Sunday, December 3, 2006

Royal attacked by UMP

As expected, the French right-wing has attacked Socialist candidate Segolene Royal for waiting 24 hours until addressing the comments of a Hezbollah lawmaker who compared the Israel occupation of Lebanon to the Nazi occupation of France. Royal had said that she and the French ambassador did not receive a full translation, so they were unaware of the remarks at the time. This did not stop the spokesperson of the ruling UMP to call Royal's delay "really inexcusable and unqualifiable." An advisor to UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy went further, saying that:
"To accept to speak with a member of Hezbollah, an organization that preaches the destruction of Israel, has provoked and lead a war against Israel while entering Israeli territory and taking hostages was already a fault."

The CRIF, a French Jewish organization that was already angry at Royal for not accepting an invitation to speak, also criticized her for speaking with a member of Hezbollah.

On the other side of the aisle, Ms. Royal had a very close friend at her defense. François Hollande, her romantic partner and chairman of the Socialist Party, reiterated that Royal did not immediately react because of a problem in translation and considered the matter closed.

Royal should get used to these political semantics-wars, for the UMP is going to pounce on each mistake to try to characterize her as a lightweight. Just before the last mid-term election in the US, Senator John Kerry had his future presidential ambitions utterly destroyed because the Republicans seized on a botched joke of his, and made it appear that he was insulting US troops. Royal will not ruin her candidacy on a single mistake, but the cumulative effect can be powerful.

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1 comment:

Zachary said...

Hi there,

Thanks for the great post about the Royal remarks, or non-remarks, in Lebanon. I link to you in my blog post on It'll be live in an hour or so. I can't wait to keep following your blog! You might like mine as well.