Sarkozy slams Israel at Keren Hayesod dinner

Former French PM receives 150,000 euros to give speech at gala dinner in Geneva hosted by local Jewish community.

February 1, 2013 02:24
French President Nicolas Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/France Television)


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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 flight.

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 Jericho.”

“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 Observateur reported.

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