Le Drian’s remarks on Israel: the French ambassador summoned

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The words of Jean-Yves Le Drian do not get through. Thursday, May 27, 2021, the Israeli foreign ministry summoned the French ambassador to Israel, in reaction to the statements of the French foreign minister, according to a spokesperson for the ministry. As a reminder, Sunday, May 23, the latter had mentioned a “risk of apartheid” in the Hebrew state, if no Palestinian state saw the light of day alongside Israel. The chief of the Israeli diplomacy, Gabi Ashkenazy, indicated to the ambassador of France in Israel, Eric Danon, that the remarks of the French minister were “unacceptable, without foundation and disconnected from reality”, during an interview Thursday morning at the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

The meeting was confirmed to Agence France-Presse by a French diplomatic source. The Israeli Foreign Ministry says it expects “its friends not to speak irresponsibly, so as not to reinforce extremists and anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities” abroad, its spokesperson reported. Lior Haiat, in a press release.

Jean-Yves Le Drian had said Sunday at Grand Jury RTL / Le Figaro / LCI that “if by chance we had another solution than the two-state solution, then we would have the ingredients for an apartheid that would last a long time”. “The risk of apartheid is strong if we continue to adopt a logic of one state or the status quo. Even the status quo produces this, ”he added.

Netanyahu sees red

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had already castigated, Wednesday, May 26, a “lesson of hypocritical and false morality on this question”. In recent weeks, cohabitation between Jews and Arabs has shattered in several mixed Israeli towns, as Israel clashes with the Islamist movement Hamas in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza. The Israeli army and Hamas, in power in Gaza, have observed a ceasefire since Friday, May 21 after several days of Israeli raids and rocket fire from the enclave towards Israeli territory. At the peak of this escalation, in Paris, pro-Palestinian demonstrations bringing together several thousand people had been organized, despite prefectural bans due to disturbances to public order.

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