Dec. 1, 2016
- A French Turn to the Right? – Amb. Freddy Eytan
The first and second rounds of the Republican Party primaries in France saw the humiliating defeats, respectively, of former President Nicolas Sarkozy and of Alain Juppe, who served as prime minister and foreign minister. The surprising result is the emergence of Francois Fillon as the new leader of the right and the center. The chances are good that in May 2017, Fillon will become the new president.
Fillon seeks to restore France to a major political role in the world as the pacesetter for European countries. He would prefer to reduce the number of states in the EU and has proposed adding Russia, with a special status.
A book Fillon just published calls for an all-out campaign against radical Islam. He promised to expel the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood from France and to close the mosques where incitement and terror are preached. He will take drastic measures, impose strict border control, and will not hesitate to expel any immigrant who lacks residence and work permits.
On the Palestinian issue, he is in favor of two states for two peoples and of ensuring Israel’s security, but he will seek overall regional agreements and will not impose a settlement that is unacceptable to Israel. He is well acquainted with Israel and the Jewish community and has visited Israel several times. The writer, a former Foreign Ministry senior advisor who served in Israel’s embassies in Paris and Brussels, heads the Israel-Europe Project at the Jerusalem Center. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)