Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to the United States transformed France’s U.S. image, said a French Jewish leader who accompanied the French president.
Richard Prasquier, the head of the CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, said Sarkozy was well received by government and Jewish community leaders. Sarkozy met with officials from the American Jewish Committee and received its Light unto the Nations award. Sarkozy told the AJC that he is an ally of Israel, but added this does not mean that he backs every decision made by its government. Prasquier told JTA that the controversial subject of the raw footage of the Gaza Strip shooting of Palestinian youngster Mohamed Al-Dura in September 2000, and the subsequent stonewalling by French television over the years, was not brought up during Sarkozy’s visit.
The Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations had sent the French president a letter urging him to pressure French public television officials to make the raw footage public, as ordered by a French appeals court in October.
Prasquier said France may participate in the Middle East summit scheduled for Annapolis at the end of this month.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.