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(Thaer Ganaim / Maan Images)

Arms dealers sniff opportunities as French president visits Israel

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François Hollande gears up to declare his love for Israel. 

(Parti socialiste)

François Hollande will give his blessing to closer military cooperation between France and Israel when he visits the Middle East next week.

The French president will be the “guest of honor” at the “France-Israel innovation day” in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Ubifrance, an enterprise promotion agency sponsoring the event, has arranged for French entrepreneurs to meet sales representatives from the arms-makers Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries.

An information note prepared by the agency applauds the Israeli aeronautics sector for record annual sales of more than $6 billion in 2009 and 2010. Although it lists drones as one of that sector’s key products, it neglects to mention that they have been tested in bombing attacks against children in Gaza.

The note also says that Israel’s aeronautics sector presents many opportunities for French firms. Airbus, the Toulouse-based corporation, “opened a gap” in the Israeli sky in 2009 by selling planes to the airline Israir. Until then, Israel’s three commercial carriers had been exclusively supplied by Airbus’ American rival, Boeing.

“Guaranteed success”

According to the France-Israel Chamber of Commerce, the “innovation day” will be a “guaranteed success.” IsraelValley, the chamber’s technology-focused website, reports that it’s “almost certain” that Hollande will discuss cooperation on drones with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister.

In a recent policy paper on “defense,” France made a commitment to boost the number of drones in its arsenal. While the French government announced plans to buy a consignment of Reaper drones from the US in June, it is still shopping around for other types of these pilotless warplanes. The Paris-headquartered firm Thales has already teamed up with the aforementioned Elbit to make drones known as Watchkeeper for use by the British Army in Afghanistan.

No problem with humiliation

Admittedly, this cooperation requires the French elite to gobble up a few helpings of humble pie. A few months ago, the French National Assembly was informed that Israel has now taken over from France as the fourth largest weapons exporter in the world.

Yet France doesn’t seem to have a problem being humiliated by Israel. In September, a French diplomat, Marion Castaing, was pushed to the ground by Israeli soldiers when she accompanied a convoy delivering aid to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

If a hostile nation’s forces had attacked a French diplomat in this way, you can be sure that retaliatory measures would be taken by Paris. In this case, both Israeli and French journalists alleged that Castaing provoked the soldiers; the diplomat herself was called back to Paris soon afterwards.

“Sensitive”

The European Union is another sponsor of the “innovation day.” That is despite how the EU supposedly caused an existential crisis for Zionists when it published guidelines during the summer declaring that firms and institutions active in the settlements built by Israel in the West Bank were ineligible for the Union’s subsidies.

Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, carried a story this week indicating that the row is nearing resolution. This isn’t surprising. No sooner had the guidelines been leaked than EU mouthpieces tried to downplay their importance and promise they would be implemented in a “sensitive” manner (sensitive towards Israel, that is).

Hollande is scheduled to address Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, during his sojourn. We can expect him to fawn before his hosts, while celebrating Israel as a beacon to the world.

The French political elite, after all, has an ignoble history of facilitating Zionist aspirations. In 1917, Jules Cambon, then secretary-general of the French foreign ministry, assured the World Zionist Organization of France’s support for the colonization of Palestine. The French government “cannot but feel sympathy with your cause, the triumph of which is bound up with that of the allies [then fighting Germany],” Cambon wrote.

François Hollande is a modern-day Jules Cambon, determined to help Zionists continue dispossessing the indigenous Palestinians.

Comments

The French "socialist" has proven himself as helpful as the Israeli so-called
"left" ("Labor"). A marriage made in heaven...or hell.

Having colonial power interests in evidence in Africa and with NATO promotion in train, the French governing elites through unconscionable racist policies have done much to undermine the EU project ignoring its citizens disgust at activities it promotes on their behalf. If French citizens are to watch passively as their country is brought into such close alliance with that ultra-terrorist colonial and racist State called Israel, then they should not become naive as to bad consequences and imminent dangers so entailed. They should also be aware that a growing number of EU citizens find their government's foreign policies so deeply offensive!

Should France continue to insult the intelligence while ignoring the growing sense of unease and frustration its policies promote among a substantial opposing populace then it shouldn't be surprised at growing opposition. Though France is not alone in bringing shame upon right minded people across the EU it is an outstanding example of the hypocrisy prevalent in the corruption of ideals set forth for the Union itself. Its the citizens themselves, particularly the growing numbers of poor who will suffer the hitherto unforeseen but predictable negative consequences of Zionist aggression with French involvement. By selling the soul of France' people for greed and profit for elites in such an obsequious barter with depraved Zionist rulers, France leads the way in spitting at Peace with Justice. It pushes the sale of armaments and projects itself on the international arena as a reliable instigator or the war mongering western Empire. The EU itself is militarily occupied within the USA lead Empire. How many countries in the EU does the USA its military ensconced in bases?

Perhaps, it perceives Israel as the example of a State to be emulated? Pulling the plug on an Iran deal on behalf of its friends who instructed it to do so? How pathetic France looked diplomatically to the rest of an incredulous world for that?