Gen. Pierre Koenig, One of France’s Outspoken Supporters of Israel, Dies at 72
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Gen. Pierre Koenig, One of France’s Outspoken Supporters of Israel, Dies at 72

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Gen. Pierre Koenig, a Minister of War in the Fourth Republic and one of France’s most outspoken supporters of Israel, died today at the age of 72. Gen. Koenig headed the France-Israel Friendship Alliance. He broke with former President Charles de Gaulle, his wartime friend and leader, over the latter’s pro-Arab Middle East policies. It was during his tenure as War Minister that France became Israel’s chief supplier of military equipment and aircraft and that country’s closest European ally. Gen. Koenig headed a long list of prominent French politicians and military men who opposed President de Gaulle’s arms embargo against Israel and fought to have it rescinded. During the 1969 election campaign he sought promises to lift the embargo from the two candidates, Georges Pompidou and Alain Poher. Until shortly before his death he was a familiar figure at public rallies in support of Israel’s right to exist.

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