Nicolas Sarkozy, the frontrunner in the French presidential election next week, is expected to attract a large percentage of the crucial Jewish vote. France’s Jewish community numbers around 600,000 and is the largest in Western Europe.
According to the European Jewish Press, Sarkozy, who is the son of a Hungarian immigrant and a French mother of Greek Jewish origin, is seen by many Jews as a potential bulwark against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel attitudes.
Sarkozy has repeatedly declared that he is a friend of Israel and pro-American, unlike outgoing pro-Arab President Jacques Chirac. He has also has close ties with Jewish community leaders. During his most recent trips to the Middle East he visited Israel but never went to the terrorist Palestinian Authority territories.