French Jewish leader backs Marine Le Pen


The head of French Jewry has publicly endorsed National Front leader Marine Le Pen, describing her as "irreproachable".

Roger Cukierman, chairman of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (Crif), said Ms Le Pen could not be "faulted personally" for antisemitism.

He added: "The NF is a party for which I would never vote but it's a party which today doesn't commit violent acts. Let's be clear: all the violence [against Jews] is now committed by young Muslims."

Despite the antisemitism of Ms Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie, who led the party until 2011, nearly 14 per cent of the Jewish community voted for the NF in the 2012 election.

That figure represents a sharp increase on the 2007 election, when 4.3 per cent of French Jews voted for the far-right party.

Mr Cukierman's comments attracted criticism from prominent French Jews.

Holocaust historian Serge Klarsfeld said: "Ms Le Pen has not broken ties with her father. Her father is the party's honorary president."

European Jewish group J-Call and CCLJ, an organisation representing left-leaning Belgian Jews, also condemned the Crif chairman's statement.

In response, Mr Cukierman told Jewish newspaper Actualité Juive: "With regards to Marine Le Pen, I was referring to her legal irreproachability, and not her morals. She has always been very careful to not make any antisemitic remarks."

Mr Cukierman's comments provoked outrage from the French Council of Muslims, who responded by refusing to attend the Crif annual dinner this week.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive