Sharon infuriates Paris with charge of Racism
Palestine-France, Politics, 2/26/2002
A storm has erupted in France following Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's statement last week that he is very concerned for the fate of French Jews in light of "the wave of dangerous anti-Semitism sweeping France, Ha'aretz newspaper said Monday.
The paper quoted Sharon as saying, during his speech in Jerusalem last week to the conference of major American Jewish organizations," there are around six million Arabs in France, and French Jewry could find itself facing great danger."
This is why we have started preparing to welcome them as immigrarants.
According to an Israeli Foreign Ministry source, Vedrine simply "added fuel to the fire. He attacked the Israeli government and its leaders, and made things even worse when he said what one could expect from Muslim youths, who are inflamed by what they, witnessed on television."
"It could be inferred from that this Vedrine is excusing violence against Jews," the paper said, quoting the source.
An Israeli diplomat in France said that reactions to Sharon's statement are split into two camps. One camp believes Sharon is accusing France of anti-Semitism in order to deligitimize France in the Middle East peace process, at a time when Paris is toughening its stand towards Israel. Israel has used charges of anti-Semitism as a tactical tool to muzzle those who criticize Israel's policy.
Another version says that Sharon is simply trying to encourage French Jews to immigrate to Israel by fanning the flames of anti-Semitism, the paper added.
Colonel Mohammed Dahlan, the Chief of the Palestinian preventive security said the PA would react to the Israeli decision of keeping siege on Arafat with a group of measures such as rejection to hold security meetings and full boycott of Sharon.
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