It appears that the State of Israel, in its campaign to prevent Iran from achieving its nuclear goal, has a staunch ally in France.
French President Francois Hollande arrived in Israel for a state visit on Sunday, accompanied by his partner Valerie Trierwieler and a delegation of senior French government ministers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been working feverishly to thwart a “very bad deal” between Iran and the P5+1. Netanyahu stressed repeatedly that any deal allowing Iran to maintain even a residual capacity to enrich uranium would pose extreme danger not only to Israel, but to the world. Israeli politicians across the spectrum stand behind the Israeli leader on this point.
According to The Jerusalem Post, in an interview with German newspaper Bild, Netanyahu said that Iran has enough low-grade uranium for five nuclear bombs, adding that he hopes to be viewed in history “as someone who did everything on his watch to protect the Jewish people and the Jewish state so that the horrors of the past are not repeated.”
During the first round of negotiations in Geneva between Iran and the six global powers earlier this month, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius opposed what he had termed a “sucker’s deal.”
“France will not make concessions on nuclear proliferation,” Hollande affirmed upon landing in Israel. “France will maintain all its measures and sanctions until we are certain that Iran has renounced nuclear weapons.”
At a press conference with Hollande on Sunday evening at his official residence, Netanyahu told the French leader:
“You said that it is better to be right and in the minority than to be wrong with a majority. Well, I couldn’t agree with you more.”
Following a visit with Hollande and his entourage to Yad Vashem, Netanyahu, referring to Iran’s many threats to destroy the Jewish state, declared:
“We understand exactly when somebody says that they’re out to destroy you. We have learned in our Jewish history to take them seriously.”
Another lesson from history, he continued, is that “when somebody starts by attacking the Jews, they generally don’t end there, and the fire soon catches and burns many lands.”
Peres and Netanyahu, throughout the visit, affirmed the strong bond of friendship between France and Israel. Also on the agenda, as stated by the Prime Minister’s Office, was the signing of a “joint statement that expresses the continued growth of bilateral relations, the determination to continue and deepen cooperation in many areas of strategic importance, and the strengthening of economic, scientific, educational and cultural ties.”
At a conference for French-Israeli innovation on Tuesday, Netanyahu said:
“What we are seeing is the future. I think where radical Islam is trying to take us is the past. We are for modernity. They are for a dark medievalism. We’re for opening up our societies for everyone – men, women, minorities, the right to be different. They’re for uniform suppression of a rigid doctrine and they want to back it up with weapons of death. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that. I think it would be a grave mistake to repeat the mistake that was done vis-à-vis North Korea, another closed society, doctrinaire, rigid and aggressive. I think in the case of Iran, there is an opportunity. It would be a great mistake to capitulate before Iran when they have all reasons right now to respond to the pressures that have been put on them. Rather than surrendering to their charm offensive, it’s important that they surrender to the pressure that can be brought to them to have them abandon their nuclear program.”
Written by Atara Beck, Staff Writer at United with Israel.
Nov. 19, 2013