Update: the debate
1:50 AM: Marine Le Pen succeeded in making me think that Emmanuel Macron won’t be such a bad president after all. It was just an illusion, but she can be given credit for it.
Her only strong moment was when she confronted Macron on the question of fundamentalist Islam. It is his weak point and she supported her argument with strong specifics. However, he was able to slip out of the trap by confronting her record of systematically voting against protective measures taken by the French or EU government, for example the PNR and broad wiretapping powers for the police. “They’re all junk,” she retorted.
For the rest, her performance was a disgraceful barrage of insults, snickering, cackling, interrupting, sputtering, and endless wild shots that missed their target.
Instead of revealing weak points in Emmanuel Macron’s vision or program, she wasted her ammunition on sloppy rants. Even when she was right, she was wrong.
By the time she finished accusing her rival of being an heir to François Hollande, a creature of the socialists, a heartless ally of globalized big finance, responsible for the capitalist free for all that divides and conquers, crushes the poor peasants and workers, crawling on his belly to the orders of Angela Merkel and the drug companies… all of this and more in one rambling rant, she made no points that could stick.
And there she was again with Whirlpool. If she were president they wouldn’t close the factory. Because she’d slap their imports with a 35% tax.
To reduce the deficit of the health care system, she would force pharmaceutical companies to lower their prices.
Aha, replied Emmanuel Macron, I have bad news for you. 90% of the drugs consumed in France are manufactured in other countries. Your import tax will increase the cost. And the same goes for your cell phone…
Who won? In a post debate poll, 63% judged Emmanuel Macron most convincing as against 34% for Marine Le Pen.
Despite the fact that many of 20 million viewers that followed what was more like a punching match than a debate were deeply disappointed at the entire spectacle, I think it is safe to predict that it clinched Emmanuel Macron’s lead and in the long run doomed Marine Le Pen’s political prospects.
|Final results of the first round vote on April 23rd||Number of votes|
|Marine Le Pen||21.53%,||7,678,491|
|Nicolas Dupont-Aignan||4.75%||1,695,000 (that might have carried Fillon to the 2nd round|
|Asselineau, Arthaud, Cheminade||Each under 1%.|
Four radically different candidates came in so close to each other that the order is almost arbitrary. But the consequences are enormous.
In contrast with the 1st round, polls were scarce and barely mentioned until Macron’s lead over Le Pen slipped by five points. On the eve of the May 3rd debate it stood at 59%/41%. And nothing is certain. Nothing is stable. The French political scene is like the polar ice cap, with big chunks breaking away and floating on icy seas and huge masses looming on the horizon. No one is in control. If François Hollande and his cronies thought they could count on a “Republican Front” to carry their candidate to victory, they miscalculated. The media that was so cozy with the En Marche wunderkind on the 1st round has turned snippy. And, no matter how many old devils surface, they seem to think Marine Le Pen has managed to take the onus off of her party. More or less.
Many honest citizens will abstain or vote blank. Marine Le Pen is trying to seduce the 1st round voters of the lider maximo Mélenchon, who won’t take a stand one way or the other. Reportedly, one third are ready to go her way. In his concession speech, François Fillon said he would vote Macron. Hard to swallow for him as for his supporters, but consistent with the view that the Front National is not a legitimate political party. Many high profile members of the LR followed suit; others announced they would not vote for either candidate. A few have already edged into Macron’s camp since Fillon was weakened by scandal. François Baroin, once slated to be Fillon’s PM, is now running the LR legislative campaign. If the party maintains its majority, Baroin would accept the post of prime minister in an En Marche-LR cohabitation government. No one knows if the Assembly is going to be a patchwork, a tossed salad, or a sour soup.
And then there’s holier than thou Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (known as NDA), a man of such high principles that he broke away from the conservative party (today’s LR) and started his own movement to defend national sovereignty, dignity, and integrity. Fishing in the same voter pool as François Fillon, NDA reveled in his rival’s mishaps. The gift of expensive suits? NDA, mayor of Yerres, raises his eyebrows: “I gave back all the gifts I received.” You could just see the right honorable mayor depositing in the municipal treasure chest the paperweight offered by a local printing company, the tool kit donated by a hardware store, and other such precious gifts. Does he employ his wife as parliamentary assistant? “Yes,” he exclaims, “and she really works!!!”
On the 1st round election night, defeated candidates and prominent members of their parties announced one after the other their reluctant or enthusiastic support for Emmanuel Macron. Clean as a whistle NDA, who scored under the 5% minimum that entitles a candidate to reimbursement of an important share of his campaign expenses, coyly promised to state his position the next day. It dragged on until the Friday presentation of the dream team: Marine President, Dupont-Aignan Prime Minister. The vice president of NDA’s party (Debout la France / Stand tall, France), horrified by this unholy alliance, immediately resigned. Citizens of Yerres are disgusted. But most commentators seem to think Marine has finally achieved her goal of making a real alliance with a real political party. What a catch!
What a catch? She’s fishing for giant tuna and she hooks a sardine, big deal! Since MLP and NDA joined forces, her platform has cracked and fizzled. Frexit is kicked down the road, the euro won’t be ditched, the linchpin of a rickety economic project is removed, leaving only barebones French-first promises, most of which are unconstitutional or impossible without leaving the EU and the eurozone. Huge gaps are plastered over with boasting. Marine will give the EU a piece of the glorious French people’s mind, she’ll negotiate from strength, she’ll wrest control of borders, protect our economy from unfair competition, ridiculous regulations, lousy trade agreements, and dumping of products and workers. How about the euro, blamed for our import-export ills? It will be retained, after all. Temporarily. But only for international exchanges. The French will have their cherished franc for domestic exchanges. I watched Marine’s niece, the young MP Marion Maréchal Le Pen, explain the double-decker currency to a hawk-eyed BFM TV economic expert … who didn’t even blink!
One thing is clear: immediately upon taking office MLP/NDA will set about moralizing political life. Marine’s supporters are not bothered by the EU Parliament’s demand for reimbursement of 5 million euros in funds misused by FN eurodeputies. It doesn’t bother the raised eyebrows of Dupont-Aignan either. No snooper journalist has zoomed in on a Daddy Warbucks that might have given Marine a free outfit or a buy-all-you-want card at the French equivalent of Macy’s basement. Then there are the varied accusations of financial irregularities in FN operations here in France. Jean-François Jalckh, who is involved in those scandals, served briefly as interim party chief while Marine is making her way to the presidency, stepped down after just a few days in office, embarrassed by some boiler plate negationism captured in a 2005 interview for Le Temps des saviors.
