Finally, someone shouted the emperor is naked. Thank you Nicolas Sarkozy for breaking the ice and pointing out, in the most stylish, French way to Bibi Netanyahu, that it’s a mistake that the Israeli Foreign Minister is a right-wing, belligerent, xenophobe (not his words – mine).
With élan befitting a French president, behind closed doors, Sarkozy whispered words to this effect to the Israeli PM during his visit to Paris last week. Not intentionally creating any diplomatic incident, in a soft voice, he shouted out to the world that the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is no better than France’s own right wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen. Instead he gave his nod to former FM Tzipi Livni, whose presence is far more acceptable around the world, and whose approach is one of diplomacy and pragmatism and not of offence and brutishness.
It’s très absurd that Netanyahu accuses Sarkosy of interfering with our internal politics, when Israel publically denounced the Austrian government in 2000 after Joerg Haider’s far-right Freedom Party joined the coalition. How can we accuse other countries of condoning extreme right wing hard liners in their governments when we are doing nothing different in our own?
The absurdity continues when Netanyahu justifies Lieberman’s existence in as Foreign Minister of the State of Israel is that he has been democratically elected to represent the country. Huh? Rewind: The ruling Likud party was voted in with fewer votes that the opposition Kadima party (27 vs. 28); the person nominated to represent ALL Israelis abroad, is from the Yisrael Beiteinu party that won 15 out of the Knesset’s 120 seats in the February 2009 elections. Four months later, and it’s still hard to swallow.
We have a Foreign Minister who, if a referendum were held in Israel today, would more than likely be dumped. But the Israeli public rolls its eyes, and says: “This is the election system we have. What can you do?” Well, we may not be able to do much about it, but at the very least, we can take our hats off to French Prez Nick for doing what he does best – acknowledge nudity.