You’ll recall he had reportedly offered the job to notorious anti-American Hubert Vedrine earlier this week, but for whatever reason, it fell through. His second choice: a pro-American, pro-Israel, pro-Iraq war socialist whose grandparents perished at Auschwitz.

Interesting times.

“It’s an amazing appointment, a stunning event in French foreign policy,” said Richard C. Holbrooke, the former American ambassador to the United Nations and one of Mr. Kouchner’s closest friends. “He’s motivated by an antitotalitarian drive whether he sees injustice from the left or the right. It will be very positive for U.S.-French relations, because he does not come with a visceral anger towards the American ‘hyperpower.’ ”…

Contrary to long-held Gaullist French policy, which evaluates crises through the lens of France’s national interests, Mr. Kouchner tends to see things through a humanitarian perspective. He was an effective early advocate of “humanitarian intervention” — the right to interfere in another country’s affairs if human rights are being abused…

Mr. Kouchner appears to support the maintenance of a strong international — and French — presence in Afghanistan to bring stability to the country; Mr. Sarkozy has promised that French troops will not stay there forever.

A source in Sarkozy’s party tells the JPost that Kouchner has good relations with Palestinians and the Lebanese, so he might be able to help win the release of the three Israeli soldiers being held hostage.

Update: Impressive guy — he also co-founded Doctors Without Borders.

Tags: Israel