jacques-attaliArab Ambassador in Paris and representatives of the Arab League have launched an attack against one of President Francois Mitterrand’s Jewish advisors, Jacques Attali, accusing him of lacking objectivity because of his “pro-Zionist activities.”

The attack was formally launched last week by Arab League representative Mohammed Yazid who told a press conference here that Attali’s “highly sensitive post is incompatible with his militant activities on Israel’s behalf.” Attali, 38, is vice president of the Fonds Social Juif Unifie and is on the boards of various pro-Israel organizations.

A formal complaint had also been lodged by Saudi Arabia after he told a radio interviewer last month that Saudi Arabia “is the country where they chop off the hands of thieves.” The Saudis requested a formal apology. Mitterrand officially expressed his regret over the statement and thus averted a diplomatic crisis, but the Saudis are maintaining their campaign against Attali and his role in the formulation of French policy in the Middle East.

Diplomatic sources said that Arab Ambassadors in Paris accompanied by Palestine Liberation Organization representative Ibrahim Buss last week called on Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson to express their “indignation” at Attali’s remark and their hope that he will refrain from “further slurs” on Arab states.

Sources in the Elysee Palace said, however, that Mitterrand continues to place high values on Attali’s work and is planning to include him in his official party when he visits Israel in March.