Israeli press jeers French ambassador's remark

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

JERUSALEM, Dec 10 (AFP) - Israeli newspapers heaped scorn Friday on France's ambassador to Tel Aviv, accusing Gerard Araud of having forgotten his diplomatic manners by accusing Israelis of having an "anti-French neurosis".

JERUSALEM, Dec 10 (AFP) - Israeli newspapers heaped scorn Friday on France's ambassador to Tel Aviv, accusing Gerard Araud of having forgotten his diplomatic manners by accusing Israelis of having an "anti-French neurosis".

"Sacre Bleu" was the headline reaction of the English-language Jerusalem Post, which added, "Now Paris envoy says Israel hates the French".

The populist Maariv newspaper blasted Araud for having "forgotten the rules of polite diplomacy", while top-selling Yediot Aharonot simply reported his remarks along with a rash of negative reactions.

"There is a sort of anti-French neurosis in this country," Araud told French military radio Thursday, speaking in English.

"This anti-French neurosis has led to France being so hated in Israel," Araud went on. "The relationship between the two countries is very difficult. You simply love to hate us."

Araud's remarks were viewed as particularly bizarre as he had praised Israel in an interview published Wednesday for trying to show the "utmost restraint" during the intifada.

Araud "can't seem to decide whether to serve Israel teaspoons of sugar or tablespoons of vinegar," the Jerusalem Post said.

Meanwhile, Israel's envoy to Paris, Nissim Zvili, agreed the French had developed a biased picture of Israel in recent years, but said Araud was partially correct about a psychological problem in bilateral relations.

"He's close to being right," Zvili told military radio. "There is over-sensitivity in Israel toward French behaviour and in France toward Israel behaviour.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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