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Sarkozy: Jewish State a 'Silly' Idea

French president Nicolas Sarkozy squarely blames Israel for stalled talks and says the Jewish state's national identity is "silly."
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 10/6/2011, 9:12 PM

Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Official Photo

According to the oft-controversial French magazine Le Canard Enchaîne, President Nicolas Sarkozy thinks the idea of a Jewish state is "silly."

"It is silly to talk about a Jewish state," Sarkozy said in reference to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's assertion no true peace could be made until officials in Ramallah accepted Israel's essential Jewish identity.

"It would be like saying that this table is Catholic," he added. "There are two million Arabs in Israel."

Sarkozy also placed sole blame for failed negotiations between Israel and PA officials on Netanyahu's shoulders.

"The US has been asking Abbas for years to come to the negotiating table. He is willing to do it because he is a statesman. Netanyahu, on the other hand, never fails to disappoint us," Sarkozy said. "Only now, he announced the construction of 1,100 housing units in the Arab part of Jerusalem."

Sarkozy seemed to deem two years of mounting preconditions for negotiations by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas immaterial to failed talks.Nor did he concede Israel has frozen construction in the disputed territories for 10-months in a bid to bring Abbas to the negotiating table only to find new preconditions existed.

"The Palestinians have been waiting for a state they deserve for 60 years now," Sarkozy said. "Is it not fair that Palestine is recognized by the UN even in an observer status?"

Sarkozy, whose statements were strongly reminiscent of comments made two weeks ago by former US president Bill Clinton, had previously (like Clinton) presented himself as a staunch ally of Israel.

Now, observers say, Sarkozy has removed his mask and made his true face concerning Israel clear.