French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy stepped into the controversy over why Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal did not respond immediately to a Hezbollah lawmaker who compared the Israeli occupation of Lebanon to the Nazi occupation of France. Sarkozy said that "Each one among us must think of the interest of France and peace in the region. This region needs calms." In an utterly political gesture, he assured that he did not want to add to the controversy because "that would not bring anything for France...There was enough damage with this visit." While the French ambassador has stood by Royal's version of events, that they did not receive a translation of the Nazi comments, a journalist in the room is now saying that interpretation of the word "Nazisim" was ensured even without translation.
Frankly, the French media and right-wing should be embarassed for creating this controversy, because it is nothing but the pettiest of political tactics. Criticizing Royal for meeting with a member of Hezbollah is entirely justified, but criticizing her for what she might or might not of heard, and then tried to respond to, is uncalled for and just plain pathetic, especially when the ambassador of France to Lebanon, a man with no need to protect Royal, agrees with her story. Sarkozy is right to say that a rupture with the past is needed for France, but so far his just week old campaign has been nothing but the standard political mud-slinging.
Technorati tags: Ségolène Royal, Segolene Royal, Nicolas Sarkozy, UMP, politics, politique, présidentielle, actualité, news, France, Lebanon, Israel, Middle East