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Moscow - Russian Chief Rabbi: France’s Jews Should Leave If Le Pen Wins Elections

Published on: April 22, 2017 10:00 PM
By: JTA
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FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow April 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/KremlinFILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow April 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Moscow - Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar called on French Jews to leave their country if the far right politician Marine Le Pen is elected president next month.

Lazar, a Chabad rabbi who was born in Italy and has lived in Russia for 25 years, made the remark on Friday while attending a conference on Jewish learning near Moscow organized by the Limmud FSU asssociation.

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“If Marine Le Pen is elected president of France, the Jews must leave,” Lazar said, according to a transcription of his address at the conference provided by Limmud FSU. Lazar was a keynote speaker of the event, which drew 2,500 participants — a record attendance since Limmud FSU began holding conferences across the former Soviet Union.

Polls ahead of Sunday’s first round of the presidential elections suggested the centrist independent candidate Emmanuel Macron is in a tight race for the lead with Le Pen, leader of the National Front party and the daughter of its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial and incitement of racial hatred against Jews. Macron and Le Pen each have about 22 percent the vote in an Ifop poll from April 19.

Le Pen recently called for banning the wearing of the kippah in public and for making it illegal for French nationals to also have an Israeli passport — steps she said were necessary because of the principle of equality in order to facilitate similar limitations on Muslims.

Le Pen has said radical Islam is a “threat on French culture” and has called on Jews to make certain “sacrifices” in order to fight jihadism. She has softened the rhetoric of her party after taking over from her father in 2011 and has kicked out of the party dozens of members over anti-Semitic rhetoric — including her father.

National Front’s best showing in a presidential elections was in 2002, when Jean-Marie Le Pen made it to the second round and received 18 percent of the vote in it, losing to Jacques Chirac. In France, the winner of the first round of voting runs against the second-place candidate in the second and final round.

Many French Jews regard Marine Le Pen as dangerous, and the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities has called her and the far-left communist candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon “candidates of hatred.” CRIF President Francis Kalifat on Friday said that Le Pen and Melenchon’s growing popularity is “a real danger to our country’s democracy.”

Melenchon has risen from fifth place in the polls in February with 9 percent of the vote to third with 19 percent. Francois Fillon, the center-right candidate of the party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, also has 19 percent. In 2014, during a speech about Gaza, Melenchon condemned French Jews who support Israel, adding: “France is the opposite of aggressive minorities that lecture to the rest of the country.”

Lazar during his address at Limmud FSU said that, “The situation there [in France] is very worrying. Not only because of immigrants, but also because the general population is heading toward radicalization. The best example of this is the rise of extreme-right parties.”

Lazar’s analysis of the situation in Western Europe echoes previous statements by Kremlin officials, seeking to discredit European governments critical of the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the outlawing of literature on homosexuality, the abuse of judiciary for the elimination of political rivals and the introduction of severe limitations of free speech. Under Putin, Lazar’s Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia has become the largest Jewish organization in Russia.

Lazar praised Putin during his address Friday, saying: “Putin was the first president to publicly speak out against anti-Semitism and did the most for the Jews in Russia. There is no institutional anti-Semitism in Russia.”



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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 22, 2017 at 10:23 PM TrumpISprez4-8 Says:

The far right is the danger ? Exactly who killed Jews recently in Paris ? Just a week ago a Jew was killed by a nieghbor . Does anyone remember the Paris grocery attack where yidden were killed ? So who commited all these crimes ? The right or Muslims ? So who should Jews in France be scared of ? Muslims or the far right ?

2

 Apr 22, 2017 at 11:03 PM stamm Says:

I am confused. It seems like Le Pen is going to take a hard line against Muslims, so why not vote for her? Please explain

3

 Apr 23, 2017 at 12:08 AM Huh? Says:

I have a lot of respect for Rabbi Lazar, which leads me to conclude that he said this in order to appease Putin.

Le Pen is the best thing right now for the Jews of France. The threat to French Jews comes from Muslims, not from native Frenchies. She will put Muslims in their place once and for all.

This Yarmulke nonsense has been debunked. This talk against her is the same idiotic talk comparing Trump to Hitler.

4

 Apr 23, 2017 at 04:39 AM Normal Says:

Reply to #2  
stamm Says:

I am confused. It seems like Le Pen is going to take a hard line against Muslims, so why not vote for her? Please explain

Because she will do the same to news. Google what she says about Yarmulkas

5

 Apr 23, 2017 at 09:00 AM chaimkeh Says:

To remove the confusion, Le Pen plans to take an equally hard line on Yarmulkes and hijabs. I assume ritual slaughter will be her next victim. Of course, all in the name of fighting Islam. Sounds familiar?

6

 Apr 23, 2017 at 10:34 AM perfumed_bed Says:

They should leave where? Putin Paradise?

7

 Apr 23, 2017 at 11:18 AM TrumpISprez4-8 Says:

Reply to #5  
chaimkeh Says:

To remove the confusion, Le Pen plans to take an equally hard line on Yarmulkes and hijabs. I assume ritual slaughter will be her next victim. Of course, all in the name of fighting Islam. Sounds familiar?

I don't really think she will do to yarmulkas like Muslims . I think it's hyper media on your end.

But let's assume you are correct . It's still well worth it if it keeps us Jews safe . The past few years have been particularly dangerous for Jews in France .

And lastly it sounds like you are suggesting that really La pen is anti all religion and just using the Muslim thing as an excuse .Thats also not true . At most she can't discriminate against Muslims per say so she must use an anti head cover excuse so it's not a religious target . But it's the Muslims she resents. And rightfully so

8

 Apr 23, 2017 at 01:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
TrumpISprez4-8 Says:

The far right is the danger ? Exactly who killed Jews recently in Paris ? Just a week ago a Jew was killed by a nieghbor . Does anyone remember the Paris grocery attack where yidden were killed ? So who commited all these crimes ? The right or Muslims ? So who should Jews in France be scared of ? Muslims or the far right ?

You are all confused. A Muslim risking his life Saved 27 Jews in the Paris bombing. You are not spreading Alternate Facts. Its the Opposite what you are saying. The Muslim saved many Jews.

9

 Apr 23, 2017 at 03:13 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

#8 is correct.

10

 Apr 23, 2017 at 03:34 PM TrumpISprez4-8 Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

You are all confused. A Muslim risking his life Saved 27 Jews in the Paris bombing. You are not spreading Alternate Facts. Its the Opposite what you are saying. The Muslim saved many Jews.

Very funny so you found one sweet spot . Don't kid yourself most Muslims want us dead . And yidden in France suffered and were murdererd more than saved by ruthless Muslims we all know that . You my friend are spreading major alternative facts .

11

 Apr 23, 2017 at 07:57 PM hashomer Says:

LePen is a neo-nazi fascist holocaust denier. All you alt-yidden who have no understanding of history, the churban, French politics, should go w your sheitels to a LePen rally and see how nice you get treated. How can you be so stupid? Hitler was also good to the Jews in your estimation.

12

 Apr 23, 2017 at 08:09 PM TrumpISprez4-8 Says:

Reply to #9  
PaulinSaudi Says:

#8 is correct.

Ok so why don't you take a peaceful stroll in one of your peace loving Muslim French neighborhoods . Please do tell me how safe you feel . Make sure your yarmulka is on so they know you are Jewish

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