French ministry defends criticism of Netanyahu

Forwarded from Freedom net by John Worrell

Sunday, September 14, 1997

By Nitzan Horowitz, Ha'aretz Paris Correspondent PARIS - The French Foreign Ministry on Saturday defended an attack by Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "catastrophic policies," saying it was not a slip of the tongue but an expression of France's position. Vedrine's criticism was played up by the French media and was commended in the Arab world. Vedrine said the peace process was finished and that Netanyahu's government had brought the Palestinians to "an unprecendented level of despair and hopelessness." Vedrine declared that Netanyahu's policy encourages terrorism by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, who are fighting Arafat, while completely undermining Arafat and ruining him. "This policy is catastrophic, catastrophic!" he declared. A French Foreign Ministry spokesman also used the word "catastrophic" and said the political deterioration in the region and the stalemate in the peace process had led to this situation. According to him, it was France's sense of friendship toward Israel that had made it express its views. "Must friends avoid telling the truth?" he asked

orwarded from Freedom net by John Worrell

Sunday, September 14, 1997 French ministry defends criticism of Netanyahu By Nitzan Horowitz, Ha'aretz Paris Correspondent PARIS - The French Foreign Ministry on Saturday defended an attack by Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "catastrophic policies," saying it was not a slip of the tongue but an expression of France's position. Vedrine's criticism was played up by the French media and was commended in the Arab world. Vedrine said the peace process was finished and that Netanyahu's government had brought the Palestinians to "an unprecendented level of despair and hopelessness." Vedrine declared that Netanyahu's policy encourages terrorism by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, who are fighting Arafat, while completely undermining Arafat and ruining him. "This policy is catastrophic, catastrophic!" he declared. A French Foreign Ministry spokesman also used the word "catastrophic" and said the political deterioration in the region and the stalemate in the peace process had led to this situation. According to him, it was France's sense of friendship toward Israel that had made it express its views. "Must friends avoid telling the truth?" he asked

1997 Ha'aretz.