First the Hitler loving leader of Christians United 4 Israel, John
Hagee, hates BDS and then the leader of the French fascist party, Marine Le Pen
adds her weight to the call.
|Fascist Le Pen Opposes BDS|
Marine Le Pen has had a little local difficulty in
recent months. She has been trying to
clean up her act and pretend that the French FN are no longer anti-Semitic. Gone are the days when her pater would talk
about the gas chambers as being a ‘mere detail’ of history. Unfortunately Jean Marie le Pen found it difficult to keep his mouth closed,
with the result that he was barred from the headquarters and expelled, only to
be reinstated by a French court.
|Marine’s old dad, Jean, is angry that he has brought up his daughter to be a good anti-Semite and now she’s pretending that she loves Jews|
the FN hates Muslims and Blacks it loves Jews.
True there are a few Jewish idiots who accept this nonsense and focus
their attacks on French muslims. But
anyone with a few grey cells can see through what is happening. After all it’s pretty transparent,. Racists change their targets but their
principles never change.
Le Pen, leader of France’s far right Front National party. (Rémi Noyon/Flickr)
presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen is attempting to win the favor of Israel
lobby groups for her far-right Front National party.
|Trying to bury the National Front’s anti-semitic legacy|
to the website of the pro-Israel group Europe-Israël, Le Pen told the
founder of the European Jewish Parliament, a communal organization based in
Brussels, that “anti-Semitism has no place in the Front National.”
|Enough to make a fascist wince|
Pen also reportedly told Ukrainian oligarch Vadim Rabinovich at their meeting
in the French city of Strasbourg that “she would not accept Front National
members who have anti-Semitic opinions” or “who support a boycott of Israel.”
far-right leader reportedly characterized the boycott, divestment and sanctions
(BDS) movement in support of Palestinian rights as “racist.”
Pen’s conflation of anti-Semitism, of which her party has a long and notorious
tradition, on the one hand, and Palestine solidarity activism, on the other,
converges with the strategy
being pushed by the Socialist administration of President François Hollande.
|Why we need BDS|
Front National’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim invective are increasingly in
tune with mainstream French xenophobia, especially in the wake of the murders
at the anti-Muslim magazine Charlie Hebdo
and at a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January.
the US, there is nothing new in prominent pro-Israel figures, such as
Anti-Defamation League President Abraham Foxman, pursuing
alliances with notorious anti-Semites and Islamophobes for the sake of
|Omar Barghouti – one of the principal supporters of BDS in Israel|
in France, the Front National remains saddled with its history of Holocaust denial
and of promoting hatred and suspicion of Jews.
the endorsement of Israel lobby groups is therefore a shrewd way for Le Pen to
try to shed that baggage. In that vein, we can expect that the BDS movement
will be an increasingly popular target for ambitious French politicians, just
as it is for American ones.
this month, for instance, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton assured
Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban of her determination to fight BDS.
meeting also comes amid a bitter family feud between Marine Le Pen and her
father, Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen. The party has moved
to expel the elder Le Pen and strip him of his title of “honorary
issue is Jean-Marie Le Pen’s off-message
comments minimizing the Holocaust, praising France’s wartime
collaborationist Vichy regime and referring to Nazi death camps as a mere
“detail” of the Second World War.
this month, a French court overturned a party ballot to dump him, ensuring that
embarrassing litigation will persist in the run-up to the 2017 presidential
Le Pen’s comments can be seen as a reciprocation of recent flirtations with her
party by certain Israel lobby figures.
February, Roger Cukierman, president of CRIF, the main pro-Israel
umbrella group of Jewish communal organizations in France, raised eyebrows when
he appeared to bless the Front National leader.
acknowledged in a radio interview that the Front National was starting to draw
Jewish voters, but said it was a very small minority.
think we in the Jewish world are all aware that behind Marine Le Pen, who is
personally beyond criticism, there are many Holocaust deniers [and] supporters
of the Vichy regime,” Cukierman
said, “and therefore for us the Front National is a party to avoid.”
apparent praise of Le Pen, and his attempt to distinguish her from the rest of
her party, drew a sharp
rebuke from Serge Klarsfeld, the French attorney and activist whose father
was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz.
