French diplomats criticize Macron as being biased toward Israel

French diplomats criticize Macron as being biased toward Israel
French President Emmanuel Macron

French ambassadors from across North Africa and the Middle East have penned a diplomatic cable accusing French President Emmanuel Macron of being biased in favor of Israel. This rare expression of dissent was first reported by Le Figaro. In the cable, the diplomats warn France’s reputation is being jeopardized across the region.

Historically, France has been viewed in the Arab world as one of the Western nations that is most sympathetic to Palestinian concerns. But there is worry that is changing. "There is a growing perception in Arab countries that France is aligned with the United States and gives almost unconditional support to Israel", Denis Bauchard, a former French ambassador to Jordan, told AFP.

Macron has been accused of sending mixed messages. Early in the conflict, he proposed that a global coalition currently fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria also target Hamas. But he has since called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The identities of those who penned the diplomatic cable and the exact wording of the note have not been revealed but diplomats interviewed by the AFP confirmed its existence.

The French Foreign Ministry at the Quai d'Orsay

The cable was sent to French Foreign Ministry at the Quai d’Orsay. A diplomat quoted by Radio France International said the leak was not accidental. According to Le Figaro, this marks the first time in roughly 40 years that a group of diplomats have collectively expressed dissent against French foreign policy, underscoring the seriousness of the matter. "It's an expression of concern that France is losing influence, including in countries with which it has traditionally enjoyed good relations, such as Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt," Bauchard told AFP.

Since its release, other diplomats have reportedly expressed support for the criticism leveled at Macron, pressing for a return to what they view as a more balanced position on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

France’s foreign ministry said it would not comment on the leak of the confidential cable. A spokesperson said: "Diplomacy is not a matter of individual opinions expressed in the press."

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