Jalckh denies he said Zyklon B could not be used for wide scale massacres; the journalist says she has the recording; Marine says she wants nothing to do with that kind of talk that led her to break with her father. Jean-Marie Le Pen blubbered that the slain policeman Xavier Jugelé was honored as a homosexual (Jugelé was an LGBT activist within the police force) not as a man in blue.
One commentator suggested that Marine is on her way to achieving her dream of reorganizing the Right around her axis. In other words, bagging NDA with his self-righteous smirk is enough to undo the intricate conservative movement established after France was liberated from the Nazis and maintained in relative good health ever since. They should all disappear into the hole dug to bury François Fillon?
Highlights of the first week of campaigning: Commemorations, delocalizations, exploitation
The 2nd round campaign has been frantic and incoherent. To cast light on the dark origins of the Front National, Emmanuel Macron did a round of commemorations of “horrors that must never be repeated”: the Armenian Genocide, the Nazi atrocity at Oradour sur Glane, the Deportation, the Shoah, and the 1995 drowning of Brahim Bouarram pushed into the Seine by skinheads during a Front National Mayday parade. Marine Le Pen decried her rival’s exploitation of the dead.
And what about contemporary atrocities? To her credit, Marine Le Pen did mention the murder of Sarah Halimi, but neither candidate has made an issue of the contemporary form of anti-Jewish persecution. MP Meyer Habib is following the case, in close contact with the victim’s brother William Attal and with the interior minister. At Habib’s suggestion the family has retained Maître Gilles William Goldnadel, lawyer, columnist, and president of the France-Israel association. Further Details of the vicious jihad murder have emerged: Sarah Halimi was subject to “torture and barbaric supplications” before being pushed out the window by Kada Traoré. Inexplicably, the police, called to the address because Traoré was on the rampage, waited downstairs until commando reinforcements arrived. Too late.
Close to a thousand people participated in the march in tribute to Sarah Halimi. They had not yet reached her building when some of the organizers stopped the march and asked them to leave their flowers. The participants refused. When they reached the site, they saw (visibly Muslim) neighbors on their balconies cursing and throwing projectiles at them. A bit further, local “youths” threatened them. “We know what to do with you, Jews. We have kalachs.” An eyewitness tells me that mature family men joined the younger Jews and chased the aggressors away.
Courageous political leaders, including Manuel Valls and François Fillon, have identified antizionism as the modern form of antisemitism. Times of Israel unearthed a basket of comments by Marine’s running mate Dupont-Aignan: in 2014 he defended a French parliamentary motion for unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state, condemned Israel’s “disproportionate” reactions and “unacceptable” collateral damage to civilians during the Protective Edge operation, called the land operation an “invasion,” slammed France’s failure to “rein in” Israel. He described the conflict as a duel between two hawkish camps led respectively by Netanyahu and Hamas. Nothing better can be expected of Emmanuel Macron on this score.
Frantic campaign maneuvers
Traditionally, French presidential candidates gallop over to the nearest labor dispute and promise that such things will never happen once they are elected. This time it’s the closure of a Whirlpool plant in Amiens that is relocating to Poland, and the workers are vigorously protesting against the disgraceful delocalization. They don’t know or don’t care to know that Whirlpool (we say whirl as in world, the French say it as in weird) is an American company started as a small family business in 1885 and now operating in 26 countries. The story is edifying. After his first venture failed, Lou Upton was able to salvage one item. He chose the patent on a hand washer and wringer that he thought could be electrified. It worked. But all the machines in the first shipment broke down because of one defective part. The company solved the problem, replaced all the machines, and established its good reputation.
When Marine Le Pen heard that Emmanuel Macron was meeting with labor and management in an office at the Amiens site, she dropped everything and parachuted herself into the crowd of angry workers, bringing them croissants, hugs & kisses, and selfie-ops. After she left, Macron came out of the office and mingled, but the reception was cool. Faced with insinuations of buttering up the workers with croissants, FN-affiliated MP Gilbert Collard sputtered, “We’re not whores, the workers aren’t whores…it’s the bankers that are whores.”
This is one of Marine’s major lines of attack against Macron: he is an instrument of the evil financial oligarchy, once a banker always a friend of the bankers. He’s a tool of the financial monster that sucks the blood of the hardworking people, feeds the voracious multinationals that crush the working man, destroy our countryside, ruins our farmers and small businessmen, inundates us with hostile immigrants.
Emmanuel Macron counter-attacked with a foray into Sarcelles, one of those banlieues where, he proudly declared, Marine would not be welcome. He was surrounded by cheering diversity locals. slim Macron in his elegant suit kicked around a soccer ball to squeals of delight, made a fake goal with the help of an enthusiastic supporter, squinted as he was hugged by a woman in hijab. The socialist mayor of Sarcelles, François Pupponi, looked on with a smile. At a conference organized by the UPJF [Union des patrons et professionnels juifs de France] in March, Pupponi said the Salafists are messing up Sarcelles. Once known as Little Jerusalem, Sarcelles was home to a vibrant population of Jewish refugees from the Maghreb. In the summer of 2014 rioters wreaked havoc, burned down a kosher grocery, and attacked a synagogue.
The traditional worker’s May Day parade was billed this year as anti-Le Pen but the bulk of the message was “No to the plague and cholera” and the outrage was concentrated on Emmanuel Macron the banker. As the usual marching crowd moved slowly down the boulevard from Place de la République heading to Bastille and Place de la Nation, buoyed by giant balloons bobbing in the wind and ear-blasting sound trucks, hundreds of Black Blocs and associated party crashers were already fighting the police a few hundred meters past the Bastille. Pictures of a riot policeman engulfed in flames have gone around the world tour, making a mockery of the state of emergency, and reminding us that above and beyond this tumbledown presidential campaign, France has to deal with the full range of violent subversive forces.
Anarchists roam the city, smashing whatever pops up on their disapproval list: Real estate agencies, trendy clothing stores and always and repeatedly, banks. Money is the root of all evil, except of course if they need some for themselves. They deface all the election posters displayed on age-old municipal hoardings in front of polling places. Sometimes they team up with the lycéens, barricade the entry to schools, set fire to trash cans here, motorcycles there. Destroy.
