Sunday, November 17, 2013

Israel solidifies realignment with France amid Obama's hostility

(WJD) An extraordinary turnaround in international relations will be solidified on Sunday with the arrival of French President Francois Hollande in Israel for a three-day visit.

Hollande is expected to receive a hero's welcome in Jerusalem, due to France's sudden realignment with Israel on the Iranian nuclear issue. Defying the U.S. and explicitly citing Israel's concerns, France scuttled a capitulatory deal with Iran pushed by the Obama administration.

Sensing Obama's hostility, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly leaned toward France on the issue, as well toward France's Arab allies, such as Saudi Arabia, which also being intensely discontented with its U.S. alliance.

The rapprochement between Israel and France is especially stunning as it comes after decades of mutual hostility and an intensely pro-Arab policy on the part of numerous French administrations.

At the same time, however, Israel once shared a strong alliance with France during the late 1950s and early '60s. It is widely believed that Israel acquired nuclear technology from France that led to its still undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal.