France

It's almost sure to be Fillon v Le Pen: an agonising choice for French Jews

By John Lichfield, December 1, 2016

French jews face the prospect of an agonising choice in the final round of the presidential election in May - between a de-odorised far right and a mainstream conservative candidate who has made several ambivalent remarks about Jews.

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Is Alain the man for France?

By John Lichfield, November 17, 2016

A centre-right presidential primary election this Sunday will reveal whether France is about to follow the Brexit and Donald Trump road towards elite-bashing populism.

The unlikely would-be scourge of the "elite" is not the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, but the former president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

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French National Front 'never' racist, leader says

By Simon Rocker, November 13, 2016

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, said the party has "never been guilty of racism”.

In an interview today on The Andrew Marr Show on the BBC, she defended its opposition to immigration, saying that France was “not going to welcome any more people… we’re full up.”

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French way of life wins - for now

By John Lichfield, November 10, 2016

Next week a rock concert hall will reopen in Paris. You may have heard of it - The Bataclan.

The star of the re-opening show, one year and three days after 90 pop fans were slaughtered by jihadists, will be the alleged bad boy of British pop music, Pete Doherty.

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Israel rejects Paris 'peace' conference

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 10, 2016

Israel and France are at logger-heads over Jerusalem's refusal to participate in a international peace conference that the French government is insisting on holding before the end of the year.

Special French envoy Pierre Vimont held talks on Monday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's representatives, who reiterated Israel's position that only direct talks with the Palestinian

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France's long-time spiritual leader dies in Paris aged 71

By Andrew Rosemarine, September 28, 2016

French Jewry is in mourning for Joseph Sitruk, France's Chief Rabbi for three successive terms, from 1987 to 2008.

Born in Tunisia, he helped consolidate a Sephardi hold over Europe's largest Jewish community, succeeding Rene-Samuel Sirat, the first-ever Sephardi Chief Rabbi of France.

Le Monde described Rabbi Sitruk as a man "of absolute intransigence, hidden by a permanent smile."

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French Olympian with tattoo tribute to Auschwitz survivor wins silver

By Daniel Sugarman, August 11, 2016

Fabien Gilot, a member of the French Olympic swimming team, wears his heart on his sleeve – or more accurately, on his arm.

As reported by the JC in 2012, tattooed in Hebrew on his arm are the words “Ani Klum Biladeihem”, meaning “I am nothing without them.”

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Nice community reels from terror hit

By Shirli Sitbon, July 21, 2016

Nice's Jewish community was in shock this week after Thursday's terrorist attack left one of its members dead and 10 seriously injured.

France-born Muslim Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, of Tunisian origin, drove a truck into the crowds celebrating Bastille Day along the city's promenade, killing 84 people and injuring more than 300 before being shot dead.

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Jewish woman injured in Nice terror attack dies of her wounds

By Shirli Sitbon, July 17, 2016

A Jewish woman who was taken into hospital following the truck-ramming attack in Nice last Thursday has died.

Raymonde Mamane, 77, was critically injured and put on a respirator following the outrage but succumbed to her injuries on Sunday. Her sister Clara Bensimon, 80 is still in a coma according to reports, which also say she had to have her legs amputated as a result of her injuries.

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French Jews in Britain 'not considering leaving' after referendum result shock

By Jenni Frazer, June 30, 2016

Haim Korsia, France's Chief Rabbi, acknowledged this week that it was "always a possibility" that some of the estimated 35,000 French Jews living in Britain would return in the wake of the Brexit vote.

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