Sarkozy in hot water in Israel

Nicolas Sarkozy may want to keep his opinions to himself next time Benjamin Netanyahu comes to Paris — that is, if he ever wants to come back. Israel’s foreign ministry has accused France of unacceptable meddling in its internal affairs over a reported comment by President Nicolas Sarkozy. He was quoted by Israeli TV calling ...

584240_090630_sarkozy5.jpg
584240_090630_sarkozy5.jpg

Nicolas Sarkozy may want to keep his opinions to himself next time Benjamin Netanyahu comes to Paris -- that is, if he ever wants to come back.

Israel's foreign ministry has accused France of unacceptable meddling in its internal affairs over a reported comment by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy may want to keep his opinions to himself next time Benjamin Netanyahu comes to Paris — that is, if he ever wants to come back.

Israel’s foreign ministry has accused France of unacceptable meddling in its internal affairs over a reported comment by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

He was quoted by Israeli TV calling for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who leads a far-right party, to be sacked.

The plea, which has not been confirmed nor denied by officials, was allegedly made during a meeting with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

Israeli Arab leaders have accused the foreign minister of anti-Arab racism[…]

Israeli Channel Two reported that President Sarkozy advised Mr Netanyahu to “get rid” of Mr Lieberman during their meeting in Paris.

He also suggested that his predecessor Tzipi Livni be restored to the post, according to the report.

“You need to get rid of this man… You need to remove him from this position,” Mr Sarkozy reportedly said, to which Mr Netanyahu replied that “in private [Mr Lieberman] is pragmatic”.

Sarkozy also compared Lieberman’s private pleasantness to French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has often been attacked for anti-Semitic comments. Regardless, given that the meeting was private, it would be interesting to learn who leaked the details to Israeli TV. 

GERARD CERLES/AFP/Getty Images

James Downie is an editorial researcher at FP.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.