Canard enchaîné.
“Netanyahu used the ceremony in Toulouse
for his political propaganda... [I] am sorry that [he] came to France in order
to make propaganda at two levels,” Hollande reportedly said.
headline: “After Netanyahu the ‘liar,’ it is now Netanyahu the ‘obsessed,’”
referring to the attitudes of French politicians toward the prime
It reminded its readers that then-president Nicolas Sarkozy
told US President Barack Obama in November 2011: “Netanyahu is a liar.”