France’s new ambassador to Israel caused a diplomatic storm this week after he reportedly described the Jewish state as “paranoid” and called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “a lout.” The ambassador, Gerard Araud, allegedly made the comments while chatting with other French diplomats at a cocktail party in Paris, where he was overheard by an Israeli correspondent for the Tel Aviv daily Yedioth Ahronoth. When the Israeli identified himself as a reporter, Araud tried to dissuade him from printing the comments because it was a private occasion. It isn’t the first time a French diplomat has inadvertently revealed anti-Israeli sentiments in a social setting. Daniel Bernard, the former French ambassador to Britain, was overheard at a dinner party in 2001 calling Israel “that [expletive] little country.” He was forced to resign.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.
Sign up to our 10 Things You Need to Know Today newsletter
A free daily digest of the biggest news stories of the day - and the best features from our website
The daily business briefing: December 1, 2023
Business Briefing Tesla starts Cybertruck deliveries, the Dow surges to end November at a 2023 high, and more
By Harold Maass, The Week US Published
Three-quarters of mosques in China have been altered or destroyed
Under the radar Chinese authorities step up Xi Jinping's "sinicization" policy by removing Islamic architecture
By Sorcha Bradley, The Week UK Published
Security minister defends royals at centre of racism row
Speed Read Tom Tugendhat dismisses 'rumour' and 'hearsay' in new royal book
By Chas Newkey-Burden, The Week UK Published