French Jewish leader backs Marine Le Pen


A leader of the French Jewish community has publically endorsed National Front leader Marine Le Pen, describing her as “irreproachable”.

Speaking on French radio Europe 1, Roger Cukierman, chairman of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (Crif), praised Ms Le Pen and said that her party was no longer violent.

However, he clarified: “The National Front 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 antisemitic reputation of the party under Ms Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie, at least 14 per cent of the Jewish community is expected to vote for the National Front in the 2017 French election in response to the rise in antisemitism and the attack on a kosher supermarket in January in which four Jews were killed.

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

World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder praised the French president for his speech at the dinner.

“President Hollande has made it absolutely clear: Anti-Semitism, and any other form of hatred and racism, must not and will not be tolerated, and the entire country must mobilize against it. His speech sends a strong signal that France will not surrender to the forces of evil and that it is taking the leading role in fighting anti-Semitism and terrorism. We fully support President Hollande and his government in this endeavor,” said Mr Lauder.

President Francois Hollande said: “In protecting its Jews, the Republic is protecting itself.

"The Jews are at home in France and it’s the anti-Semites who don’t have a place in the Republic.”

He added: “Not teaching about the Shoah would already mean denying it." The president has vowed to strengthen Holocaust education in schools.

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