27 April: Historian of past and present, Georges Bensoussan presented his latest release, Une France Soumise [French submission], to a receptive audience at the Cercle Bernard Lazare, a Jewish community center in the Marais. Readers of Troubled Dawn of the 21st Century will find an account of an assault on the CBL by pro-Palestinians marching for peace in 2003. Editorial director of the groundbreaking Territoires perdus de la République, Bensoussan again worked with a team of investigators gathering testimony from private citizens, public servants, medical personnel and other professionals exposed to the thrust of Islamic domination. Ninety percent of the people interviewed asked to remain anonymous, either out of fear of reprisals from aggressors or disapproval from their superiors. Bensoussan is not an alarmist, he is not inspired by any personal animosity, he could have refrained from examining these distressful truths, the better to promote his distinguished career. Instead, historian of the Shoah, Jewish refugee from the Maghreb, he has taken it upon himself to look the facts in the face. If the ills cannot be recognized, he says, they cannot be cured. Listening to anecdotes, statistics, overall impressions and analyses, it felt like being dipped into the “reservoir of hatred” that the author warns can explode at the slightest spark. He takes care to add that despite her rhetoric, Marine Le Pen is not the answer. The Front National is anti-democratic, a danger to the nation.
According to Aymeric Chauprade, Le Pen’s former foreign policy advisor, Marine Le Pen is under the influence of the obsessively antisemitic Frédéric Chatillon who handles PR and is a big cog in the party’s financial machine, currently under investigation. Chatillon’s political origins in the neo-Nazi GUD movement and his current links to Bashar al Assad, Hezbollah, Alain Soral, Dieudonné, and others of the same ilk remind us of other examples of collusion between these seemingly disparate forces.
Does this reassure us about the will and the way that Emmanuel Macron will protect our cherished freedom and lead a democratic defense of our national sovereignty and international civilization, domestically and within the European Union that he wants to strengthen and federate? Will he protect the living with as much devotion as he has shown to the memory of the dead, victims of the same persecution from a 20th century version of totalitarian conquest? Determined to combat Daesh…as long as it is done under UN auspices, committed to a solution of the Mideast conflict…in conformity with international law, Emmanuel Macron advocates peace and harmony.
Questioned about the May Day violence, Macron promised stiff penalties for anyone who attacks the police, and fire-resistant uniforms for law enforcement.
Far from reassuring on this count as on other major issues, the probable future president will face the skepticism of a majority of the electorate, the reluctant support of those who choose him as a lesser evil, the explosive anger of disappointed followers of Mélenchon and Le Pen, and the wrath of the Front Social, a hard-nosed fringe of the labor movement and assorted autonomists acting in concert with the violent Destroy fringe and determined to settle scores in the street, not in the voting booth. On the site of the Publicis branch of the CGT (Communist trade union) the photo of the riot policeman engulfed in flames is labeled “poulet rôti” [roast chicken = roast cop].
Is something more ominous at work beneath the surface of this dismal presidential campaign? Is the choice between the Front National meteor with its Petainist tail and the En Marche bombshell innocently harboring an Islamist powder keg a sign of acquiescence to the new wave of genocide sweeping our world? The Front National is, they say, banalisé. Not a shameful heir to the disgrace of the 20th century, just an ordinary political party. And an ordinary extermination, an ordinary past. Time to forget and move on. En Marche, move on, on the go, forward with all the youthful energy of progressives, new faces…facing new forms of subversion armed with victim status and appealing to universal values…the better to eat you with, my dears.
As you know, the first round of the French presidential election took place this past Sunday, April 23rd.
Emmanuel Macron (who is the direct heir of the incompetent and traitor and anti-French socialist president François Hollande) and the nationalist Marine Le Pen are qualified for the second round. But Marine Le Pen has almost no possibility to win and become the next French president.
Macron will most probably be the next French president. This Macron is a sort of white Obama, but more extremist, more anti-Western, more anti-Christian, more anti-Jewish, than Obama was!
Emmanuel Macron was called by and talked with Barack Obama after the election.
Macron is the horrible crossbreeding of Obama and Soros and Justin Trudeau.
Macron is an ultra-leftist who viscerally hates France and the French people. He has said many times that “there is no French culture”, that “he has never seen French art” (meaning that French art doesn’t exist), therefore he denies the very existence of the French people (because all people has his own culture)! And he has accused France of crimes against humanity in Algeria, when in fact it’s the Algerians who are guilty of crimes against humanity, because they reduced into slavery more than 1 million of our ancestors and slaughtered more than 1 million French people from 8th to 19th century!
Macron has said time and again that he supports mass immigration into France from Africa ! That millions of immigrants will continue to invade our European countries and that it’s a good thing! And he has praised the traitor to the German people Angela Merkel for letting 1 million illegal Muslim immigrants invade Germany in 2015, resulting in thousands of German women raped and numerous terrorist attacks!
Macron has said that he wants to create an “French-Algerian Youth Office” to increase the entry of Algerians into France, these Algerians being predominantly racist scums who insult and rape our wives and daughters, who attack and kill our parents and children, who rob, maim, kill, commit terror attack after terror attack. As a reminder, Muslims represent more than 70% of the prisoners in our prisons.
Macron has many Muslim extremists around him, one of them (Mohamed Saou) who refused to condemn the assassination of Charlie Hebdo’s journalists in January 2015!
Macron is very close to Marwan Muhammad, a fanatical Muslim extremist who was fired by the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) for spreading anti-Western Muslim propaganda, who wants to suppress any critic of Islam, and who supports islamization, burkas, burkinis and shariah (Islamic) law in France!
Macron has said he plans to introduce “positive” discrimination, which is, as it has been proven in America, anti-White racism. And he plans to use this “positive” discrimination to hire Muslims in place of French people.
Macron will dramatically increase the Islamization of France, and will do everything he can to force us to submit to Islam, this ideology worse than nazism ! That’s why all the Muslim organizations in France have called today Muslims to “vote massively” for Macron.
Paris and France will become even more dangerous places than they are already. Jews and Christians and non-Muslims will be attacked more and more often, and forced to flee France!
This is a catastrophe!
The first round victory of Macron was made possible by a horrendous “coup d’Etat”, orchestrated by François Hollande and the socialist government, who fabricated fake accusations against François Fillon, the leader of the French right, and ordered leftist judges to prosecute Fillon in violation of the French laws and the French Constitution, and by leftist journalists (more than 90% of French journalists are ultra-leftists) who have spread lies and disinformation against Fillon day after day during months.
America shall not follow Europe’s path!
RELATED VIDEO: Marine Le Pen delivered a rousing speech to her enthusiastic supporters last night, declaring that it is time to “free the French people” from the destructive policies of open borders, open immigration and crushing EU regulations.
10:44 AM: I feel like my country, the country I’ve lived in for over 44 years, is a patient in intensive care. Tubes and catheters, control panels, IT graphs, pulsing images, flashing lights. We’re waiting with sinking hearts for the specialist to come in and interpret the lab results. Something ineluctable is about to be revealed. But what?
