Israelis have 'anti-French neurosis': ambassador

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

JERUSALEM, Dec 9 (AFP) - France's ambassador to Tel Aviv accused Israelis Thursday of having an "anti-French neurosis" and of singling out his country for criticism over anti-Semitism.

JERUSALEM, Dec 9 (AFP) - France's ambassador to Tel Aviv accused Israelis Thursday of having an "anti-French neurosis" and of singling out his country for criticism over anti-Semitism.

"There is a sort of neurosis in this country, an anti-French neurosis," Gerard Araud said in an interview on army radio.

"It's very clear. Something happens in London or in Rome, nobody reacts. In France there is immediately a reaction because the Israelis are convinced that the French are anti-Israeli."

Araud said that France, home to western Europe's largest Jewish community, was being unfairly singled out for incidents of anti-Semitism.

"In June, there were two synagogues burning in a city in Europe and nobody reacted. And the day after, there was anti-Semitic graffiti in Notre Dame in Paris - it was the front page of (the Israeli daily) Haaretz," said the diplomat.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon infuriated Paris back in July when he called on all Jews living in France to leave and move to Israel "immediately" in the wake of what he called the "spread of the wildest anti-Semitism".

In an effort to downplay the row, Sharon later lavished praise on French President Jacques Chirac for "mobilising" against anti-Semitism.

The Israeli foreign ministry said the ambassador's comments were "unacceptable" and strayed "outside of diplomatic norms".

"They do not contribute to the efforts of France and Israel to improve their relationship," the head of the ministry's European desk, Ran Curiel, said in a statement.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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