Analysis: French bias against Israel unchanged under Macron

While Paris insists that it seeks Arab-Israeli peace, it indirectly finances terrorism and rewards anti-Israel propaganda.

By Daniel Krygier, World Israel News

If French President Emmanuel Macron wants to present himself as an honest broker in the Arab-Israeli conflict, he has a funny way of showing it.

The Abbas regime in Ramallah recently announced that it has received eight million euros from the French government. In total, France has contributed 16 million euros to PA’s general budget during 2018. Ramallah’s uses this budget to finance its “Pay for Slay” program that offers financial incentives to murder Jews in Israel.

PA pays salaries to terrorist prisoners and allowances to the families of dead terrorists who are glorified as “martyrs.” Despite extensive criticism, the PA allocated 1.237 billion shekels to the “Pay for Slay” program, corresponding to more than 7 percent of Ramallah’s entire 2018 budget. While many Western liberals insist that Mahmoud Abbas is a “moderate,” the PA leader has declared that paying salaries to terrorists is a top priority.

France’s unbalanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict is not only limited to indirectly enabling terrorism against the Jewish state. The French government just awarded the extreme left Jerusalem-based B’Tselem organization and its Ramallah-based partner al-Haq the French Republic 2018 Human Rights Award. While B’Tselem claims to be a human rights organization, the controversial foreign-funded group has a long history of one-sided and systematic slandering of Israel.

While demonizing Israel’s democracy, B’Tselem largely ignores and even whitewashes the despotic PA’s severe human rights violations and support of terrorism. On October 18, 2018, B’Tselem’s Executive Director Hagai El-Ad participated at a U.N. Security Council session. Sitting next to Ramallah’s U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour, the B’Tselem director blasted Israel and falsely equated Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria with the former racist Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Ironically, the B’Tselem director had no objections to sitting next to the representative of the PA, a regime that demands Jew-free territories, proudly advocates racist Jew-hatred and severely punishes Arab residents who sell land to Jews. An Arab man wanted by the PA for selling land to Jews was just found dead in the Israeli Arab town of Jaljuliya.

France has a long history of challenging America’s foreign policies in the Middle East and beyond. However, in recent years Paris has gone further than in the past. Alongside Germany, France vocally defended the Iran deal and criticized President Trump for abandoning it and putting new sanctions on Tehran’s Islamist regime.

France also opposed Washington’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Israel’s capital Jerusalem. By doing so, Paris did not merely interfere in Israel’s domestic affairs. It also challenged the American government to decide the location of the U.S. embassy.

By embracing the extreme positions of Israel’s foes, France has effectively disqualified itself from any senior role in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. With a large and growing Muslim minority in France that includes many Islamists, France’s increased hostility towards Israel is likely less about Middle Eastern peace and more about preserving peace at home in France.