I’m going to the outdoor market. When I get back, maybe I’ll run the vacuum cleaner. To keep my mind fresh. Plans for my visit to Israel in May are shaping up. Then 2 weeks in June in the US. A week in the South of France after that. Life goes on. I’ll walk around and take a look at the polling places. All the candidate posters have been defaced by anarchists and other heavy metal destroy protestors.
3 PM: The hawk is out, a merciless cold wind is slamming our hopes for springtime. The sun is hot and bright. It’s not enough. Anarchists and other looking-for-a-fight protesters at yesterday’s Social 1st Round left their filthy messages all up and down boulevard Beaumarchais. Last night they threw bottles and other hard edged objects at the police. Their graffiti looks like blood, talk about broad brush, they obscure whatever they touch. WAR ON THE RICH here POLICE ASSASSINS there. Can’t someone get them out of our face, out of our hair, out of the national conversation? Their causes are rotten. They grab at anything as an excuse for slopping signs and breaking windows, attacking the police and whatever else they get their hands on.
I’m on edge. Up to now, everything was possible, you grasped it with your rational mind. Now it is happening. People are voting. The verdict will soon fall.
I’m sharply impatient and here they come again with Marine Le Pen. A friend tells me about an article in the Jerusalem Post, CNN is in her stomping grounds at Bénin-Haumont and President Trump thinks she’s the best on frontiers and all that sovereignty, and the only one that’s dealing with that pesky problem. C’mon guys, either find out what’s really happening here or comment on another poker game. You want Marine le Pen for president? Help yourself. But leave us out of it
Oh they’re so sure she’ll get to the 2nd round. I just hope they’re wrong. I’m so tired of her misrepresentation.
I have to leave for the concert.
8:17 PM: The concert lasted longer than I expected. My friend Isaac Bensimhon brought to life Jean Ferhat and it brought tears to my eyes, the beauty of song, the commitment to social justice, the innocence (he was a Communist fellow traveler) and the reality of the Soviet Union. Tears for the idealism of our youth, with nothing but hollow bushel barrels to harvest their hopes.
Authorities fear an outbreak of violence after the election results are announced.
A helicopter turns in the cold skies.
I meant to write hour by hour but I kept bumping into friends and neighbors, heard fantastic theories of what was about to happen.
I sensed it, didn’t I? The smug pollsters. Oh my friend, our pollsters are not like your pollsters. Ours are French sharpshooters. Haven’t they been telling us for weeks and months that it would be Le Pen and Macron? Didn’t they make fun of us for seeking other sources that would comfort are vain hopes.
OK, it’s Macron and le Pen. A few minutes ago Fillon squeezed a few centimeter ahead of Mélenchon. Merci, c’est gentil.
Le Pen and Macron. Are you happy, foreign media and friends from everywhere that have been promising Marine would make it to the 2nd round? And win. Forgive me, I had a higher evaluation of French citizens.
Excuse me, for the moment I’ve lost interest in this story.
Now I have to go and endure their victory speeches.
Merci, François Hollande, you realized the dream of the Left: run against the Front National instead of the parliamentary Right. And win.
What a loss!
Why should you be interested in the French presidential campaign? Because it might as well be going on next door to you. We are facing the same major challenges in a similar state of confusion. The differences are circumstantial, the stakes are the same. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberté, égalité, fraternité. Our freedom is on the line.
Besides, this cliffhanging French campaign is a fascinating mixture of Shakespear, Greek tragedy, soap opera, and courtly intrigues.
First, a brief summary of the overall situation:
The incumbent Socialist president, François Hollande, didn’t dare run for reelection. His 5 year-term has been a disaster, the Socialist party is in a shambles, the winner of the (Belle Alliance Populaire) primary, Benoît Hamon, is a Kinder Surprise with goodies for all the small people paid for by the Big Bad Rich. He has no chance of getting to the 2nd round. ID: Socialist
The callow 38 year-old Emmanuel Macron, generally assumed to make it past the first round (April 23) to confront and defeat Marine Le Pen in the second round (May 7), is running on a vacuous Somewhat Right Somewhat Left platform. How did the fabulously unpopular François Hollande manage to place his alter ego in pole position while standing aside in studied absence as the cream of the Socialist party boards Macron’s cruise ship? ID: En Marche
François Fillon, who served for five years as Nicolas Sarkozy’s prime minister, came out of the Primaries (Right and Center-Right) with a strong mandate, upsetting the media’s favorite Alain Juppé, and polling above Macron and Le Pen. Then, out of the blue, Fillon was hit with a sensational smear campaign and a judicial ton of bricks that would have crushed a weaker constitution. The character assassination putsch against Fillon is the centerpiece of an extraordinarily dramatic campaign. It will be treated briefly below and more amply in Part 2 of this ongoing series. Fillon’s platform is built on a Thatcherite revolution aimed at releasing France from decades of stagnation and double digit unemployment, and a resolute combat against Islamic Totalitarianism at home and abroad. ID: Les Républicains.
And then there is Marine Le Pen. ID: Front National
The top issue on the list of voter preoccupations in February, whether expressed directly or indirectly, was Islam. They wanted to know where candidates stood on the question. Would it be sweet submission or tough resistance? Instead of the issue-based campaign they clearly wanted, voters have been dragged into the quicksand of moralizing purification-aimed at eliminating François Fillon-and thrown a lifesaver attached to the gossamer rope of the Little Prince Emmanuel Macron.
The one thing we cannot know before the 7th of May is the name of the winner. We don’t even know which of the current frontrunners-Le Pen, Macron, Fillon- will make it to the second round. Despite constant reminders of recent prediction flops, commentators are hooked on the fortune-teller syndrome. They watch Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron peddle uphill and careen around hairpin curves as if it were the Tour de France. Last week the media thought they had pushed François Fillon over a cliff and into the abyss, but he held firm. He’s only a few points behind the other two…in the polls, that is. Big Data Analysis gives a different picture, substantially more favorable to Fillon. But that’s not the media’s storyline…
So what about Marine Le Pen? Isn’t she the fourth act of the Trump/Brexit/Wilders divine surprises?
Marine Le Pen’s reputation as The Anti-Islamization Candidate goes back to the early 2000s, when she forcefully expressed the exasperation of the lower classes that were bearing the brunt of Islamic encroachment on French society. Immediately branded as xenophobe, Islamophobe, and racist she turned the disapproval into an advantage, gathered steam, and racked up a series of impressive electoral results. The Front National went from pariah to legitimate party. And Le Pen was handed ownership of anything that could be deemed hostile to Islam. Whenever a politician takes a stand on issues of immigration, Islam, law and order, or homegrown jihadis, he is accused of leaning to the far right, picking issues off the National Front’s plate, disgracing himself…
Foreign media have generally relayed this caricature, fueling widespread ignorance of other aspects of Marie Le Pen’s program and her embryonic party’s structural weaknesses.
