Sunday, 20 May, 2018

Israel condemns Marine Le Pen for denying French responsibility for deporting Jews

Melinda Barton | 18 April, 2017, 02:53

Melenchon, 65, has established a reputation as an often aggressive anti-establishment figure who like Le Pen scorns globalisation and the political elite, while firmly rejecting her hardline rhetoric on immigration and Islam. She added that the Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime "was not France".

"French presidents have recognized the state's responsibility for the fate of the Jews who perished in the Holocaust".

Reminiscent of the runup to Trump's election past year, many artists have said they would prefer exile to living under Le Pen.

If elected, Marine Le Pen would be the first woman in France to hold that office.

She argued that had been the position of France's heads of state, including Charles De Gaulle, until former President Jacques Chirac "wrongly" acknowledged the state's role in Jewish persecution during World War II.

Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, on Sunday condemned Le Pen's remark as "revisionist", meaning an attempt to deny the Holocaust.

"It does not discharge the effective and personal responsibility of the French who took part into the monstrous roundup of the Vel d'Hiv", she wrote. "So, I want them to be proud of being French again", she said.

Le Pen and Macron are neck-and neck but both have lost ground slightly and would win 23-24 percent if the vote were held today.

The Vel' d'Hiv Roundup was a Nazi directed raid and mass arrest of Jews in Paris by the French police on 16 and 17 July 1942.

Le Pen, 48, is the leader of the populist, anti-establishment, National Front, a party the media describes as far-right, although Le Pen's economic platform has some similarities to those espoused by Bernie Sanders. "In reality, our children have been taught they had every reason to criticise it, to see only its darkest aspects".

The proposed change of the current status as an overseas country is being supported by Marine Le Pen, who is the leader of France's National Front and a rival contender for the presidency.

French far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is seen beating conservative Francois Fillon to third place in the first round of the April-May presidential election, according to a poll by Kantar Sofres for Figaro-LCI-RTL published on Sunday.

While her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who led the FN until he passed the baton to his daughter in 2011, revelled in minimising the Holocaust, Marine Le Pen has sought to purge the FN of anti-Semitism and even expelled her father from the party because of his comments.

"For me as a professor of education sciences the question I would ask the next day (after a Le Pen victory) is: 'How do you teach in French schools under Le Pen?'" he said.