The leader of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen, has distanced herself from anti-Semitic comments by father – not because she disagrees, but rather because the comments were “a political error.”
Sunday, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen criticised several critics, including former tennis champion Yannick Noah, Madonna and one Jewish critic, singer Patrick Bruel. Le Pen said Bruel would be part of “a batch we will get next time,” using the word “fournee,” French for “batch.” The implication was apparently a reference to Nazi ovens. , evoking the word “four” (“oven”).
It is not clear if French President François Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls or new Opposition Leader Michèle Tabarot responded to Le Pen’s remarks.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder called on the french government to strip Le Pen of his diplomatic immunity – most European countries have laws limiting Holocaust speech and imagery. The elder Le Pen founded the National Front party in 1972 and has been convicted several times on racism charges. He has also called the Nazi gas chambers “a detail in the history of World War II.”
Roger Cukierman, head of the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France, said “We are shocked by Jean-Marie Le Pen’s anti-Semitic, provocative statements. The honorary president of the National Front again is displaying his habitual anti-Semitism, for which he has been condemned many times. The CRIF calls on all democrats to promote inter-ethnic comity and to condemn such postures of hatred.”