Desperate to burnish her foreign policy credentials, Le Pen found no better destination than Lebanon. She opted out of an audience with the Mufti, by refusing to wear a veil. This put her head and shoulders above the Swedish ladies wrapped in hijab that had paraded in front of Iranian president Rohani as if they were merchandise at a slave market. She did not, however, veil her defense of Bashir al Assad, “the only solution for Syria,” or dissimulate her good relations with Michel Aoun, the Christian outsider that became an insider by making an alliance with Hezbullah. Madame Le Pen graciously suggested she might exempt French-Lebanese from her promised ban on extra-European dual nationality. How about French-Israelis? Hardly! Marine Le Pen wants French Jews to sacrifice the kippa in support of an across the board prohibition of religious garb in public. Her envoy, Nicholas Bay, was snubbed during a recent foray into Israel. The presidential candidate herself did not get any further than the Trump Tower coffee shop on a “recreational” weekend in New York.
The Assad connection is longstanding. Marine Le Pen’s friend and associate Frédéric Chatillon, handles PR for both the National Front and Assad. Her father Jean-Marie badmouthed Muslims domestically while entertaining a close friendship with Saddam Hussein. I reported extensively in 2014 on the dubious alliances of the National Front.
The European Union accuses National Front eurodeputies of fraudulent use of EU parliamentary assistant salaries for a total of close to a million euros. Frédéric Chatillon is under investigation for tricky: campaign financing, Marine Le Pen is accused of faulty financial declarations, her cabinet chief is also under investigation and that’s just the tip of an iceberg that has virtually no effect on her faithful supporters. Nevertheless, the sudden flurry of activity on cases that have dragged on for years is questionable. As is the absence of coverage of the party’s unsavory dealings with neo-Nazis and Islamic Jew haters.
Under Marine Le Pen’s leadership, emphasis has been subtly shifting the from Islam to the economy, with a French brand of national socialism: restored sovereignty, protected borders, increased welfare benefits and jobs for the French-French, zero immigration, law & order at home, no foreign entanglements abroad. Her rhetoric is anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-globalization and, of course anti-EU. She promises a referendum to get France out of the EU and the Eurozone; if voters choose to remain, she will resign.
Sloppy comparisons with the unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. ignore the fact that Trump was able to hitch the Republican Party to his runaway wagon; Marine Le Pen rules over a heteroclite skeleton party that can’t be fleshed out by alliances-all the other parties are devils in FN theology. If she does make it to the second round, she has virtually no chance of winning and no hopes of forming an operational government. The idea that hordes of politicians from the Parliamentary right would pour into her administration is far-fetched.
Emmanuel Macron is a former banker (Banque Rothschild) who served as François Hollande’s Minister of the Economy while freelancing as the founder of En Marche [On the go], a movement that wears his initials like a signet ring. Never before elected to public office, Macron teased his movement into a presidential election machine. He is now jockeying with François Fillon for 2nd position… the polls again. In a cheap version of Richard the Something, Macron made an end run around Manuel Valls, who remained the faithful Prime Minister while Hollande delayed announcing he wouldn’t run for reelection. Subsequently defeated in the primaries, Valls stands back while Socialists big and small go over to Macron. I expect François Hollande will join them at the opportune moment.
Macron is the feel good candidate. Just enough labor reform to look modern, a heavy dose of welfare to reassure the weak and make the strong feel generous. He talks high tech, floats a few inches above the ground, throws out ideas like flowers to lovely maidens, does Black is Beautiful photo-ops and makes affirmative action commitments in the banlieue, visits a police station to show he knows people want security, and declares, in Algeria, that the French colonization was a “crime against humanity.” That was followed by a rally in a Front National stronghold with a large population of “pieds noirs,” former French residents of Algeria, where he unashamedly declared “Because I want to be president, I hear you, I love you.” (borrowed from Général de Gaulle). Macron ruffled feathers with a hymn to multiculturalism: “There is no French culture, there is a culture in France.” That was followed by a long-winded exposé of his “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” project for France.
On his way back from Algeria, the startup candidate stopped in London where he addressed an enthusiastic crowd of expats. In a shocking feat of erroneous reporting, The Guardian turned Macron’s Algerian bomb into a modest statement that “human rights abuses” were committed during the colonization of Algeria. No, my friends, he said “crime against humanity.” We heard elsewhere that the British government was not pleased by Macron’s invitation-extended in front of 10 Downing Street-to bankers, engineers, scientists, and other desirables fleeing the Brexited UK to settle in France.
February 22: 4-time defeated presidential candidate François Bayrou solemnly declared: “l’heure est grave” [the situation is serious]. The long-winded, pedantic, moralizing politician-professor performed a public act of abnegation-he wouldn’t be running for president-and heroically offered an alliance with Emmanuel Macron. Who immediately accepted. Bayrou maintains his hallmark pose of disinterested superiority: He never seeks fame, fortune, power or prerogatives. His mission is to save the nation from electing someone other than himself or a candidate he has sanctioned. Will he be an addition or a subtraction to Macron’s campaign? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pull out before mid-April. But I might be wrong.
We can safely assume that François Fillon has not been accused of corruption at any point in his 36-year political career; if he had been, we would be hearing about it from morning to night. Tragically, Fillon stood straight and tall on his clean reputation in the primary campaign, going so far as to ask, rhetorically, “Could we imagine Général de Gaulle mise en examen (under investigation)? This was an obvious poke at his rival Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been repeatedly mise en examen since François Hollande took office. No matter that all the cases ended in acquittal, mise en examen has come to mean “presumed guilty.” When the scandal, maliciously labeled “Penelopegate,” broke in February, Fillon was so certain of his innocence that he said he would drop out of the race if he were mise en examen.
The opening shot was sensational: “Penelope Fillon earned 500,000 euros for doing nothing.” Zionists are familiar with this type of operation. Nothing that is said or done afterward will erase the initial shock effect. François Fillon’s lawyer, Antonin Levy (the son of the famous philosopher and activist Bernard Henri Levy), says he has filed more than 600 pages of evidence of madame Fillon’s effective assistance to her husband, why should anyone believe him? The story gets the post-modern treatment of verification by repetition.
Fillon’s platform and the relentless effort to keep him from reaching the second round, where he might defeat Le Pen or Macron, will be explored in depth in Part 2.
