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Ashkenazi summons French envoy for dressing-down over FM’s apartheid remarks

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi summons France’s ambassador to Israel for a dressing-down after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Israel was at risk of “long-lasting apartheid.”

A Foreign Ministry statement says Ashkenazi told Ambassador Eric Danon that Le Drian’s remarks were “unacceptable, baseless, far from the reality and Israel rejects them out of hand.”

“Israel expects its friends to not express themselves in an irresponsible way,” the statement adds, saying such remarks can embolden “extremist elements and anti-Israeli actions.” Ashkenazi also expressed concern over rising antisemitism in France, according to the ministry.

He was quoted in the statement stressing that Israel is a democracy that upholds its law and saying he rejects “any attempt to undermine this fact or the State of Israel’s foundations.” He also accuses France of ignoring Israel’s efforts to prevent violence and says Le Drian’s comments were “in effect a prize to extremist elements and terror organizations, first off the Hamas terror organization.”

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