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Reasons to Hate the French #I’ve Lost Count Already

The French ambassador to Israel has been doing his best to confirm everything we already know and loathe about the French.

French Ambassador to Israel Gerard Araud stunned Israeli diplomats during a lecture he delivered at his office Wednesday, after telling his listeners Israel enjoys a favorable French attitude compared to Arab countries.

 

“Israelis think sometimes they are discriminated against compared to the Arabs, but that’s not true. You enjoy a favorable attitude,” he said, and pointed to a series of joint Israeli-European projects to back up his claim.

 

The ambassador also chose to resort to humor when addressing French arrogance, hinting that Israeli haughtiness is worse. Araud also shared 
with his listeners his views regarding the “misunderstandings and wrong perceptions” in relations between the two countries.

Mr Araud then reportedly pointed to some examples of these “misunderstandings”:

 

  • When the French ambassador to London called Israel a “sh*tty little country“, he meant it as a compliment. Just as sh*t is a natural bi-product of the human body, so too Israel is a natural bi-product of human history. As for being little, some of the French ambassador’s best friends are midgets.

     

  • When Mr Araud himself called Ariel Sharon a “voyou” (commonly translated as “punk”), this was a case of mistranslation. He did not mean it in the sense of “punk”, but rather “crook.” In any event, Mr Araud was a huge Sex Pistols fan in the late seventies, and hence it was meant as a compliment.
  • The envoy, who heard scathing criticism over Europe’s one-sided policy expressed by Israel’s ambassador to the European Union, Oded Eran, replied: “We, the French, are always blamed for arrogance within the EU, but when I listen to my colleague Oded Eran, I believe that if we let Israel join the EU, it will only help France’s reputation.”

    Touche! But don’t worry..he’ll just claim he was “misunderstood,” and it was meant as a compliment.

    Araud also attempted to get to the root of European-Israeli misunderstandings, and noted one of the problems was the negative European stigma when it comes to the words “occupation” and “colonization.”

    And when I think of the French, the words “constipation” and “colon” come to mind.

    “Those are two words that you cannot justify or defend in any way in Europe,” he said.

    Like the word “French.”

    The envoy also sought to counter what he called the myth among Israelis regarding the influence exerted by the Muslim minority on France’s foreign policy.

     

    “First of all,” he said, “the numbers presented are completely mad. In the press here, I hear that (the population of) France is 10 percent Muslim, meaning 10 million people. Demographers who deal with the issue put it at just 6 to 7 percent.”

    Actually, France’s population is around 60 million, so 10% would be around 6 million Muslims. Which is exactly what Araud is confirming when he states that 10% of the population is 10 million (i.e. total French population of 100 million), and that Muslims constitute 6-7% of the population. Come to think of it, by stating a range of 6-7, he is admitting that there could be as many as 7 million Muslims! 

    Araud added that even those numbers are misleading.

     

    Ninety-five percent of those (Muslims) aren’t extremists or militants. They also aren’t involved or integrated within our political system,” he said. “You can see a number of Jewish names but hardly one Muslim name. Maybe in another 20 years, you can complain. At present, it’s a completely mistaken view.”

    Even if this was the case, 5% being “extremists or militants” (i.e. terrorists) is over 300,000 people. That is a large number.

    Araud said that in Israel it’s also very commonplace to quote marginal officials hostile to Israel when the French themselves barely notice them at all.

    Given that it has been Araud himself often quoted for his “hostile” views on Israel, is he admitting that he is a “marginal official”?

    But sometimes being anti-Israel is in the eye of the beholder.

     

    The French ambassador recalled his visit to Israel as a young diplomat in 1982.

     

    “They said I was so anti-Israel. Why? Because, as European diplomat, I said that there has to be a Palestinian state and one must talk with the PLO. Today that’s the expressed policy of the State of Israel. Maybe the problem was that we were right too early.”

    There’s that French arrogance again..

    About the author

    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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