France 2012: Marine Le Pen seduces Jewish community

Anti-Islam and immigration consensus after Toulouse murders

25 April, 16:16

    Marine Le Pen after the first round of French Presidential elections Marine Le Pen after the first round of French Presidential elections

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - With her father's fiercely anti-Semitic rhetoric locked away, Marine has decided to focus her efforts on illegal immigrants and Islamists.

    After the slaughter of Toulouse on March 19, when a Frenchman of Algerian origin killed four people, three of them children, in an attack on a Jewish school in the city, Le Pen's approach convinced one in five French voters and even seduced part of the local Jewish community. Michel Thooris, a former member of national council for French Jewish organisations (CRIF), even chose to stand for Parliament on an FN ticket. "If you are Jewish, it is natural to turn to Marine Le Pen," he said in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "She fights crime and Islamism, which means that she protects Jews. The National Front has changed, Jews know this".

    However, not everyone sees it this way. Around a year ago, the Jewish community station Radio J was swamped with complaints for inviting the far-right leader to speak to the station, an invitation that was eventually withdrawn. Within the Jewish community, though, some critics spoke out against the boycott. The Union of French Jews (UFJ), an organisation for Jewish supporters of the National Front, was created a few months later.

    "Marine Le Pen is the only one who wants to tackle uncontrolled immigration and its disastrous consequences," the founder of the UFJ, Michel Ciardi, writes on the organisation's website. "For so-called representatives of France's Jewish community, Jews who support Le Pen are self-hating Jews, worse than the Jewish police in the ghettos. But if in some areas Jews are afraid to wear the kippah and the violent sermons heard in some French mosques are infused with an anti-Semitism that we thought had disappeared, it is certainly not Marine Le Pen's fault". (ANSAmed).

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