Le Pen calls on French Jews to vote for him

19th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

JERUSALEM, April 19, 2007 (AFP) - French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen on Thursday called on French Jews to vote for him in the upcoming presidential election, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper.

JERUSALEM, April 19, 2007 (AFP) - French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen on Thursday called on French Jews to vote for him in the upcoming presidential election, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper.

"Jews who are French and linked to France, and whose interests are those of France, should vote for me as a bloc," Le Pen, standing in his fifth and probably final presidential election, told the Hebrew-language Maariv daily.

Le Pen, who sparked outrage in 1987 when he described World War II Nazi death camps as a "detail of history," is not known for enjoying widespread support among France's Jewish voters.

But the 78-year-old National Front leader said in Thursday's interview that, "I have Jewish friends and there are Jews in my party," adding that "the Jews are divided in France according to their social status."

He said that his comments in 1987 did not amount to a denial of the Holocaust.

"I did not deny the Holocaust," he told Maariv. "I only said simply that the gas chambers did not constitute but a detail in the history of World War II. It is not something that should provoke anger."

"The fact is that some Jews voted for me in 2002. They no doubt sense better than me the dangers that face our country because of the situation with security."

Le Pen, who is currently in fourth place ahead of the first-round vote on Sunday, became a force to be reckoned with in French politics when he qualified for the runoff vote in the 2002 election against Jacques Chirac, beating Socialist Lionel Jospin.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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