The outgoing Prime Minister and Interior Minister made a brief statement to the press shortly after the thwarted attack at Orly airport this morning. The assailant, they said, tried to grab the Famas assault rifle from a (female) aviator on patrol. But she held onto it. This was repeated several times. He couldn’t get the gun, but he was a danger to her and the passengers. He was shot dead by a fellow Air Force man in the patrol. A few hours later a photo of the dead assailant was published. The gun is lying across his chest.
RELATED INFOGRAPHIC: 61% of French say Islam is incompatible with their secular society.
More Invasion of Europe news….
The Associated Press reported yesterday on a meeting in Italy of Europe’s so-called “Far Right” parties.
Here is what AP reports (emphasis is mine):
MILAN (AP) — Sharing the stage with leaders of other European populist parties, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Friday that Europe’s nationalist parties are ready to step in and clean up when European structures fail under current immigration and monetary policies.
Le Pen spoke at the end of the first meeting of the Europe of Nations and Freedom group within the European Parliament, which was formed last summer. The 36-member parliamentary group is the smallest in the European Parliament, but includes some parties gaining strength in the polls in their home countries.
At a news conference, Le Pen along with populist leaders from host Italy, the Netherlands and Austria expressed their common view that Europe’s borders must be closed to mass migration from the Middle East and Africa and said that sovereignty over such policies must be restored to nations. They cited both the threat of terrorism and the strain on budgets.
Also attending the Milan event Thursday and Friday were leaders of nationalist parties from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic.
Le Pen said the parties represented on the stage in Milan “are part of the future”….
Tony Blankley was prescient….
Tony Blankley, God rest his soul, predicted this in his 2005 book, ‘The West’s Last Chance.’ He said the day would come when famous nude statues across Europe would be covered so as not to insult Islam.
She (Le Pen) also said a decision by Italian officials to cover ancient statues depicting nude figures in deference to the visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was “ridiculous.”
Click here for our complete archive on the ‘Invasion of Europe.’
See my previous post about angry Swedes taking revenge.
Today’s European edition of the Wall Street Journal has an op-ed by a quartet of national sovereignty political leaders: Mateo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League, Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front, Heinz- Christian Strache of Austria’s Freedom Party and Geert Wilders of Holland’s Freedom Party.
The title of their opinion article, “Restoring Europe’s Borders and Sovereign Nations,” sends a resounding message of rising concerns and anxieties of the body polities in their respective countries and others in Eastern Europe. That is reflected in daily scenes of a borderless Europe invaded by massive waves of thousands of largely Muslim refugees and illegal economic migrants that has placed an enormous fiscal burden and security problems vetting the throngs for suspected terrorists.
They suggest rejection of the Schengen system and the reinstitution of national immigration and border control across Europe to protect cultural identities in the face of EU determination to accommodate diversity. Diversity occasioned by the hundreds of thousands of refugees and economic migrants from poorer countries in the Balkans, Syria and Iraq in the Middle East, South Asia, Eastern and Sub-Sahara Africa.
Yesterday, an EU summit in Brussels reached an agreement to fund a 3 Billion Euro Turkish operation for Syrian refugee camps to stem the flood of asylum seekers and migrants by keeping them in country. That comes at the price of a Faustian bargain: the quid pro quo of admitting Islamist Turkey, as an EU member. The prospects of the latter occurring are dim given the tyranny and human rights violations of the Erdogan government teetering on the brink of a snap election on November 1st. Last weekend’s twin bombings at a peace rally in Ankara are illustrative of internal problems that might send a different wave of asylum seekers to the EU.
Here is what the quartet of national sovereignty political leaders from Italy, France, Austria and the Netherlands wrote.
Europe. Imagine a world without her. Sure, the geographical entity will always continue to exist. But the civilization is in danger. Millions of migrants are currently arriving in Europe. More than half a million have already done so. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, says the greatest tide of refugees and migrants is still to come. Hungary’s foreign minister expects 35 million people heading to Europe. This will be the end of [cultural identities] as we know them.
The situation is completely out of control. Too many fortune seekers, too much illiteracy. Some of the migrants are refugees, but the majority comes for economic reasons. Our European economies and social-protection systems cannot cope with this. The media prefer to focus on families and children, but their images cannot conceal that the asylum seekers flocking to Europe are predominantly young men. Many are unskilled.
But the main problem is that, unlike the flow of refugees at the end of World War II, these migrants come from countries with a culture entirely different from Europe’s. Mass immigration is leading to the dilution of cultural identity in the European Union member states.
Its citizens resent this. Instinctively, these citizens are patriots. They don’t like to lose their identity as a people. They don’t want to give up their countries. Instinctively, they grasp two very important truths. First, that without identity, there is no country. Second, that without a country, there can be no prosperity, no justice, no democracy, and no liberty.
The European Union has slowly been eroding Europe’s nation-states by gradually dismantling their sovereignty. It has robbed our countries of the right to conduct our own national asylum policies. Last month, the EU forced refugee quotas on its member states and overruled governments who disagreed. The mask has fallen, and the peoples of Europe have seen the EU’s ugly face.
Better than before, they now realize that our national parliaments have been reduced to fake parliaments. Vital matters, including those concerning our national identities, are no longer decided by our national parliaments but by obscure institutions in Brussels. People are forced to give away their country without even having a say in the matter.
Governments in Eastern Europe are especially sensitive about this. It’s no coincidence that the strongest resistance to the EU’s mandatory migrant quotas comes from countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. For many decades these countries were ruled from Moscow without their consent. They don’t want to now be ruled from Brussels without their consent.
But the migration crisis has also alarmed the peoples of Western Europe. Polls and election results in recent weeks clearly indicate that patriot parties such as ours are growing spectacularly.
While the governments in Western Europe’s capitals bash the leaders in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, millions of citizens in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and other nations share their concerns.
In Vienna’s regional elections Sunday, the Austrian Freedom Party won a third of the votes. In polls in the Netherlands, the Party for Freedom has become as big as the two governing parties combined. In France, polls indicate that the National Front will win its local elections in December. In Italy three months ago, the Northern League made stunning electoral gains.
While millions are on their way to Europe, millions in Europe realize that they have been betrayed by the political elites in The Hague, Paris, Rome, Vienna and other capitals. Our parliaments have been emasculated by Brussels and are filled with politicians who no longer care about our basic national interests. Governments don’t mind the loss of national sovereignty and national identities either. Far too often, they are composed of politicians who hope to one day pursue an international career at an EU or U.N. institution after their national career ends.
The gap between the citizens and those who rule them has never been so wide. We have to close this gap in order to reassert control over our own borders. And we can do so democratically by mobilizing the people to vote for parties that stand for national sovereignty and the defense of national identities. Reclaiming democracy: that is the key to solving the migration crisis.
