Sarkozy says no peace without resolution of refugee plight
From Khalid Amayreh in East Jerusalem
Visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech before the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, Monday, drew ambivalent reactions from Israeli leaders and political parties.
Israeli government officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, applauded Sarkozy for voicing commitment to the security of the Zionist state and especially for his strong words against the Iranian nuclear program.
Speaking at a special session of the Knesset in his honor, Sarkozy said a nuclear Iran would be intolerable.
“Anyone trying to destroy Israel will find France blocking the way.”
Israel is the only nuclear power in the Middle East with a stockpile of more than 200 nuclear bombs and warheads.
Predominantly Muslim nations in the Middle East and beyond view Israel’s nuclear weapons as constituting a direct strategic threat to the region. Recently, an Israeli cabinet Minister said Israel would attack Iran. Another Israeli official had vowed to wage a holocaust against the Palestinian people.
Drawing applause from an audience of government officials, military commanders and other dignitaries, Sarkozy said “Israel must know it is not alone in the battle against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
Predictably, the French President, who said he has a Jewish ancestry, made no reference or illusion to the Israeli nuclear arsenal.
Trying to strike a balance between his infatuation with Israel and France’s policy toward the Arab world, especially the Palestinian question, Sarkozy said Jerusalem would have to be capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state.
“The Palestinians have the right to a viable state of their own,” he said, adding that such a state would be in Israel’s interests.
More to the point, Sarkozy said there would be no peace in the Middle East without a resolution of the Palestinian refugee problem which he called a sticking point in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
However, what probably upset the Israeli government most was his call for an immediate halt to Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
He further called on the Israeli government to “encourage legislation that would encourage Jewish settlers to leave the West Bank.”
Such remarks are anathema to Jewish supremacists who believe that non-Jews, including Christians and Muslims, have no right to live as equal citizens in Palestine-Israel.
Sarkozy also linked Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation to Israel’s repressive measures against the Palestinian population, saying “there will be no peace if the Palestinians don not fight ‘terrorism.’ Each side has to make an effort. Peace is not possible if the Palestinians cannot move about freely.”
Judeo-Nazi leaders such as Benny Elon (National Union) said a Palestinian state ought to take place in Jordan not in Palestine.
Elon is a firm believer of Jewish fascism and advocates either expulsion, enslavement or extermination for non-Jews living under Jewish law.
Prior to Sarkozy’s speech before the Knesset, extremist Israeli leaders, such as Likud Leader Benyamin Netanyahu, sought to incite hatred against Islam.
A well-known racist and Islam-hater, Netanyahu claimed that “radical Islam was the greatest threat to the free world.” Netanyahu also compared Islam to Nazism, prompting indignation and disbelief among Arab Knesset members.
Palestinian Knesset member Ahmed Teibi interrupted Netanyahu.
“What is this stupid comparison between Islam and Nazism. Are you ashamed of yourself? Don’t you know the history of Nazism? Muslims saved Jews from Nazism in the countries of Maghrib. Besides, the Nazis were westerners, not easterners. You are a man that has no shame.”
Netanyahu is believed to have played a pivotal role in prompting the Bush administration to invade, attack and destroy Iraq and Afghanistan which eventually caused the death of over a million people, mostly innocent civilians.
The former Israeli Prime Minister, who opposes peace between Israel and the Palestinians, is now constantly instigating the US to attack Iran in order to enable Israel to retain its military supremacy in the Middle East.
Olmert, haunted by a corruption scandal that could bring his government down, lauded the “revival of Israeli-French relations” Sarkozy’s leadership.
“We thank you for your courage, for your principles and for your friendship.”
Sarkozy is slated to meet later with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and assure him of France’s support for the creation of a Palestinian state.