chapter  8
The weakening of the dual policy
Pages 26

Until June 1967 France consistently continued to support Israel, and good mutual relations between the two countries persisted in many elds. Many interpreters have concluded that France sought to maintain this status quo as long as it was not detrimental to the country’s increasingly close relations with Arab states. Indeed, France’s desire to enjoy good relations with Israel and at the same time renew its presence in the Arab world was motivated by considerations that diverged from the bilateral framework. With its so-called ‘dual policy,’ France simultaneously managed two separate friendly relationships – one with Israel and the other with Arab states  – seeing no need to sacrice one in order to gain advantages in the other. The term ‘dual policy’ in fact expresses three important aspects of France’s approach: 1. It was a planned political strategy designed to achieve specic aims. 2. It was systematic, not an arbitrary assortment of bilateral relations with Israel on the one hand and Arab states on the other. 3. The policy was duplicitous: it took on one form in contacts with Israel and a different one in relations with the Arab states. As long as the foundations of this dual policy remained in place, France had an incentive to maintain close ties with Israel. However, towards 1967 this basis collapsed, and France laid responsibility for this at Israel’s doorstep.