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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘National Front’

French Jews Breathe Sigh of Relief over Le Pen’s Defeat

Monday, December 14th, 2015

CRIF, the umbrella representative body of Jewish organizations in France, welcomed the results of Sunday’s French regional runoff elections in which the extreme right Front National of Marine Le Pen failing to win any regional presidency.

CRIF had called on voters to block the party after it won the first round nationally and claimed victories in six of the country’s 13 regions, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported Monday.

EJP quoted a CRIF statement:

CRIF welcomes with satisfaction the citizen’s reaction which blocked the road of regions to the Front National. The strong citizen mobilization around the Republican values should be for the government and the entire political class an opportunity to effectively address the causes of growth of extremes.

The center-right Republican party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy won more regional presidencies seats than the ruling Socialist party of President Francois Hollande.

The Socialists contributed to the defeat of the National Front by withdrawing from the election contest in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie and in the South’s Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, where Le Pen’s niece was on the ballot.

Instead of splitting the anti-Le Pen vote with Sarkozy’s party, all the votes went to the Republican candidate.

EJP noted, “The Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen has been several times convicted for racism and anti-Semitism. But her daughter Marine, who took over the party’s leadership, has distanced herself and the party from her father and his record.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

French Court Indicts Jean-Marie Le Pen for ‘Gas Chamber’ Remarks

Monday, July 27th, 2015

French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen has been indicted by a French court for his remarks about the gas chambers of World War II, according to the AFP news agency.

The date of Le Pen’s appearance to stand trial for denying crimes against humanity has not yet been set. Not that the prospect bothers the octogenarian.

“It’s an additional persecution… I’m not very surprised,” the European Parliament member, age 87, told AFP. He added that he does not “for one moment” regret his words.

The summons came in response to Le Pen’s assertion on April 2 the “Gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers.

“I continue to uphold the view because I think it is the truth and it should not shock anyone. They have exploited this affair against me, implying this is about anti-Semitism. But I defy anyone to quote me on anything anti-Semitic I have said in my political career,” he said.

It’s not the first time Le Pen has said such a thing. He has made similar comments before, going back as far as 1987, when he was convicted and fined over his racial hatred and comments about the gas chambers.

Le Pen made the remark to BFMTV, igniting a clash with his daughter Marine, who has been trying to move his National Front Party away from its racist, anti-Semitic stance.

Marine Le Pen, 46, took over control of the party in 2011 and publicly split with her father over his remarks; she also suspended him from the membership. However, the elder Le Pen regained that membership and his position as honorary president within a month after launching a legal battle over the issue in a French court.

Hana Levi Julian

Le Pen: Jewish Singer Will ‘Be in Next Oven Batch’

Monday, June 9th, 2014

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.”

Meir Halevi Siegel

Europe’s Rightward Lurch Bad For Jews…And The U.S.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The huge gains made by far-right nationalist parties in the European Union elections have a lot of people on the continent and elsewhere scared. The results threaten to undermine the hard-won European unity that has been achieved since the end of World War Two.

The gains made by such parties across the board are the result of a variety of different local dynamics, but the common theme is hostility to immigrants and other religious minorities. Though center-right parties will still predominate in the EU parliament, the election threatens to further exacerbate an atmosphere in Europe in which anger against perceived outsiders morphs from localized violence to a general spirit of isolationism.

The fact that many of these parties, such as France’s National Front, have flirted with anti-Semitism while others, such as Greece’s Golden Dawn, have openly embraced it seems to illustrate the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe.

But there are some who are looking for a silver lining amid this dismal news.

When some Jews look at Europe’s far right parties, they see a potential ally against Islamists since the nationalists there are often obsessed with what they see as a threat to their culture and national identity from the large populations of immigrants from Muslim countries.

This leads some Americans on the right to believe that even though the EU nationalists are clearly hostile to Jews and Israel, they may nevertheless help secure Europe against Islamist influence and thus help preserve the West against those who are trying to overthrow it.

While there is a superficial logic to this enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend sort of thinking, it is a grave mistake. European Jews wouldn’t be the only piece of collateral damage in the blowup of Western democracy. The far right’s victory would weaken American influence and create a far more dangerous world for all of us.

As much as the lurch right seems to represent a backlash among Europeans against outside influences, let’s put aside any illusion that these parties are really capable of routing Islamist influences. Nothing short of a turn to open fascism can evict Muslim immigrants from Europe.

The rising influence of these communities and the anti-Semitism they help fuel stems not only from their numbers but also from the way the Jew-hatred they brought with them dovetails with traditional European anti-Semitism. Hostility to Israel and Jewish interests unites academics and other elites with those on the far right and Muslims.

Euro-nationalists of various stripes are not likely to be able to achieve their objectives with respect to Muslim immigrants because of the huge numbers involved and the resistance to that project from the traditional parties of the left and the center. But their fomenting of hate against religious minorities is likely to be more successful when it is directed against the far less numerous Jews.

