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In absence of peace, future Israel-France ties uncertain

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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-11 07:43 PM
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In absence of peace, future Israel-France ties uncertain
In the absence of a genuine peace process, Hollande, as empathetic as he might be to Israel, might find it difficult to deflect pressure within his party. In that case, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might end up longing for the flub-ups with Sarkozy.

By Adar Primor

PARIS - From Francois to Francois? Will French Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande fill the shoes of Francois Mitterrand, 31 years after the latter became the only Socialist Party president in the history of the Fifth Republic? According to Olivier Ferrand, who initiated France's first open primaries - which Hollande won, there is no question. Victory is Hollande's.

I sat with Ferrand at the offices of Terra Nova, a think tank on the Champs-Elysees that he founded and that is dedicated to paving the way for the Socialists' return from the political wilderness.

It is in fact still more than half a year until the elections. Incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy is known as a man of the last lap, and everyone is still waiting to see the effect of the birth of the first presidential baby, born yesterday to Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni. On the other hand, never before in an election year has an opposition presidential candidate led in the polls over an incumbent by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. Such a gap is impossible to bridge, Ferrand maintains.

The critical financial situation, disgust with Sarkozy's frenetic personality and flamboyant lifestyle, and the multiplying scandals dogging him and his associates, all should be enough for "Monsieur Normal," as Hollande characterizes himself, to prevail over Sarkozy with his opposing, extravagant image.

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