President Nicolas Sarkozy's maternal grandfather was a Greek Jew - a fact not unremarked in certain nationalist quarters.
Now his son has not only followed his dad as Mayor of toney Paris suburb Neuilly. His dad officiated at the marriage of his second wife when he was mayor , the first time he met her and subsequently he married her.
Anyway his son was not officiating , yesterday Jean Sarkozy, 22, married Jessica Sebaoun-Darty, whose family founded and own the Darty national chain of electronics and white goods (and online) stores.
Rumours that Jean Sarkozy , with lengthy blond hair would be converting to Judaism before the wedding were never confirmed. Although Sine a jester and writer was sacked from the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo for remarks in the July 5th issue suggesting that this would be a key to prestige and financial success.The 79-year-old Sine, a veteran cartoonist and anarchist writer whose real name is Maurice Sinet, lost his job after he refused to apologise.
Sine wrote, that Jean , "has just said he intends to convert to Judaism before marrying his fiancee, who is Jewish, and the heiress to the founders of Darty," a French retail giant. "He'll go far, that kid," he wrote.
The mirthless Sarkozy and Darty families were outraged at what they saw as anti-Semitic undertones to a cartoon. The incident sparked a heated debate in the French media and Internet blogs over the legitimacy of accusing the cartoonist of anti-Jewish motives.
L'Affaire Sine" was boosted into a major debate over freedom of expression and anti-Semitism -- in a country that has both Europe's largest Jewish community, at 600,000 people, and its largest Muslim community, at around five million.
In an open letter in Le Monde last month, 20 writers and politicians including Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, Nobel Peace prize winner Elie Wiesel, former Justice Minister Robert Badinter and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, defended the paper's decision to sack its satirist - he also defended the Mohammed cartoons.
Politicians in office kept their heads down.
This isn't Sine's first problem ...he was convicted of inciting racial hatred in 1985, over remarks made in 1982 after an attack in Paris' historic Jewish quarter.
"I am anti-Semitic and I am no longer afraid to say so... I want every Jew to live in fear, except if they are pro-Palestinian. Let them die," Sine said. He later apologised. THis time he didn't apologise and said he would rather cut his balls off.
Charlie Hebdo made headlines in 2006 for re-printing the tiresome and very unfunny Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed "Mahomet débordé par les intégristes". They then won a defamation suit brought by French Muslim groups in a trial seen as a test case for freedom of expression, and over which it received the support of the French media and political establishment. The publicity also helped sales - doubling them in the few weeks the debate raged.
Why, ask Sine's supporters, should it be possible to criticise Islam but not Judaism?
Charlie Hebdo's editor Philippe Val defended their decision and claimed the paper would publish attacks on any religion that "seeks to be a substitute for democratic law", but not against individuals "whatever their origin."
Of course the role of the satirical magazine is to do precisely that ... attack individuals. Paradoxocally this week's issue takes a fairly hefty swipe at a German Catholic , who the last time we checked was the Pope.
They make, what for many are vastly insulting insinuations, "Mieux que le Saint-Graal et Da Vinci Code, l’un des mystères religieux les plus tenaces est celui du prépuce de Jésus."..Better than the Holy Grail and Da Vinci Code, one of the most religious mysteries tenacious is the foreskin of Jesus. ... Jesus was born Jewish. He was therefore circumcised. But a single man, single foreskin: the wasted foreskin is missing.
Here are a couple of Sine cartoons - he is famous for his cats..