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ELNET (European Leadership Network)

France is a forerunner among European nations. It is also an influential player in the global sphere as a permanent member of major multilateral organizations including: UN Security Council, NATO, G-8, G-20, and the EU. France is also among the top ten military powers in the world, a nuclear power and maintains the second biggest global diplomatic network, among others in the Middle East.


French-Israeli political relations are characterized by a dichotomy of intimacy and strategic alliance on the one hand, and strong disagreement regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the other. Indeed, close political and military ties post Israeli Declaration of Independence cooled-off after 1967 and again during the second Intifada in the early years of the 2000s. Since 2005, relations have somewhat recovered following steps taken by both governments to strengthen their cooperation across various levels, based on shared democratic values and common strategic goals.  More...


Economic relations remain far below potential with trade totaling about $3.1 billion in 2016. While France has the second largest economy in the EU, it was Israel's 14th largest supplier, compared to Germany in 4th place. France and Israel are also bound by their people; France is home to the largest Jewish community in Europe and Israel is home to one of the largest French Diasporas.


France's foreign policy has had a significant impact on Israel. As a member of the P5+1, France has played an important diplomatic role in efforts to prevent Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons. Similarly, France was instrumental in adding the military wing of Hezbollah to the EU’s list of terrorist organizations as well as the establishment of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) II, whom has historically held a special relationship with France.


For France, the Middle East and Israel represent an important long-term sphere of influence and interests. Closer strategic relations will enhance France's ability to mediate between Israel and its neighbors in efforts to achieve peace in the region. France and Israel share other important strategic items on the agenda, including combatting the spread of transnational and home-grown terrorism, counteracting Jihadists efforts in creating a stronghold in Syria, and the prevention of Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons.

What I remember is the need, on the one hand, to strengthen the cooperation between our two countries – this is the message that I convey in the name of François Hollande because we attach great importance to the friendship that binds France and Israel and to Israel's security.
Laurent Fabius France's Minister of Foreign Affairs (translated)





ELNET-France was established in Paris in 2010. Today it comprises a local Board of Directors and staff that work at full capacity to strengthen relations between France and Israel. Since its establishment, relationships are being cultivated with scores of French decision-makers through frequent high-level meetings between Israeli and French political leaders, educational seminars and study visits to Israel.


Visit ELNET-France's website












ELNET (European Leadership Network) and the FSD (Forum of Strategic Dialogue), in partnership with the DGRIS (Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy), French Ministry of Defense (MoD), held the third “Mini Strategic Dialogue” between France and Israel on developments on the ground in Syria and Lebanon. The dialogue could not be timelier; it took place just three days after the chemical attack in Duma, Syria amid rising tension in Syria between Israel and Iran. Just four days after the dialogue, the US, UK, and France launched strikes in Syria in response to the chemical attack. The dialogue candidly addressed developments on the ground in Syria, as well as the potential for escalation, and French and Israeli defense interests.