Leadership needed

April 27, 2012

One might have thought that Sunday's record showing by the French National Front would be a matter of grave concern to the French Jewish community. Just as the BNP here has tried to repackage itself as a mainstream vehicle for protest against the status quo, so its sister party under Marine Le Pen has tried the same trick. And just as the makeover of the British far right is a transparent lie - it remains racist and fascist to its core - so too with Ms Le Pen's party. And yet, astonishingly, both the current and former presidents of the CRIF (France's equivalent of the Board of Deputies) are relaxed about the fact that nearly one in five of their fellow countrymen voted for an antisemitic party. They have both, with a naivety which beggars belief, bought into the fiction that a new leader represents a new start. We may sometimes complain about our own communal leadership but there is no denial in any area of Anglo-Jewry's leadership over the reality of the BNP and offshoots such as the EDL. That French Jews now have such misguided leaders is almost as worrying as the vote itself.

Last updated: 3:36pm, April 27 2012