Optimistic and celebratory, Jewish groups were quick to offer congratulations to Nicolas Sarkozy after his victory in French presidential elections. The former interior minister was seen by Jewish voters as a friend to Israel and an important figure in the fight against anti-Semitism. Soon after his opponent conceded, Jewish groups came out with their good wishes.
Sarkozy’s mother was born to the Mallah family, one of the oldest Jewish families of Salonika, Greece. In a 2004 interview, Sarkozy stated, “Every Jew carries within him a fear passed down through generations, and he knows that if one day he will not feel safe in his country, there will always be a place that would welcome him. And this is Israel.”