Monday, January 15, 2007

Royal meets Jewish leader

Today Segolene Royal met with Roger Cukierman, the president of a large Jewish umbrella group abbreviated CRIF. According to the CRIF, the two talked,

"on the necessity to fight racism and anti-Semitism, to search for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiation based on mutual recognition, to end terrorism, to respect previous accords and to do everything possible to prevent Iran acquiring the nuclear arm."

This meeting was apparently at the request of Royal, and was obviously designed to appeal to a more Sarkozy-oriented Jewish vote. Royal has faced harsh criticism from Jewish groups in France, first for ignoring requests to speak with the CRIF, and then for meeting a Hezbollah lawmaker during her recent trip to Lebanon.

The CRIF will be holding an annual dinner next week, focused on the upcoming presidential election. A host of French political leaders will be in attendance, including UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande, but Royal will not be coming. She will have a tough time ahead in convincing some of France's 600,000 Jews to vote for her over Sarkozy in the 2007 election, especially considering that Sarkozy is not only staunchly pro-Israel, but part Jewish himself.

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