Le Pen’s meeting with European Jewish Parliament founder Vadim Rabinovich has
highlighted disagreements among some pro-Israel groups.
is not her father,” Rabinovich told
JTA of Marine Le Pen. “We have had a constructive dialogue where we
accepted the need to combat anti-Semitism, and I believe she is sincere about
Europe-Israël President Jean-Marc Moskowicz resigned from the European Jewish
Parliament in protest over the meeting, stating that it was “not the role of
the European Jewish Parliament to interfere in the relationship between French
political parties and the Jewish community of France.”
however, does not seem to oppose meeting Le Pen in principle. Rather, he objected
on foreign policy grounds, including that “the party of Ms. Le Pen is still
unclear regarding Israel.”
cited statements of Le Pen deputy Florian Philippot “in favor of recognizing a
Palestinian state without negotiations with Israel.”
the meeting “more than premature,” Moskowicz said it “would have been better to
wait for Marine Le Pen to take positions in support of Israel, against
anti-Semitism and to fight the boycott, which she has not done for the moment.”
implication seems to be that if Le Pen affirms pro-Israel and anti-BDS
positions as a matter of party policy, Europe-Israël too might be ready to give
her a second look.
Pen’s comments underline the advantage French politicians – even those who head
notoriously anti-Semitic parties – see in posing as champions in the fight
the approach they are taking may only deepen divisions in French society,
rather than effectively addressing the problem, according to Parti des
Indigènes de la République (PIR).
– the Party of the Indigenous Persons of the Republic – is an anti-racist and
decolonial political collective that says that Black people, Arabs and Muslims
still occupy an inferior place in contemporary France, just as they did in
March, PIR took aim at what it called “state racism” and “state philo-Semitism”
that pit Jews against other segments of French society under the guise of
is true that traditional anti-Semitism exists in France, fueled by the
observes. “But there is no state anti-Semitism. Jews are not discriminated
against in housing or employment, are not harassed by the police and are not
subjected to large-scale anti-Semitic propaganda in national media.”
contrasts with the condition of millions of French citizens and immigrants of
Arab and African ancestry or Muslim faith.
is a state policy, rooted in colonial history, that is being reactivated in
light of contemporary issues. This policy is based on the preferential
treatment given to the fight against anti-Semitism as against other racisms.
This is helping to deepen the tensions between different segments of French
society, exposing Jews to the condemnation of the most disadvantaged in the
hierarchy of racisms. Based on this logic, we see a racist offensive against
young indigenes [people of Arab and African ancestry or Muslim religion],
accusing them of being the vector of a new anti-Semitism. [The state] claims to
be the protector of the Jews, all the while using them … as a baseball bat to
hit Blacks and Arabs.
the January attacks in Paris, there has been a big
leap in Islamophobic attacks in France, but little government effort to
fight the phenomenon.
critics accuse the government itself of stigmatizing young Muslims in its fight
has been a fivefold increase in physical attacks against persons and numerous
acts of vandalism against mosques, according to a recent report from the
nonprofit group Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France (Collective Against
Islamophobia in France).
June, French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve admitted
that the number of anti-Muslim acts “is certainly underestimated because too
many victims are reluctant to report them,” fearing that they would not be
believed or that nothing would be done.
contrast, President François Hollande, announcing a raft of new laws and
policies aimed at fighting anti-Semitism, stated in February that anti-Jewish
statements online should
be treated with the same severity as child pornography.
to PIR, this differential approach is being supported by pro-Israel
organizations in the Jewish community – with the effect of further conflating
Judaism and Jews, on the one hand, with Israel and Zionism, on the other.
an expansive essay, PIR’s
Houria Bouteldja writes:
who use the Jews for Israeli interests are indeed Zionist organizations in
complicity with Official France, which attends the CRIF dinner every year and
makes Zionist organizations its privileged interlocutors. This attitude of
French rulers has been denounced by Jewish organizations – UFJP [French Jewish Union for Peace], IJAN
[International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network] and Another Jewish Voice, who
rightly see the danger for Jews all over the world. It is important to note
that these activists, who previously claimed internationalist and class
identities, now feel obliged to identify as Jews to distinguish themselves from
those who are confiscating Jewishness for political ends.
those now joining in – with the apparent collusion of at least a few pro-Israel
activists – is one of France’s most pernicious organizations: the Front
Bouteldja, the message of recent political developments in France is clear: “If
one is clearly anti-racist, and worried about the rise of the extreme right
that will target first and foremost the populations of the [predominantly Arab
and Black] neighborhoods; and if one is concerned about Jews who have become
targets of terrorist groups, one must have the courage to attack the current
forms of state racism: Islamophobia, anti-Blackness and Romaniphobia, as well
as state philo-Semitism, which is a subtle and sophisticated form of
anti-Semitism of the nation-state.”