France is in a worryingly dangerous place now

The JC Leader, 15 April 2020


PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 01: Marine Le Pen gestures as she delivers a speech during the French Far Right Party May Day demonstration on May 1, 2012 in Paris, France. Marine Le Pen, the daughter of the French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, received only 6.4 million votes in the first round of the presidential elections. Both current French President Nicolas Sarkozy and French Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande are now fighting to win support from the French Far Right ahead of the second round elections on May 6. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

April 19, 2022 09:50

As we gather together around the Seder table to celebrate freedom from oppression, a modern-day brutal dictator is attempting to wipe out Ukraine.

The unpalatable truth is that freedom is never a given — it has to be nurtured, cherished and, sometimes, fought for. In that context, it is deeply worrying that Marine Le Pen has done so well in the first round of the French presidential elections. In some polls this scion of one of Europe’s leading fascist families is neck and neck with Emmanuel Macron for the final run-off on Sunday week.

Changing her party’s name from National Front to National Rally may have worked electorally but it has changed nothing about the reality of its extreme ideology.

Worse, 52 per cent of votes were cast for the three main far-left and far-right candidates, a disturbing signal of the mood in France. Tonight’s Seder meal should, as always, celebrate our freedom.

But it is inevitable that with war in Europe and one of the world’s great nations potentially electing a far-right president, darker thoughts may prevail. It is no wonder that so many French Jews have already left in recent years.

We must pray that many more do not have urgent reason to do so after France makes its final decision.

April 19, 2022 09:50

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