Explosive allegations of Israeli interference in France’s recent parliamentary elections are putting immense strain on an already fragile relationship.

According to Axios, French President Emmanuel Macron lodged a formal complaint with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing his deep dismay over the actions of Israeli ministers who openly supported French right-wing candidates. Two sources privy to the conversation say Macron denounced the interference as “unacceptable” stressing that such actions would “not be tolerated”.

Macron took particular issue with public statements made by Israeli Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli, who endorsed Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Rally party in the days leading up to France’s July 7 election.

During an interview with Kan News, Chikli claimed that a Le Pen presidency would be advantageous for Israel, even suggesting that Netanyahu himself would agree with his assessment. In May, Chikli posted a selfie with Le Pen during a conference of Europe’s right-wing parties.

“Le Pen was the highest-ranking politician to attend the solidarity rally with the Jewish community following the events of October 7th, a rally that President Macron chose not to attend, although he declared, “My heart and thoughts will be there.” Chikli wrote on X.

“Friendship is tested by actions, not words,” he continued, “On behalf of many good citizens of Israel, thank you.”

In an attempt to mitigate the diplomatic fallout, Netanyahu reportedly informed Macron that he would issue a directive to all government ministers, instructing them to refrain from publicly commenting on France’s elections.

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