There is no need to imagine a world without the nations of Europe. It’s clear what needs to happen. We need to reclaim our national sovereignty, abolish EU treaties such as the Schengen treaty and reaffirm the supremacy of national parliaments.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of left to right Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League, Harald Vilimsky of Austria’s Freedom, Geert Wilders of the Netherland’s Freedom Party. The image is courtesy of the European edition of The Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2015.
Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with my Geneva based European observer following the close of European Parliamentary Elections in 28 member countries. He indicated that both the UK Independent Party (UKIP) led by Nigel Farage and Marine le Pen ‘s National Front each were poised to pick up 24 seats in their country’s MEP delegations. Eurosceptic parties like Denmark’s anti- immigrant People’s Party led with 26.7 percent doubling its delegate slate, while Greece’s left progressive Syrizia came out on top with 26.5 percent. Geert Wilders’ Freedom party tied for second in The Netherland despite poor exit polls on Thursday evening. Elsewhere, the right wing Austrian People’s Party appeared to be leading with 20 percent of the vote up from 7 percent in 2009. In Italy, the Democrat Party led by PM Matteo Renzi trounced the Five Star Movement copping fully 40 percent of the vote. Italy will take over the revolving Presidency next month.
However, there was evidence that some anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi parties won delegates in their European parliamentary slates. Witness Hungary’s Jobbik Party which came in second with 14.7 percent, while Greece’s Golden Dawn was third with 9.7 percent.
For results overall and by EU Member countries, consult the Financial Times European Parliament election results on –line, at this interactive graphic, here.
The Financial Times (FT) reported on the “earthquake” that Farage predicted for the UKIP. The Euro Parliamentary Elections in the UK coincided with local council elections, as well. The UKIP at 27.5 percent of the Euro Parliament vote tally has defeated the Liberal Democrats, unnerved Nick Clegg, junior partner in the ruling Westminster parliament coalition. The UKIP significant electoral victory upset the Labor Party led by Ed Milleband while causing Conservative PM David Cameron to suggest to the Tories, “that it was not business as usual”. These UK Euro Parliament results may portend a scramble for the 2015 Westminster Parliamentary elections. The FT account noted:
Nick Clegg’s grey face told the story of Britain’s European elections. The leader of the pro-European Liberal Democrats was subdued, his eyes glassy, as he spoke of his party’s “heartbreaking” electoral annihilation.
Meanwhile across town at a central London hotel, Nigel Farage was mobbed by reporters as he celebrated the UK Independence party’s “historic” breakthrough, topping the national poll with 27.5 per cent of the vote and 24 seats.
It was also the first time the Conservatives had come third in such a vote, trailing in with only 24 per cent of the vote. For Labor, second with 25.5 per cent, it was an unimpressive performance, raising doubts about whether Mr. Miliband has the momentum to take the party to victory in next year’s general election.
The FT quipped:
There is no obvious policy fix: any attempt to “out-Ukip Ukip” on immigration or Europe is unlikely to succeed. Meanwhile none of the three main parties has a leader capable of matching Mr. Farage’s “man in the pub” style.
Among UK voters who may have swung to the UKIP in droves were reported to be Britain’s Jews. They may have been motivated by Farage’s disavowal of the troubling anti-Semitic positions of some of the Eurosceptic parties. The exception is the Dutch Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders, who is pro-Israel, while opposing mass immigration and critical of Islam.
Ms. Le Pen has also achieved a stunning upset victory coming in first in France. In her post election remarks, she hinted this could be a prelude to the 2017 Presidential elections. Given the low poll standing of Socialist Premier Hollande amid the floundering French economic problems unless turned around, this could be a possibility. However, the fallout from the Euro parliament elections also may upset the possible future plans of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and leader of the UMP.
The FT account of her victory noted:
Ms Le Pen now has her sights firmly fixed on the battle to win the nearby Elysée Palace in the 2017 presidential election. “This is just the first step,” she said as she arrived to join revelers.
Few commentators are yet ready to predict that Ms Le Pen, with her fiercely anti-EU and anti-immigrant policies, will make it. But the scale of the FN’s triumph has planted genuine fear in both President François Hollande’s ruling Socialist party and the centre-right UMP.
The 25 per cent score achieved by the FN on Sunday had been predicted by some polls, but the four point gap over the UMP and the slump in the Socialist tally to less than 14 per cent prompted alarm.
The FN broke out of its strongholds in the south and post-industrial north. It came top in 71 electoral departments, compared with 28 for the UMP and just two for the socialists.
A socialist parliamentarian who saw Mr Hollande on Monday reported him saying: “I expected it to some extent, but it was still a big shock.”
In the wake of Marine Le Pen’s stunning victory in France, French President Hollande went on television today. The FT in an article about changes in leadership for the EU reporting him saying:
He would use an EU summit on Tuesday to call for a marked shift from austerity to growth to combat the populist surge. He said the EU had become “incomprehensible. “This cannot go on,” he said, adding it must be reformed to “be efficient where it needs to be and to withdraw from where it is not needed”.
When we posted on Thursday exit poll results in the Netherlands indicated the Freedom Party (PVV) led by Geert Wilders might have experienced a set setback in the 23 seats held by Dutch parties in the Strasbourg parliament, effectively losing two seats.
On the heels of a conversation with a colleague in Geneva, came a news brief from the Chicago Tribune indicating that the PVV was tied with Democrats 66 with four seats each, bested by the Christian Democrat Appeal with five. Wilders’ comment in the Chicago Tribune article was “Four Seats, that’s great. Now we make the first gains for a new alliance of Eurosceptic and anti-immigration parties in the European Parliament”
The FT in its analysis of the Euro Parliament elections was not so sure that the Eurosceptic alliance can be achieved. It commented:
The surge of anti-establishment parties has also led to a scramble to rebuild anti-EU blocks in the parliament, with the two biggest populist groups – France’s National Front and Britain’s UK Independence party, which both secured 24 seats, making them the fourth largest in the assembly – vying for allies.
Marine Le Pen, Front National leader, may struggle to find the six parties needed to form a new anti-EU group in parliament. Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader who already heads a Eurosceptic group, has seen several of his allies – including the Danish People’s party and the True Finns – wooed by Mr. Cameron’s Tories. Since the Tories left the EPP, they have led the small European Conservatives and Reformists group.
Perhaps the wisest comment on the European Parliamentary election results could be that ancient Chinese curse: “may you live in interesting times”.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.
