Le Grand Spectacle: What to Expect from the French

The Foreign Flags at the Bastille, Photo: France 24

Hot off the JP press!

This article in the Jerusalem Post talks about the Sarkozy-Hollande transition and the possible impact on French Middle East policy in general, and Israel policy in particular. As I write in this article, not much is expected to change as a result of the shift. However, judging by the different flags that were waved at the Bastille the evening of Francois Hollande‘s victory, the new French president’s supporters are certainly a more colorful and multi-cultural crowd than those who supported Sarkozy. Although Hollande’s first focus is expected to be on domestic integration and the economy, his supporters may also have expectations on foreign policy, especially with respect to the Middle East.

Hollande Inauguration, Photo: GETTY/Antoine Antoniol

The first test for Hollande is almost certain to be Syria, where the Western powers are now trying to persuade Russia to step up the pressure so that action can be taken through the security council. Will Hollande’s supporters pressure him to be more active to restart the Israeli-Palestinian, or to be tougher on Israel?  Judging the colors of those flags at the Bastille, those options are not unlikely.

The Bastille Crowd, Photo: Tova Norlen
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