Israeli Army Radio is reporting that France urged Israel to invade Syria and topple Bashar As-Assad’s government at the start of the war on Lebanon last summer.
They say it was because of Syria’s backing for Hizbollah (which threatened the stability of Fouad Siniora’s French-backed Lebanese government) and because France blamed Syria for killing Rafiq Al-Hariri, a close friend of French president Jacques Chirac.
This came at the start of the war, in a secret conversation between Chirac and Olmert.
I find this highly dubious, though. It is a well timed move to embarrass France, just days after France gave its blessing to a high-level EU mission to Damascus. Israel was fuming when EU Foreign Minister Javier Solana said he backed Syria’s attempts to liberate the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Don’t forget, it was France which appeared most angered by the war – at least in public. And it was French soldiers (working for the UN) in Lebanon which threatened to shoot Israeli jets if they flew over Lebanese territory again.