Phillipe Karsenty 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Phillipe Karsenty)
Jordan is Palestine, Greece must leave the euro zone and Turkey has no business
applying for European Union membership, declared French parliamentary hopeful
Phillipe Karsenty in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Jewish deputy mayor of the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur- Seine, who is seeking
election as the first representative of the eighth overseas constituency, a
newly-created district which includes Israel, laid out his political manifesto
last week in unequivocal terms.
“I’m a rightist in France and if I had to
vote in Israel I would be a right-winger as well,” he said.
Karsenty is a hawk even by Israeli standards. In his opinion the Oslo Accords
were “the worst mistake you ever had in Israel” because it “armed terrorists.”
He supports a two-state solution but in his understanding of such an outcome the
country beside Israel is not a Palestinian sovereign state in the West Bank and
Gaza but one in Jordan.
“Jordan is the real Palestinian state,” he said.
“The king has nothing to do there, he has no legitimacy.
This is the
simple historical truth.”
Karsenty is currently one of six candidates –
all Jewish - in the 2012 race for the constituency which covers Israel, Italy,
Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Malta. Of the six, he believes only one of them is a
“There are only two serious candidates me and
[France’s former special envoy to the Middle East Valerie] Hoffenberg,” he said.
“But she has no popular support; she is not connected to the people.”
47-year-old businessman is no stranger to controversy. Born in Paris to a Jewish
family who emigrated from Algeria, the businessman made a name for himself
challenging the accuracy of the reportage of the Muhammed al- Dura
“There is not a single doubt that the al-Dura news report was a
hoax,” he said.
According to Karsenty, the death of the eight-year-old
boy in 2000 during a shootout in Gaza was staged by Palestinians in an effort to
discredit the Jewish state.
“Some court Jews are still defending the
blood libel,” he said.
Karsenty was sued several times for defamation but
eventually acquitted. He believes his involvement in the al-Dura affair will
help win over the 70,000 voters in Israel but his campaign is not entirely
focused on the Jewish vote. He said he just came back from Greece where he
shared his opinions on the country’s financial troubles with local
“Greece, one day or another, will be out of the euro zone,” he
declared. “France and Germany are lying to the world. They have built an EU
which is a masquerade. Have you been to Greece? Have you been to Germany? Spend
five days in each and you’ll understand.”
On Turkey, Karsenty came out
strongly against accepting the country into the European Union and criticized
its Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Go to Anatolia in Turkey – it
has nothing to do with Europe,” he said. “If you want to build a continent then
it has to be uniform.
Turkey is a different country, it doesn’t mean I
don’t respect Turkey, but look at Erdogan and his Islamist behavior. It proved
we were right to refuse Turkey in Europe.”
Karsenty also has strong
convictions on French domestic issues. He adamantly opposes attempts to lower
the age of retirement in France back to 60. In fact, if it were up to him it
would be over the age of 65 the way it is in the US and Israel.
at the age of 60 as we used to do in France is absurd. We live longer, so we
need to work longer,” he said. “People have to be free to work more if they
Karsenty knows some of his ideas won’t go down well with everyone,
but he isn’t trying to win a popularity contest. Like his opinions on the
al-Dura case, he believes his truth will eventually prevail.