New French prime minister “eternally tied” to Israel

With his appointment as France’s new prime minister, there has been renewed attention to a 2011 video of Manuel Valls declaring that he is “eternally tied” to Israel, and expressing Islamophobic views.

Valls, who served as interior minister until his promotion to prime minister, has gained considerable international attention because he was born in the Catalonia region in Spain.

He’s also won recognition in the Israeli press for his hard-right stances. Despite nominally being a Socialist, Valls “has an ‘iron fist’ for the respect for law and order against all laxness, especially regarding illegal immigrants and those who wish to gradually infiltrate or subvert society,” reports The Jerusalem Post.

“These include the Romani, Islamist extremists, anti-Semites, anti-Zionists, terrorists (such as Mohammed Merah, who perpetrated the March 2012 shootings in Toulouse and Montauban), and Dieudonné, a French comedian noted for his anti-Semitic statements.”

Last September Valls set off a storm of criticism when he stated that Roma people have “lifestyles that are very different from ours” and that “their destiny is to return to Romania or Bulgaria.”

2011 video

The Jerusalem Post does not, however, mention a 2011 video – above – that is making the rounds on a number of French websites.

The French Muslim-oriented news website oumma.com says the interview took place at a 17 June 2011 forum hosted by Radio Judaïca in the northern city of Strasbourg.

Radio Judaïca has apparently removed any reference to the Valls interview from its website.

In the video clip Valls attacks a number of his fellow Socialist leaders for being insufficiently pro-Israel.

He also seeks to position himself as more pro-Israel even than France’s then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

“The same Nicolas Sarkozy, who many of you voted for in 2007, considering him Israel’s only friend, and the protector of our country’s Jewish community – this is the same man who made an agreement to create the conditions for Islam in France with the UOIF [Union of Islamic Organizations of France],” Valls claims.

Valls apparently suggests that Sarkozy had made some sort of accord to grant Islam official status.

He also took shots at the internationally renowned Swiss scholar of Islam Tariq Ramadan who has been a favorite punching bag of European Islamophobes.

Valls claimed that he was the only figure on the political left “who fought with Tariq Ramadan.”

Valls, who was mayor of the southern Paris suburb of Évry at the time, said that Ramadan had come to his town “and filled the mosque.” His comments are replete with such sectarian dog whistles.

Eternally tied to Israel

Finally, Valls affirms that “through my wife I am eternally tied to the Jewish community and to Israel. So I have not come here to receive lessons in combating anti-Semitism.”

Valls married the violinist Anne Gravoin in 2010. The JTA describes Gravoin as being of “Jewish Moldovan descent.”

Valls’ comments sound like pandering, but they also involve open baiting of Muslims as a way to solidify support among a right-wing, pro-Israel audience.

Such views are unlikely to promote good relations with French Muslims.

Moreover, Valls’ comments unfairly associate being Jewish or being married to a Jewish person with necessarily supporting Israel and Zionism.

Such assertions can foster prejudicial stereotypes as well as delegitimize and marginalize French Jews who criticize Zionism and stand in solidarity with Palestinian rights.

The new prime minister’s views would have made him a comfortable pick for French president François Hollande.

On the eve of his election in May 2012, Socialist candidate Hollande also staked out an extreme pro-Israel position, claiming that the boycott of even Israeli-settlement goods was “illegal.”

Comments

Interesting clip. Valls actually says he's the only one on the Left to have debated with Tariq Ramadan, not "fought with".

The 'I'm eternally tied to the Jewish community and to Israel'-comment was effaced from Manuel Valls' wikipedia-page in French. According to a wikipedia-administrator Langlois (on the site Rue89), 'because it has no public interest' but according to Alain Gresh (Le Monde Diplomatique-Les Nouvelles d'Orient), it was a demand by Valls himself or close collaborators.
Other images published by Hicham Hamza (the journalist from Oumma), filmed during a Gala for Radio J (Judaïca) november 2012: Valls was at the time Minister of Interior (and on the forefront in the fight against 'communautarisme' - when it's Muslim, not Jewish....)
In the first video, Valls declares that "France will support Israel no matter what happens, France will always be by Israel's side, to defend its integrity, its security, its liberty, and what unites us, its values". Sorry, I'm getting sick here :-)
www.panamza.com/11092013-valls...

How dare Mr Valls call himself a socialist. No-one with a shred of human decency could support the murderous activities of the state of Israel! The fact that he is now the French prime minister makes a mockery of , Egalité, Liberté et Fratérnité!
How has France allowed itself to be dragged down to this shameful level?

Chirac was probably the last decent president France had as far as the Middle East is concerned. If you remember his clash in the Old City in Jerusalem in 1996 when Israeli soldiers tried to prevent him from speaking with Arab shopkeepers, he became very angry, asked if they wanted him to go back to France, and became a hero in the Arab world.
Hollande whose ghost-writer is a member of CRIF (the local Zionist lobby organization) called Israel "une grande démocratie" during his presidential campaign, and during his last trip to The-Only-Democracy, he declared his love for Israel and its leaders during a dinner party:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3DRjD...

Zionism is not Judaism. It never was and it never will be. It is a weapon of hate in the armory of exploitation and conquest of criminal imperialism.

It is cowardly, it hides behind Judaism to perpetrate its crimes and justify its racism. It is abhorrent to human dignity and respect for ones fellow being.

Criminals and hacks such as Valls, Hollande, Harper, Netanyahu represent the lesser demons of human nature instead of the better angels of it. They must be confronted, challenged, repudiated and removed.