Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It is a mad, mad, mad world...

As the US is preparing to provide the rational for withdrawing from confronting Iran about its nuclear ambitions, leaving Israel to grapple with the question of its survival on its own, an unlikely champion for Israel's security has stepped forward: France.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned of a risk of a war with Iran if Israel considered its security seriously threatened by Tehran's nuclear drive in a magazine interview to be published Thursday.

Sarkozy also said he was ready to travel to Tehran to discuss a civilian nuclear partnership if the country steps up its cooperation with the UN atomic watchdog.
"The problem for us is not so much the risk that the Americans launch a military intervention, but that the Israelis consider their security to be truly threatened," Sarkozy told Le Nouvel Observateur.


"Everyone agrees on the fact that what the Iranians are doing has no civilian explanation," Sarkozy said, referring to Tehran's uranium enrichment work. "The only debate is about whether they will develop a military capacity in one or five years."

Israel considers Iran its number one enemy following repeated calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map.

In a recent interview for the Israeli newspaper "Yediot Aharonot", Bernard-Henry Levi, the French intellectual who is visiting Israel these days, and who was known for his fierce opposition to Sarkozy, said that he has reconsidered his opinion of his president. One of the reasons being that Sarkosy was a genuine friend of Israel. I got the same impression when I watched Charlie Rose's interview with Bernard Kouchner, Sarkozy's foreign minister, on the eve of Annapolis.

But of course, since Sarkozy has Jewish blood flowing in his veins, and Kouchner is Jewish, their support will be dismissed, derided and debased in some quarters of both the Right and Left as being the machination of the grand Jewish conspiracy.

Still, it is heartening to hear such voices coming out Europe, of all place.

Stay tuned.

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