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Wednesday, September 24, 2014 

France's Front National gaining among local Jews

It looks like Marine Le Pen has improved her efforts to mend the fences her father did much to damage:
From the window of his Paris home, Michel Ciardi can see into the waiting room of a government welfare agency where a predominantly Arab and African crowd awaits government checks.

A former communist, Ciardi once believed the scene at the agency was a necessary element of French efforts to help integrate new immigrants. But that changed in 2000 after the second Palestinian intifada triggered a massive increase in anti-Semitic violence, much of it committed by Arab and African immigrants.

The violence was enough to shift his political allegiance to the National Front, a far-right party long demonized by French Jews as anti-Semitic and a threat to republican values.

“I never considered voting National Front,” Ciardi told JTA. “But I realized you need to defend yourself, your community, society and country against those seeking to subdue us.”

French Jewry has long viewed the National Front as an enemy, an abominable vestige of the pro-Nazi Vichy state. But under the leadership of Marine Le Pen, the photogenic daughter of party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, a political provocateur convicted multiple times for hate speech and Holocaust denial, the party has tried to shed its image as decidedly outside the mainstream.

The younger Le Pen has aggressively courted Jewish voters by emphasizing its opposition to “the Islamization of France” and asserting that Jews have far more to fear from Arab anti-Semitism than from the racist rhetoric of some far-right activists.

Her strategy appears to be working.

A recently published survey of 1,095 self-identified Jews showed that the National Front had more than doubled its share of the Jewish vote in the 2012 presidential elections, earning 13.5 percent of Jewish support — a finding that has set off alarm bells among leaders of France’s major Jewish groups.

“Rich community bosses and well-educated students don’t understand what’s happening because they don’t live with the Muslims in the workers’ neighborhoods,” Ciardi said. “There Jews are realizing that the immigration policies and political correctness of past governments created a reality where they cannot wear their kippah outside.”
I'm sure there's still some who live in a bubble there, and only hope they're waking up to reality now. If she avoids making foolish statements involving the Jewish community, she'll benefit better that way. All concerns now should be concentrated on Islamofascism & ridding the party of too many anti-semites and racists. That way, she can improve the party's chances with everyone who counts as worthy of courting.

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