President Emmanuel Macron meets EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor in Paris, November 2017.
(photo credit: EREZ LICHTFELD)
A delegation of European Jewish leaders told French President Emmanuel Macron that they opposed any meetings or dealings with far-Right political parties on the continent, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) announced on Tuesday.
The delegation met with Macron in Paris on Monday afternoon. It was led by Dr.
Moshe Kantor, president of the EJC, and included Francis Kalifat, president of CRIF, the umbrella organization of French Jews and the country’s EJC affiliate.
One focus of the discussion was the strengthening of extreme right-wing parties across Europe in recent years.
“We must draw strong and unequivocal red lines against all interaction with far-Right European political parties,” Kantor said. “Some like to use the Jewish community as a fig leaf for their racist and xenophobic agendas or try and make common ground over views on Israel. We emphatically reject all these overtures and stand in complete solidarity with all targets of their intolerance and racism.”
He continued: “Yesterday, Jews were the main targets, and today it may be some other group. But we are under no illusions whatsoever that antisemitism remains a significant part of their worldview regardless of political tactics or electoral expediency.”
Kantor also told Macron that the Jewish community stood shoulder to shoulder with the French government and people in their battle against extremism and terrorism.
“In recent times, France has been attacked in the most severe way for the values and freedoms it stands for. First Jews were their target, but there is no doubt that they seek to attack all French citizens and the values of the French Republic,” Kantor said.
“The challenges that the French government must overcome are huge and we stand in full solidarity with the French people, willing and able to contribute in any way to our collective fight against terrorism and extremism.”
The EJC said Macron was positive, responsive and willing to cooperate with the organization, and expressed his support for the Jewish community and, particularly, its security and wellbeing.
French Jewish leaders were relieved when Macron defeated far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen in the presidential elections earlier this year, but expressed concern that she received more than a third of the vote – the best electoral result ever obtained by her National Front party.
The party was founded in the 1970s by Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has multiple convictions for Holocaust denial and incitement of racial hatred against Jew