Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was paid 150,000 euros by a Monaco-based
philanthropist for a 45-minute speech in Geneva on January 24, which he
dedicated to harsh criticism of Israel, the French newsweekly Le Nouvel
Observateur reported on Thursday.
The Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal
gala dinner in Geneva was hosted by the local Jewish community, with 450
participants in attendance and philanthropist Lily Safra footing the bill for
the guest of honor and main speaker who was flown in on a private
Suffering from a cold, Sarkozy was unshaven and in a bad mood,
the magazine reported.
In his speech, Sarkozy accused the Israeli
government of “having enclosed the Jewish state within the ramparts of
“He then called on the Jewish Diaspora and the international
community to put pressure on Israel to force it to restart negotiations with the
Palestinians,” said the article, emphasizing that “these words didn’t please the
audience, which was vociferous in its dissatisfaction.”
“When he finished
speaking, Mr. Sarkozy left the hotel quickly without saying a word,” Le Nouvel
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