Photo Credit: Erez Lichtfeld
French President Emmanuel Macron with EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor

A delegation representing European Jewry met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday in Paris to discuss the renewed rise of far-right political parties in Europe and what it portends.

The group from the European Jewish Congress (EJC) was led by President Dr. Moshe Kantor and included Francis Kalifat, President of the CRIF, the umbrella organisation of French Jews and the country’s EJC affiliate.

French President Emmanuel Macron, with EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor, CRIF President Francis Kalifat and EJC Executive Vice President Raya Kalenova at the Élysée Palace.
French President Emmanuel Macron, with EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor, CRIF President Francis Kalifat and EJC Executive Vice President Raya Kalenova at the Élysée Palace.
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During the meeting, the delegation told President Macron the EJC membership unanimously opposes any meetings or dealings with far-right political parties in Europe.

“We must draw strong and unequivocal red lines against all interaction with far-right European political parties,” Kantor said.

“Some like to use the Jewish community as a fig leaf for their racist and xenophobic agendas, or try and make common ground over views on Israel. We emphatically reject all these overtures and stand in complete solidarity with all targets of their intolerance and racism.

“Yesterday, Jews were the main targets and today it may be some other group. But we are under no illusions whatsoever that anti-Semitism remains a significant part of their worldview regardless of political tactics or electoral expediency.”

Kantor also told Macron the Jewish community stands “shoulder to shoulder” with the French government and people in its battle against extremism and terrorism.

“In recent times, France has been attacked in the most severe way for the values and freedoms it stands for,” Kantor said. “First Jews were their target, but there is no doubt that they seek to attack all French citizens and the values of the French Republic.

“The challenges that the French government must overcome are huge and we stand in full solidarity with the French people, willing and able to contribute in any way to our collective fight against terrorism and extremism.”

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