A former French Prime Minister, and currently a leading member of the European Parliament, has called Great Britain's Balfour Declaration that paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel as a "historic mistake." Michel Rocard, who is said to be in the running for president of the European Parliament for the coming two and a half years as part of a political deal, spoke about Israel in a lecture last week in Alexandria, Egypt. Israel is a "unique and abnormal condition," he said, "because it was created with a promise, and [because] millions of Jews gathered from all around the world, creating an entity that continues to pose a threat to its neighbors until today."

Rocard, who served as Prime Minister of France between 1988 and 1991, said also, "To pray to God is accepted, but violence is not."

The French government reported this month 180 incidents of attacks or threats against Jews or Jewish-owned property since the start of 2004. France, with just over 60 million people, has an estimated five million Muslims and 600,000 Jews - the largest numbers of both populations in Europe.