People hear this shit and make the connection that it is Jews that are inciting a divide between Europe and Israel. It is not Jews, it is the evil fat pig Sharon. In making these coments he is giving Jewish people a bad name. He continues to give Israel a bad name.
We want to get rid of anti-jewish sentiment - getting rid of Sharon would be a start.
Arik Sharon has done so many controversial things in his life, and you’re angry at him for annoying the French? By saying that their country may not be safe for Jews in the future - a perfectly valid opinion?
Chill out a bit, man. Israeli-European realions have been in the crapper for some time now, and Sharon’s little fox paws won’t make much of a difference one way or the other. Besides, Sharon’s responsiblity is to the Jewish people, not the French, and if he believes that they’re in danger in Europe (a stuation that does not lack precident) then he has an obligation to say so. Pissing off the French (who Israelis trust about as far as we can throw, for valid historical reasons) is more of a bonus.
Well, I don’t know. Obviously my perspective on things is different than yours, but it seems to me that Euro-Israel relations blossom under a Labour PM, and suffer under a Likud PM. That may be simplifying things a tad, but isn’t it at least somewhat fair to say that both Bibi and Sharon have been rather counterproductive in strengthening Israels position in the region, and indeed the world?
God, I wish we could turn back the clock to 1995. Look at how far Rabin had gotten. Such a shame.
The question is, do European governments dislike Likud PMs because they’re Likud PMs? If that’s the case, then there’s little he can do to change the attitude, and his recent comments won’t have much additional effect. I know Israel has been getting along pretty well lately with the more right-wing governments of Russia and Italy, so maybe we’re just talking about leftist dislike of hawkish governments?
BTW, I also miss Rabin, although I was never a huge supporter of him back in the day. He may have been the only man capeble of making peace with the Palestinians, at least so long as Arafat is still around.
Yes because all Jews everywhere should be held collective responsible for whatever Sharon says in public and mumbles in his wife’s ear. Goddamn tricky Jews! Always cooking up some scheme to incite more anti-Semitism. Can’t never trust those sneaky bastards!
Sharon is entitled to his opinion, especially when backed up by statistics. What I find most striking about all this is that France invites the despicable mass murdering dictator Mugabe with open arms while declaring Sharon a persona non grata.
Maybe, but to me it looks more and more like a carbon copy of Euro-American relations: whomever’s in charge in Europe (and let’s face it, European leadership is across the board at any given time, factoring in all the different countries and their governments), a Democrat is a better ally than a Republican. Substitute Labour and Likud, presto.
I don’t think Sharon is disliked for being Likud: I think he’s disliked for widening the gap between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Yes, I realise he’s not the only person responsible for that and yes (before the likes of Rune, who really ought to get that foam of his mouth, start bashing me over it), I do condemn any sort of terrorist action, especially against civilians. But the fact of the matter is that peace is further away than it ever has been since 1994. Don’t get me wrong, there have been Labour fuck-ups as well. I mean, Barak wasn’t exactly a beacon of inspiration either. But the likes of Bibi and Sharon just scare me, and in fact most Jews I know over here as well.
Then again, there’s a fair chance that Jews in this country are more left-leaning than Jews in Israel.
Why Sharon was never imprisoned for his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres is beyond me, but if I were Israeli, I’d feel better knowing that a tough sonofabitch like him or Netanyahu stood between me and annihilation. Until the Arab nations stop using the Palestinians as a political football and work with Israel to give them a nation of their own, Israel needs determined leaders to preserve its safety.
And the recent spate of anti-Semitic acts in Europe only serve to underline Israel’s raison d’etre.
One of the odd things, is that there is a significant diversity of political opinion amongst Israeli Jews, including many vocal ‘leftist’ voices. These often strongly oppose Sharon in particular and Likud in general.
Odd, because within the US, support for Israeli jewish policies tends to come from a monolithic bloc of right. That, irrespective of the current Israeli leadership.
Secondly this comment is telling:
While it appears to me an accurate reflection of how Likud operates, it also advances the damning propositions that
Sharon governs indifferently to the interests of the sizeable non-Jewish Israeli population and
French Jewish people are viewed by the Israeli community as Jewish first and French second.
So I agree with the OP that Sharon is an embarrasement to right-thinking Jewish people everywhere.
Reflexive defend-Israeli-policy at any cost almost always comes from Americans. Israelis themselves ihmo are generally immune to that idiocy and express an informed and nuanced range of opinions. Unless pushed too hard, but that’s anyone.
Problem is : Sharon’s comments caused an uproar in the french Jewish community and its representatives too. And it’s not the first time it happens. Basically, the comments amounted to “he’s using us for his own political goals, without bothering about our opinion”.
AFAIK, french Jews are in majority situated on the left of the political spectrum, hence not that enamored with Sharon, generally speaking.
So his words actually did them a favor - it allowed them to present themselves as loyal French. Sharon actually gave them an opportunity to side with their countrymen, but also reminded them that if that doen’t work out, there are always other options.
I’m sure that’s true among Ashkenazic Jews, who are far more integrated into French society, but what about Jews from the Maghreb? Bear in mind that their Israeli relatives are Sharon’s strongest constituency.
Coldfire - Sharon used to scare me, but he doesn’t an more. Like many - or even most - centrist Israelis, I’ve come to develop a grudging respect for him over the last few years. Bibi was a flash in the pan, an American Republican-style politician who tried to implant himself in a system un-used to that style of leadership, and managed to annoy everyone around him (although he’s been doing a remarkably good job in his current position in the Treasury). Sharon is the real deal. He’s much more restrained then he used to be, he’s working well wiyth others in the Israeli establishment, and he’s showing actual initiative. He didn’t have to risk his career by promoting unilateral withdrawal, but he’s doing it anyway, and it’s the first truly workable plan Israel has seen since 1995. If he scares people, fine. I’m not sure that’s all that bad a thing. We don’t need our leaders to be warm and fuzzy people - they’re not national babysitters or surrogate parents, like in certain other countries. The parliamentary system keeps him on a short enough leash, and if he scares the neighbours, we know he’s doing it for our benefit.
And Sevastopol - when blaming non-Israelis for not understanding the nuances of the Mideast conflict, take care not to exclude yourself.
As usual the French take offence where none should be taken. I heard some talking head on tv last night report Sharon said the same thing in the States several months ago and nobody got upset. Can’t find support for that, but I did come up with this
Never heard any uproar over that either.
Its my understanding that a call to move back to Israel is quite the norm when Israeli prime ministers address Jewish groups abroad.
And I might add that Sharon is the choice of Israeli citizens. And he appears to be a moderating influence on the Likud.
Not necessarily. It’s a big step to move to another country. Especially if said country, though friendly to Jews, isn’t perceived as the safest place to be in.
Actually, there has actually been a significant rise in the number of french Jews emigrating to Israel during the two last years or so. On the other hand, there’s a significant number of them coming back, some because of safety concerns, a lot because they couldn’t fit in (language issue, couldn’t find a job, etc…).
So, you most certainly can support Sharon and his policies and still not be enthralled by the idea of moving to Israel.
Whether or not all Jews should be held responsible for Sharon’s behavior (or that of any other Israeli politician, for that matter), it’s simple reality that some people will do so. And those who hold an entire socio/religious/ethnic/whatever group responsible for the actions of one of its members are, shall we say, less likely to respond to appeals to logic.