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At the recently held Cannes G-20 Summit, the host, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, unaware of the fact that his lapel microphone was live, said to U.S. President Barack Obama, “I cannot stand Netanyahu. He’s a liar.” And, according to the report by French media website Arret Sur Images, Obama responded with, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day.” The shameful and hypocritical behavior of Sarkozy and Obama, not to be outdone by Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron, speaks volumes about their perfidy and treachery.
Earlier this year, Sarkozy and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron threatened Israel with severe consequences if Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not accept the Hamas-Fatah unification, and agree to their demands as a price for the resumption of “peace” talks. Sarkozy (and Cameron) hinted he will certainly vote for a Palestinian State. Although France ultimately abstained on Palestinian statehood, France voted for the Palestinians to have full membership in UNESCO.
French treachery vis-a-vis Israel has a history. And, on the eve of the 1967 Six-Day War it was on full display, when French President Charles de Gaulle decided to reverse the country’s foreign policy to one in favor of the Arabs, and placed an embargo on weapons deliveries to Israel, despite France’s contractual agreements with Israel. De Gaulle, who had served as founder and president of France’s Fifth Republic from 1959-1969, had forged an alliance with the Jewish state during a time when both France and Israel fought Arab nationalism in Algeria and Nasser’s Egypt respectively.
In 1960, France promised to supply Israel with 200 AMX-13 tanks and 72 Mystere fighter jets over the next 10-years. On June 2, 1967, three days before the war broke out, de Gaulle cut Israel off cold. He told his cabinet that “France will not give its approval to, and still less, support the first nation to use weapons.” De Gaulle’s statement was hypocritical and treacherous since he had already decided to abandon Israel and embrace the Arabs. On November 27, 1967, in a televised news conference, de Gaulle described the Jewish people as “this elite people, sure of themselves and domineering.”
Much of the instability and violence in today’s Middle East has its antecedents in the actions taken by the British and French governments. While World War I was still going on they met and began to draw the map of the Middle East and drew up what would became known as the Sykes-Picot secret agreement of May 1916. Following the end of war and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire they created new and mostly artificial nations such as Iraq, Trans-Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, while abandoning minorities such as the Kurds.
On August 10, 1920, a pact between the allies (Britain and France) and the representatives of the Ottoman Turkish government, known as the Treaty of Sevres, abolished the Ottoman Empire and obligated Turkey to renounce all rights over the Arab Middle East and North Africa. The treaty also provided for the establishment of an autonomous Kurdistan.
The Turks rejected the Treaty of Sevres, and in 1923, Turkey was recognized as an independent nation, with the Treaty of Lausanne subsequently replacing Sevres. Under its terms, Turkey was no longer obligated to grant the Kurds autonomy. The treaty divided the Kurdish region among Turkey, Iran, and Syria – with British and French collusion.
Syria became a hodge-podge of ethnic and religious groups. The French, who were wary of Sunni-Arab nationalism, granted autonomous status to the Alawites. They created an officer cadre from amongst the Alawites, which eventually gave rise to the Assad dictatorships, and Alawite domination of the Syrian military. Today’s upheaval in Syria has a great deal to do with those early French policies. The majority Sunni-Arabs resent the Alawite monopoly on power, and they remember (as the Kurds do) the betrayal of the French.
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