Though the far right and Muslims are locked in a never-ending fight, Jews are more vulnerable and easily caught in the crossfire of that conflict. Just as important is the potential that these parties will splinter Europe in ways that are profoundly damaging to the defense of Western democracy.

Small government conservatives in the United States may sympathize with those Europeans who bristle at being ruled by unaccountable EU bureaucrats in Brussels. But as much as the EU seems to be a perfect combination of the perils of big social democratic governments, a Europe that is worried about appeasing anger on the right is one that is likely to opt out of the collective security arrangements that have guaranteed the peace of the world since 1945.

The EU is already a weak partner of the United States. But the increasing influence of rightist parties is liable to have a far greater impact on the ability of the U.S. to count on being able to use NATO to resist threats to collective security around the globe and in Europe as the Russian assault on Ukraine has proved.

Jonathan S. Tobin

National Front Mayor Evicts Dreyfus-Inspired Anti-Racism Group

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A French mayor from the far-right National Front party evicted from city-owned offices an anti-racism group inspired by the Dreyfus trial.

Steeve Briois, who was elected last month to run the town of Henin-Beaumont, ordered the Human Rights League, or LDH, to clear out of its workspace last week, LDH President Pierre Tartakowsky told JTA.

The LDH, which was established in 1898 to protest the wrongful and racially motivated conviction for espionage of the French Jewish army captain Alfred Dreyfus, for years had occupied office space provided free to it and other civil society groups by the municipality, Tartakowsky said.

“We have made no secret of our opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, the extreme right and National Front itself,” he said. “The party knows that targeting us as a human rights group is a symbol; they want to make people afraid.”

In a statement sent Tuesday, Briois wrote, “Municipalities are not allowed to fund organizations that are politicized and partisan.”

The municipality had provided $414 in funding to LDH per year, according to Le Figaro.

National Front, whose honorary president, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial and incitement to hatred against Jews and other minorities, has mayors in 11 municipalities following its showing in the March 30 local elections.

JTA

French Jewish Candidate Reveals Threats

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A Jewish politician in Marseille said he and his family received death threats amid a string of anti-Semitic incidents coinciding with municipal elections in France.

Hagay Sobol, a City Council candidate on the Socialist Party list in the final round of elections to be held Sunday, revealed on his Facebook page earlier this week that he had received the threats from an unknown person claiming to be a centrist political activist calling himself “Simon Hanavi.” Sobol said the man threatened to harm him and his family.

One of the threats appeared on Sobol’s Facebook page and read, “When this election is over, God will take care of traitor like you,” according to the news site alyaexpress-news.com. Sobol also said he received threats texted to his phone and has filed a police complaint.

He added that the perpetrator said he was a member of the UMP centrist party, “but there are strong doubts this is true,” Sobol wrote, explaining that the language and style used were typical of the extreme right.

France’s far-right National Front, whose founder and honorary president Jean-Marie Le Pen has a history of anti-Semitic statements and Holocaust denials, has made unprecedented gains in the first round of elections and is now leading in eight cities and towns.

The party won outright in one northern town and made it to the second round in 200 municipalities — gains that have prompted the Union of Jewish French Students to call on voters to mobilize against the National Front Party. Turnout in the first round was 60 percent, which is considered low.

The union also called on candidates who came in third in the eight cities where the  National Front is leading to withdraw from the race in favor of the candidates who finished second to help defeat the National Front in the second round of polling. On Tuesday, a Socialist candidate in Perpignan, Jacques Cresta, withdrew from the race to improve the chances of his UMP rival against the National Front.

Separately, the northern Toulouse suburb of Agen saw dozens of buildings covered with racist graffiti slogans, including “Jews and Arabs out, all of you to the oven.”

JTA

Marine Le Pen: Wearing Yarmulkes Should Be Banned

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

French right-wing politician Marine Le Pen said she supports a ban on wearing yarmulkes in public in addition to a ban on Muslim headscarves.

“Obviously, if the veil is banned, the yarmulke [should be] banned in public as well,” the French daily Le Monde quoted Le Pen, leader of the National Front, as saying in an interview published on Friday.

Le Pen’s anti-immigrant, anti-Islamist party has long supported a ban on Muslim headscarves, veils and burkas. France’s minister of education, Vincent Peillon, said Le Pen “was fanning the flames of fundamentalism” with her statements. “She is the main fundamentalist,” he said.

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, said Le Pen has “once again exposed herself as being unworthy of the mainstream French political space.”

“Her suggestion of a ban on wearing a kipah in public takes us straight back to the times of state-sponsored anti-Semitism under the Vichy regime,” he said. “Any sane politician will disqualify these comments as total madness and profoundly insulting to the French ideals of freedom of expression.”

Founded in the 1970s by Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine Le Pen’s father, the National Front has established itself as France’s third-largest political party. In 2002, it made it to the second round in the presidential elections, clinching 17 percent of the vote.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/marine-le-pen-wearing-yarmulkes-should-be-banned/2012/09/22/

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