PARIS (May. 10)
Olivier Stirn, who was a Cabinet minister in the government of former President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, is urging France and all Western European governments to transfer their embassies in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Stim heads an opposition minority list, supported by a splinter faction comprising ecologists who are running for election to the Parliament of Europe on July 23. He said that once his faction is seated in the Parliament, he would “tirelessly press” for the move.
“Jerusalem must be recognized by all Western Europe as Israel’s capital,” he said. He did not expect any Arab opposition. He predicted that “An Arab Palestinian state will come into existence one of these days but such a development is not connected in any way with the future status of Jerusalem.”
Neither the government nor the major opposition parties have commented on Stirn’s proposal. Unofficial spokesmen said the former minister was making an open bid for Jewish votes. Election to the Europe an Parliament is by proportional representation in each country, a system that favors the smaller parties.
Stirn returned recently from a visit to Israel sponsored by Siona, an organization of North African Jews. The group consisted of 47 members of the French Parliament representing all parties except the Communists. They toured Israel, the West Bank and the Lebanese border. They also met with Premier Yitzhak Shamir, Deputy Premier David Levy and Defense Minister Moshe Arens.
Jean-Pierre Michel, Deputy President of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, who headed the group, said on his return that the duputies agreed unanimously “that all the religions enjoy equal rights in Jerusalem.”