French Jews urge French voters to stop Le Pen

France’s future is at stake, so we are calling [on people] to vote for Emmanuel Macron’

With the results from the first round of France’s presidential election on Sunday, Jewish leaders called on voters to block a victory by far-right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen.

The centrist incumbent president Emmanuel Macron captured 28.5 percent of the vote, which was “reassuring news,” according to Elie Korchia, head of the Israelite Central Consistory of France.

“But the far-right is on the verge of reaching power. Marine Le Pen is in a better position than when she confronted Macron in 2017,” he noted.

Le Pen came in a close second with 23.6 percent of the votes, according to Ipsos.

“Traditional mainstream parties have crumbled,” Korchia suggested.

Francis Kalifat, head of the Jewish umbrella group Crif, put the race in an even starker light.

“Roughly 50 percent of the people voted for an extremist party, either from the far-right or the far-left,” Kalifat said, Haaretz reported.

“There is absolutely no guarantee Macron will win in the runoff” set for April 24. 

“France’s future is at stake, so we are calling [on people] to vote for Emmanuel Macron,” Kalifat said.

Samuel Lejoyeux, head of the Jewish student movement UEJF, accused Le Pen of having an “extremist agenda,” wanting to ban “the kippa” and “kosher meat, both slaughtered in France but also imports.”

Several candidates who were eliminated on Sunday subsequently called on their supporters to back Macron in a strategy dubbed “Republican Front,” according to Haaretz.

Arab Observer

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