(Ilana Messika/TPS and combined sources) Israeli parliamentarians from across the political spectrum congratulated French President-elect Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential elections. The independent centrist and former economy minister won 65 percent of the votes counted compared to far-right rival Marine Le Pen who received 35 percent of the votes, according to interim results from the French Interior Ministry.
“I congratulate Emmanuel Macron on being elected president of France,” said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “I look forward to working with President-elect Macron to confront the common challenges and seize the common opportunities facing our two democracies.”
“One of the greatest threats facing the world today is radical Islamic terror, which has struck Paris, Jerusalem and so many other cities around the world. France and Israel are longtime allies and I am sure that we will continue to deepen our relations,” concluded Netanyahu.
French Ambassador to Israel Hélène Le Gal told Army Radio on Monday morning that Macron would be very positive for Israel. According to Le Gal, Macron was “very impressed by the innovation and entrepreneurship” of the country when he visited Israel two years ago.
On the eve of the election, pro-Europe centrist Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche party, who in pre-election polls had led by about 24 percentage points over far-right populist Marine Le Pen of the National Front party, said unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state would create instability and damage France’s relationship with Israel.
“I defended the principle of a two-state solution, and France’s commitment to that,” said Macron, recalling a 2015 visit to Israel as France’s minister of economy. He added, “Unilateral recognition of Palestine, right now, will undermine stability…[it would have] implications in the loss of the entire [French] relationship with the State of Israel.”