Jewish radio cancels French far-right interview

9th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Jewish radio station Wednesday cancelled an interview with French far-right leader Marine Le Pen after complaints by Jewish groups that her party was anti-Semitic.

Radio J had justified inviting her to come on air Sunday on the grounds that polls appear to show her anti-immigrant National Front has moved beyond marginal status and she could win a first-round presidential vote.

But its top political editor Frederic Haziza told AFP on Wednesday that the station had cancelled the interview since it was "impossible to ensure that it would take place in good conditions."

It would have been a first for Radio J, which always declined to interview Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine's father and predecessor as leader of the Front, because of his public comments about Jews that caused outrage.

Among complaints from several groups, the Jewish students' union UEJF said the radio invitation was "dangerous and inappropriate," branding the National Front "structurally anti-Semitic and racist."

The interview "could give rise to a kind of complacency among the Jewish community and its institutions concerning Marine Le Pen and risks giving her even more exposure," the group said.

The deputy leader of the Front, Louis Aliot, said the party planned to sue the UEJF and the anti-Semitism watchdog BNCVA for defamation based on their complaints.

© 2011 AFP

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