Sarkozism and DeGaulism in the Arab Media

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Arab analysts and students of Franko-Arab relations commonly attribute Sarkozi’s rise to power in France to the suburban riots which swept across the country in 2005.

They often stress that the violence which characterised the angry protests in the suburbs had influenced the general attitude of the French citizens (the electorate) towards the Arabs and Muslims, who increasingly came to be viewed with suspicion and apprehension.

The ultimate outcome of the riots, they claim, can be seen in the shift from the left and centre towards the right and extreme right in French politics.

These analysts and commentators also view Sarkozism as the end of DeGaulism, which was in their view sympathetic towards the Arab cause, sought to introduce multipolarism on the international arena, stood against the war in Iraq and was always also supportive of the rights of the Palestinians. 

But such views have been repeatedly proven to be founded on emotional bases rather than reality. Incredibly, these experts seem to be of the opinion that great democratic nations, even in the 21st century,

would change course and alter their international policies and strategic priorities, simply because the

presidency changed hands in their countries and a new head of state was sworn in. Let us at this juncture remind ourselves of the fact that the French position on  Israel has not and will not change.

 The French attitude is in line with that of its partners in the EU, which has imposed sanctions against the Palestinian people, following Hamas victory in a democratic and internationally supervised election. 

 All this happened during the presidency of Chirac, who is often described as a friend of the Arabs!   France has furthermore often stressed that Israel’s security is a nonnegotiable long-held axiom, and both rightists and leftists in France have expressed their support of the two-state solution in the region.  

Let us also remind ourselves and those commentators that the Demona nuclear reactor in Israel was built with French support and finances when DeGaulism, not Sarkozism, was dominant in France..  As for the opposition of France (and Germany, for that matter) to the US war in Iraq, it is nothing but a self-serving Machiavellian ploy.

 Both Paris and Berlin are now doing all they could behind the scene to win oil contracts and wrestle at least some of the reconstruction projects in Iraq from rival British and American consortiums.  

 Need we mention that France, under Chirac, not Sarkozy, resisted all calls to admit its colonial crimes inAlgeria

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