French radio station forced to withdraw Le Pen invite

By Michel Zlotowski, March 17, 2011
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Le Pen: asked by Radio J to appear on politics show

Le Pen: asked by Radio J to appear on politics show

Radio J, a Jewish independent radio station, has infuriated leaders of the community by inviting Marine Le Pen to a political talk show.

Under heavy pressure, the station had to withdraw its invitation to the new leader of the extreme right-wing National Front party.

Frederic Haziza, head of the political affairs service of the station, said that he was "simply doing my job" by inviting her. In the most recent opinion poll, Marine Le Pen was credited with close to 25 per cent of the voting intentions for the upcoming presidential election. You can't simply ignore this fact. Moreover, she seems to reject the heritage of her father (Jean-Marie Le Pen, the long-standing leader of the National Front) of denial of the Holocaust."

Radio J's weekly political talk show, created by Mr Haziza, attracts regular attention in the French mainstream media.

Marine Le Pen is more dangerous than her father

As soon as the Jewish station announced that Marine Le Pen would be the next guest, negative reactions came from almost all the Jewish communal organisations.

Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the representative body
of French Jewry, said: "Marine Le Pen
is much more dangerous and cunning than her father. Her aim is to become as respectable and acceptable as
possible, the re to her father who was permanently trying to be provocative. It is thus regrettable and even irresponsible for Jews to hand her a certificate of kashrut".

Marine Le Pen reacted by saying that CRIF "ought to be ashamed by artificially fuelling the fear of the National Front within our fellow citizens of the Jewish faith. (CRIF)… should rather confront the real antisemitism prevailing in France, developed through organisations like the Muslim Brotherhood".

Radio J was created 30 years ago as an independent station by Michel Zlotowski, who founded it because "we found that other media misinformed the audience on the Middle-Eastern conflict." It receives no funding, with the money coming purely from advertisements, mainly for kosher products and Jewish-owned or run businesses.

Mr Haziza said that the invitation was later withdrawn by the station's manager, Serge Hajdenberg, who informed him afterwards.

    Last updated: 11:09am, March 23 2011