By Dr. guy Bechor
While both former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and incumbent President François Hollande present themselves as “friends of Israel,” evidence is growing that behind the scenes they are actually betraying Israel, under an influence that smells very bad.
A thick book titled “Une France sous influence: Quand le Qatar fait de notre pays son terrain de jeu“ (A France under influence: How Qatar turned our country into its playground”) exposed last year the very personal relations between the French and Qatari regimes during these two presidents’ terms, and asserted that since 2007, France has in fact become a satellite of Qatar, which has bought it and its discretion.
The writers, Vanessa Ratignier and Pierre Péan, demonstrate how Qatar has clearly influenced both Sarkozy and Hollande’s decision making.
In an attempt to save its sinking economy, France provided its foreign policy as a guarantee to an Arab dictatorship in the Persian Gulf, which is the most hostile Arab state towards Israel and one of the supporters of terror in Syria and Iraq. Qatar invests some $50 billion in France, and the book exposes how it funded Sarkozy’s personal divorce settlement with his wife Cecilia, at a total of €3 million, when he chose to marry Carla Bruni.
Was Israel a price demanded by the Qataris? Sarkozy pretended to be a true friend of Israel, but the WikiLeaks documents exposed this week reveal that during his presidential term he threatened the White House and pressured it not to support Israel on the Palestinian state issue – a delusion which has been preoccupying Qatar for years, as a project. This French hypocrisy is both amazing and disappointing. That’s not what we expected from this country.
Sarkozy is now busy trying to promote a Qatari representative as the next United Nations secretary-general after Ban Ki-moon’s term ends. According to media reports, Sarkozy was also one of those who supported Qatar’s ambition to host the World Cup, a hosting which is now unlikely due to corruption suspicions on a global scale. Was Sarkozy’s support for Palestine’s admission into UNESCO in 2011 also part of some hidden payment? France’s stance at the time seemed extremely puzzling.
And Hollande, the most unpopular president in his country for decades, has been seen visiting Persian Gulf states, surrounded by giggling sheikhs. The book asserts that he is also operating under Qatar’s influence, and only last month he signed a €6.3-billion deal with Qatar for the sale of French fighter jets.
And again, is Israel part of the payment to Qatar? Is France’s strange initiative at the UN Security Council, to impose the establishment of a Palestinian state, also some kind of secret payment to Qatar or Saudi Arabia? This initiative landed like an alien, and no one understands it. Why now? And what is it driven by? We have already learned from the WikiLeaks documents that what we see from the presidential palace in Paris is not necessarily what is going on.
Therefore, from now on, we should not believe a word coming from Paris until proven otherwise. And France, which is immersed in petrodollars with a suspicious odor, should be the last one allowed to meddle in our affairs.
And as for France’s citizens, who are rightfully proud of their country with its historic vision: Are you in favor of the great France being enslaved in such a shameful manner by a tiny and megalomaniac dictatorship, which just happens to have oil? Is the republic’s great vision reaching such a miserable end?
Published: Yedioth Aharonoth