In a telegram sent by the spokesman of the Israeli embassy in France, Simon Seroussi, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, he wrote that "in recent weeks we have detected a worrying phenomenon of French journalists, editors, academics, and commentators, known as pro-Israeli, who are expressing themselves for the first time in a critical way, even very critical, towards Israel."
According to Seroussi, most of the criticism focuses on judicial reform, and "the violence of the settlers in the West Bank". Seroussi's warning comes after at the beginning of last February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Paris, and met with French President Emmanuel Macron, on his first political trip since the government was formed. The French newspaper "Le Monde" reported after the visit that Macron warned Netanyahu that "if the legal plan is realized - Paris will be forced to conclude that Israel has broken away from the popular concept of democracy."
Jacques Attali, one of the most respected and prominent intellectuals in the country, who previously served as an advisor to several French presidents, including Nicolas Sarkozy, claimed in an opinion piece he published last month that "Israel is committing suicide." According to him, "Israel's refusal to negotiate, together with the radicalization of Israeli society, threaten the future of the State of Israel."
Another highly praised and well-established newspaper, "LES ECHOS", published an article about judicial reform, and to emphasize its negative impact on the Israeli economy. LES ECHOS has been typically a pro-Israel newspaper often supporting Zionism and the right to Jewish self-determination.
David Kalfa, a French Jewish academic who works for Jewish organizations and usually speaks positively towards Israel, was interviewed last week by the daily "Le Figaro" on the subject of Hawara, and harshly criticized the riots of the settlers in the town. Kalfa claimed that the act was connected to the rise of the new government, which he said: "made an alliance with the extreme right". "Le Figaro", which usually covers Israel in a positive light, has changed its coverage in recent weeks, and the tone has changed for the worse - both on the Palestinian issue and on the issue of judicial reform.
That says a lot in Israel lobby and medias coverage in France where @france24 just suspended 3 arab journalists for their coverage of Israel apartheid after pressure of Jewish lobbies. Among them one who was attacked with racist slurred by Jewish settlers pic.twitter.com/p3S6GgqznH— moonbee (@BMoon_bee) March 14, 2023
The Israeli diplomat Seroussi further emphasized in the telegram that the support of those pro-Israeli journalists and academics contributed over the years to the positive image of Israel in France. The negative change in their reports could significantly damage Israel's image in France in the long run.