Don’t they get it?

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY OR­LANDO RADICE

IS­RAEL’S FOR­MER AM­BAS­SADOR to France has expressed his dis­may at sup­port given by French Jews to Ma­rine Le Pen, leader of the Front Na­tional (FN).

Ms Le Pen won al­most one in 5 votes in Sun­day’s first round pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Danny Shek, who served in Paris from 2006 un­til last year, says that there is an in­creas­ing view among some Jews that Ms Le Pen is “clean­ing house” and should be sup­ported.

Mr Shek said: “What wor­ries me as a Jew and as an Is­raeli is that more and more Jews find her ap­peal­ing. There is a grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity for the prim­i­tive for­mula, ‘my en­emy’s en­emy is my friend’.

“I wrote an ar­ti­cle on the French elec­tions for an Is­raeli news­pa­per, in which I said this, and I had 250 talk­backs. A good 70 - 80 per cent of them said I was a fool, pick­ing up on this idea. They thought Le Pen was some­one who was clean­ing house.

“The fact that one in five French vot­ers felt com­fort­able enough with a party that stands for xeno­pho­bia and an­ti­semism is hor­rific.”

France has the big­gest Jewish com­mu­nity in Europe, num­ber­ing more than half a mil­lion.

Richard Pasquier, the pres­i­dent of Crif (the French equiv­a­lent of the Board of Deputies) says he is re­laxed about the FN. There are an­ti­semites in the party “but they are not the ma­jor­ity...the an­tisemitism is no longer a

PHOTO: AP

Ma­rine Le Pen: ma­jor ef­fort to clean up her party’s im­age

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