Edouard Philippe: my difference

Published on Nov 13, 2023 at 6:42 p.m.

Should Emmanuel Macron participate in the demonstration against anti-Semitism ? This is the type of question that has the gift of annoying Edouard Philippe: “I see that you want a short sentence,” he reproaches the journalist, acidly. And yet, he invites himself to two programs in quick succession (BFM TV on Sunday evening, France Info on Monday morning), he who generally avoids opportunities to be put in contradiction with the president.

And he responds to journalists, indirectly, by taking a detour through him. “I was at this demonstration, even though I demonstrate very little. Something very important was at stake, along the lines of what a Nation is, how we fight against an old demon that is working on us,” he explains. The implication is obvious: of course we had to be.

Too hysterical debate

When the place is free, you have to occupy it. On the other subject which stirred up the political-media world, the former Prime Minister came to clearly say “what I think”. No, the presence of the RN in the procession was not a problem. “In an existential fight, the important thing is who you are fighting against, not with whom,” he says, seeing the great moments of history as moments of unity. “Against anti-Semitism, I take everyone,” he continues. Me, president?

Now is not the time to stand out. The presidential election is too far away, the news too sensitive and the debate too hysterical, too decried by the French, to take part in it in turn. So Edouard Philippe goes piano. He seizes this moment which he considers opportune to express his difference, almost to whisper it.

Not a word or sentence that we could use against Emmanuel Macron. On the contrary, the president is “right to point out that the solution to the Israel-Hamas conflict will be political,” he said on France Info. Emmanuel Macron did not say that last Friday, he called Israel for a “ceasefire” in Gaza, before later toning down the statement. But Edouard Philippe refrains from being explicitly critical. He praises the general intention to better distance himself from the proposal.

Israel has the right to defend itself, Hamas is a terrorist organization, in a war “we should not be surprised that there are deaths”, the prerequisite for any ceasefire is the release of the hostages, says the former Prime Minister. A precise demonstration, stated in the same terms during the two broadcasts. Exiting the road is impossible when you contest a presidential exit from the road. Because that is the subtitle. Edouard Philippe invents the postcard pointing out the misstep. Casually.

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