New French president wants deeper ties with Israel

Francois Hollande, the new French president, said he wants to deepen ties with Israel.

“The chief of state expressed his desire that France and Israel work to deepen our bilateral relations and develop existing French-Israel ties in all areas,” said a statement from the Elysee, the presidential office, issued June 6 after Hollande met with Yaakov Amidror, the national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Nicolas Sarkozy, defeated by Hollande in elections last month, was seen as one of the most pro-Israel leaders in Europe, especially regarding efforts to isolate Iran.

Richard Prasquier, the president of CRIF, the Jewish umbrella body, stirred controversy when he said in an op-ed that while Hollande was sympathetic to Israel, he was worried his election would embolden the anti-Israel left. — jta