Journalist described PM as ‘virulently Zionist, racist and an Islamophobe,’ among other remarks
The party of French president-elect Emmanuel Macron on Friday withdrew a parliamentary candidate who made statements that have been described as anti-Semitic, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) reports.
En Marche’s nomination of journalist Christian Gerin drew criticism over Twitter posts from 2013, 2016, and this year, including some deemed anti-Semitic by the LICRA watchdog. One post read: “When will there be a separation between CRIF and state?”, referencing the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities and appearing to tie it to France’s strong tradition of a secular state.
Another post described Manuel Valls, the outgoing prime minister, as “virulently Zionist, racist and an Islamophobe,” while another said: “The only solution: BDS” – the acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that seeks to economically strangle Israel. Calling for a boycott of Israel is illegal in France, where it is considered a hate crime, the JTA noted.
In yet another post, written after a terror attack in Nice, Gerin wrote of the attack that “now we must oppose the appropriation of it by Israel and its expressions of support.”
A January report by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs said anti-Semitic incidents increased globally in 2016, but that France logged a decrease in anti-Semitic incidents with 65 percent fewer reported.
t credited the fall to Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s 100-million-euro anti-racism and anti-Semitism action plan, but noted that the Jewish community in France remains uneasy.
“Despite the decline in anti-Semitic acts, Jews in France are not comfortable with the public expression of their Jewish identity,” the report said.