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French Jews’ Attitude Towards Le Pen Shows Concerns Over Her Agenda Exaggerated

French Jews’ Attitude Towards Le Pen Shows Concerns Over Her Agenda Exaggerated

French Jews’ Attitude Towards Le Pen Shows Concerns Over Her Agenda Exaggerated
February 10
14:44 2017

French Jews should be really concerned about the fact that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front party, has a chance to win the presidential election in France, according to Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the European Rabbinical Council. However, this opinion does not seem to be shared by all Jews living in France.

“If you ask me whether the majority of Jews will leave France if Le Pen wins I would say yes, they will,” Goldschmidt told Sputnik.

According to Michel Thooris, chairman of the Council of French Jewish Patriots (UPFJ), Rabbi Goldschmidt is not very well informed about the current state of affairs in France.

“Today, a certain number of French Jews are waiting for Le Pen’s victory which will protect them from the new threats, in particular from radical Islamism and terrorism,” Thooris told reporters.

With her political program, Le Pen is the only politician who knows how to curb the rise of those threats, according to him.

“Each time when there is an anti-establishment political movement on the rise we hear apocalyptic warnings. This happened after Brexit. An apocalypse was predicted for the Americans if they elected Donald Trump. Currently, the same warnings can be heard from the left wing in France regarding Le Pen, especially for Jews. But this is just petty politics,” Thooris said.1048642162

According to him, what really matters is that the candidate should be elected depending on the political program he or she proposes.

“Currently, some French Jews believe that Le Pen’s plan can protect them from the new threats, including terrorism and Islamism in France and in Europe,” he added.

Francis Kalifat, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), expressed strong doubt that Jews and the National Front could find common ground.Безымянный

“There is no single value that Jews share with the National Front,” he wrote on Twitter in December.

Commenting on Kalifat’s remark, Thooris noted that today many French Jews do not trust the CRIF anymore.

“The council promotes the ideology of the Israeli and American lefts in French society. I think that the CRIF represent only those Jews sharing the left ideology. However, many French Jews are ready to vote for Le Pen, others – for the republicans. So, I guess today the majority of the French Jewish community adheres to the right,” Thooris pointed out.

He added that Kalifat’s words deserve respect but should be regarded through the fact that “his organization does not represent all Jews living in France.”

Daniel Benhaim, director of the Jewish Agency in France, said that a very good performance or a victory of Marine Le Pen in the election “will definitely have an impact on the French Jewish community and on the willingness of certain members to leave the country.”

However, according to him, now it is very difficult to predict what consequences the current political reality will have, especially for the entire population.


Historian, author and journalist Benoit Rayski also said that Rabbi Goldschmidt’s concerns are groundless.

“I can’t agree with him but I can say that I can understand him. According to statistics data, 5,000-6,000 Jews leave France each year. Some of them for religious reasons, and others just want to leave in Israel. But the majority leaves because hatred against Jews is on the rise,” Rayski said.

The journalist noted that there is an obsolete stereotype about the National Front part as an anti-Semitic movement.

“The National Front says that the main problem in France is the massive Arab and Muslim immigration. Anti-Semitism is not one of the ideological pillars of the party,” he pointed out.

“If there was a massive exodus of Jews from France this would be because of terrorist attacks against them. This is the reason,” Rayski said.

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Edward Bokhua

Edward Bokhua

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