At Beit Migdalor in Tel Aviv on Sunday, French-Israelis voted to choose a deputy
from the 8th Constituency in France’s National Assembly.
Socialist Daphna Poznanski-Benhamou and Valerie Hoffenberg of the center-right
UMP, visited the polling station in the building at the corner of Allenby and
Poznanski-Benhamou won, and will represent French
citizens living in Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, San Marino, the Vatican
She is 62, a mother of three including one Sabra, and a
grandmother of three. Poznanski- Benhamou lives in Tel Aviv – but comes from
Nice – and is a dual national who has lived in Israel for 32
Hoffenberg lives in Paris and has family in Israel.
correspondent met them both in Beit Migdalor, and arranged to conduct a
telephone interview the next day with whoever won the race.
Poznanski-Benhamou, so you have won?
Yes, 53.3 percent against 43.7% of the
vote, including the e-votes.
And in Israel in particular?
I have gathered
1,208 votes against 1,886 for Valerie Hoffenberg, not counting the
Your feelings this morning, the day after your victory? It is
another page turning.
The campaign was very long and hard, it is the
beginning of a new position for the French of the 8th Constituency.
elected to defend their rights and try to increase them. For example: the carte
vitale [medical coverage card] for foreigners, the rights of handicapped people,
the taxation of dual nationals that I am well aware of defending – having been a
dual national myself for 32 years.
So the Israelis were less inclined to
give you their votes?
I won everywhere else. I had the most votes in Turkey,
where I felt at home as everywhere else, I was blessed by the chief rabbi there.
In Italy I was very welcome.
Turkey, and yet you are Israeli...
am a French deputy and will be the holder of a diplomatic passport very soon. It
was not to elect a deputy to the Knesset but someone competent to defend the
rights of French citizens living abroad.
They did not want a
“parachutist” dropping into the country sometimes, they wanted someone close
So what do you think of this phenomenon?
I denounce all
Including Segolene Royale?
Yes, including that
[Royale, the former life partner of French President François
Hollande and the losing Socialist presidential candidate in 2007, lost in
Sunday’s legislative election to a Socialist Party dissident, Olivier Falorni,
in a district where she was considered an outsider, a “parachutist.”] It is a
political principle. This is the explanation for the failure of “parachutists.”
Out of the 11 seats of our [overseas] constituencies we [the Socialists] won
eight, and none of them is a “parachutist.” The opposition [the UMP], they have
two out of three [deputies elected from outside France]
What are you going to do now? I will go to Paris tomorrow
morning, Tuesday. Then I will rent an apartment in Paris and I will spend half
my time there, the other half in my constituency.
I will not be able to
go home on Wednesdays as the French[-based] deputies do.
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