Pictured: French Anti-Semitic Comic Dieudonne’ and French Soccer star Nicolas Anelka in Nazi-like quenelle salute
French Court of the State re imposed a ban on the performance of controversial comic Dieudonne’ within minutes of an administrative tribunal decision in Nantes lifting it. Dieudonné was in the midst of a tour of several major French cities, despite having over 9 convictions with penalties of $80,000 for violating French hate laws. These violations are regarding his comments about the Holocaust and Jewish personalities that some, including his former Jewish comic sidekick, consider Anti-Semitic. His performance in Nantes had been banned by a local French government official in furtherance public order issued by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, Tuesday. Valls said today:
“This is a political battle and not just a legal one. We must not let these intolerable statements go unanswered.” The Socialist politician said Dieudonné’s anti-Semitic and racist outbursts were “not an opinion, but a felony” and underlined that “the action I have undertaken has the advantage of mobilizing everyone, including the offices of the State.”
On Tuesday French President Hollande said:
I am calling on all representatives of the state, particularly its prefects, to be on alert and inflexible. No one should be able to use this show for provocation and to promote openly anti-Semitic ideas.
A World Jewish Congress (WJC) report noted:
Earlier this week, Interior Minister Valls said racial and anti-Semitic remarks in Dieudonné’s show were legal infractions and “no longer belong to the artistic and creative dimension”. In a three-page circular letter sent on Monday to prefects and mayors across France, Valls said that the show contained “disgraceful and anti-Semitic words toward Jewish personalities or the Jewish community” and “virulent and shocking attacks on the memory of victims of the Holocaust.”
World Jewish Congress Vice-President Roger Cukierman, the head of the French Jewish umbrella body CRIF, told ‘France Info’ radio on Tuesday morning that he was satisfied that the French government had now acted. He called on French citizens to speak out against Dieudonné’s anti-Semitism. “No, France is not an anti-Semitic country, but therefore, one has to put stop to [Dieudonné’s] actions and prosecute him wherever possible.” Cukierman is among eight persons and institutions against who Dieudonné has threatened a defamation suit.
Even a right wing Political Leader, Marnie Le Pen of the National Front, expressed “shock’ at Dieudonné’s behavior in remarks to Le Figaro, although hedging that perhaps the French government may have gone too far with this ban.
Much of the controversy surrounding Dieudonne arises from his use of an alleged pro-Nazi gesture, the quenelle. The WJC report noted:
The ‘quenelle’ gesture – holding one hand to the chest or shoulder, with the other extended rigidly downward, [is] like a lowered Nazi salute. Dieudonné’s companion Noémie Montagne has patented the gesture, as well as the use of its name for beverages, a television network and a public relations company.
The quenelle gesture was used by Nicolas Anelka, French Soccer star of the West Bromwich Albion English Premier League Soccer, team when scoring goals in a West Ham match. Anelka Tweeted: “This gesture was a special dedication to my friend Dieudonné.”That gave rise to a Tweet from French Sports Minister, Valerie Fourneyron, who called it “Provocative”. A WJC report cited European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor urging football’s governing bodies to punish Anelka as if he “had made the infamous outstretched arm salute” of the Nazis.
Dieudonné’s loyal followers believe today’s legal battles, denied him free speech. In the US it could e considered protected speech under the First Amendment upheld under several Supreme Court decisions, beginning with the Brandenburg v. Ohio decision in 1969.
Prior to the reinstatement today of the ban by the French Court of State, Dieudonné’s counsel Jacques Verdiersaid was cited by AFP hastily saying:
The judge’s ruling amounted to a “total victory”. A statement from the court said it did not regard the show as having “an attack on human dignity as its main object”.
Over 5,600 held tickets to the performance at the Zenith Theater in Nantes. Mayors in Bordeaux, Marseilles and Tours have banned Dieudonne’s performances in response to the order from French President Hollande and Interior Minister Valls.
Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala is the son of a French mother and Cameroonian father. He has made a career engaging in anti-Semitic references about the Holocaust, international Jewish control and inventing a Nazi-like gesture, the quenelle, mimicked by his followers. He has courted both far-right and far-left groups, as well as African and Muslim émigré communities in France. Dieudonné had a Jewish partner, Eli Semour, on TV and live performances. Dieudonné would appear in a KKK white sheet costume, while Semour would be decked out in a Nazi SS uniform. That was years ago. Now Semour is appalled at the depths of his former partner’s anti-Semitic routines.
One example of Dieudonne’s attacks on Jewish personalities was the case of French radio personality Patrick Cohen. The Wall Street Journal in its coverage of the most recent Dieudonné contretemps reported:
The latest controversy began last month, when state television channel France 2 broadcast footage captured by a hidden camera and showing Dieudonné commenting about French-Jewish radio anchor Patrick Cohen during a private performance.
“Me, you see, when I hear Patrick Cohen speak, I think to myself: Gas chambers…too bad,” the comedian was shown saying on stage. Dieudonné’s lawyers don’t dispute the video’s veracity.
Dieudonné’s remarks followed a previous remark by Mr. Cohen on a TV show that he was against hosting a number of “sick brains” in his morning radio shows, listing Dieudonné among others.
Later in December, Paris prosecutors said they had launched a preliminary probe against Dieudonné. In a TV interview, Mr. Cohen said he wouldn’t comment on the legal process. Dieudonné says the latest episode shows that France’s mainstream media has double standards over alleged racism.
“When it’s about blacks, people laugh, nobody bothers even though the pain and the misery are at least as deep,” Dieudonné said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Coinciding with this breaking news on Dieudonné and rising French Antisemitism, we interviewed yesterday Michel Gurfinkiel. He is French journalist, author, founder and President of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-thank in France. He is a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum. Among issues covered in the conversation were French Jewry, rising anti-Semitism, French government initiatives and multi-cultural and Muslim émigré problems including the current controversy over Dieudonné.
At one point in our conversation we discussed a separate initiative by the Hollande government that was controversial. This was a draft posted on the government’s website directed at cultivating the anti-racist, African and Muslim émigré voting constituencies. The draft fostered recognition of multi-cultural origins of these groups effectively denying integration with French history, language and cultural values. The ruckus the proposal caused led to the withdrawal of the draft. Gurfinkiel characterized it as one more step towards national suicide. Meanwhile, he noted that young French Jews are increasingly committed towards aliyah to Israel, while others are moving into predominately safer Christian areas in France. As Gurfinkiel put it, French Jewry, transformed by Holocaust survivors and émigrés expelled from former French Muslim possessions and other Islamic countries, feel threatened. The Dieudonné episode is another expression of that threat.
Look for more insights from Gurfinkiel in our interview with him in the February 2014 edition of the NER.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.