Realignment: French Jews Turning To Le Pen After Muslim AttacksPosted: February 24, 2015
An increasing number of French Jews are turning to Marine Le Pen’s Front National, despite the party’s past reputation for anti-Semitism, as they now see Muslims as a bigger threat.
Roger Cukierman, the Chairman of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions, said the party was no longer violent and that its current leader had never used anti-Semitic language, The Times reports.
The statement comes as at least 14 percent of France’s half a million Jews look set to support Mrs Le Pen in the country’s Presidential elections in 2017.
“Many Jews now see second and third generation Muslim immigrants, rather than the far-right, as the biggest threat to their community’s safety.”
The feisty blonde daughter of Jean-Marie has been consistently rising in national polling, but has seen a surge of support following the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket terrorist attacks earlier this year which left 20 dead.
Many Jews now see second and third generation Muslim immigrants, rather than the far-right, as the biggest threat to their community’s safety.
“The National Front is a party for which I would never vote but it’s a party which today doesn’t commit violent acts. Let’s be clear: all the violence [against Jews] is now committed by young Muslims,” Mr Cukierman said.
His comments sparked a row among French Jews, some of whom see the Le Pen family as political descendants of the Vichy regime which collaborated with the Nazis following the occupation in 1940.
Serge Klarsfeld, the celebrated French Nazi-hunter, whose father was among the 75,000 Jews deported from France to the death camps in the East, remains sceptical of the party.
“Ms Le Pen has not broken ties with her father,” he said. “She leads the National Front, whose debts include the anti-Semitic positions of her father, who is [its] honorary President.”
Jean-Marie Le Pen has a history of anti-Semitism and justifying war crimes as well as defending the Vichy regime, and while his daughter has firmly moved the party away from such a position, she has not explicitly spoken out against her father’s position or previous policies….(read more)
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