French Jewish Leader Says Paris Terror Attack ‘Unfortunately’ Ensures Far-Right Candidate Le Pen Will Advance to Second Round of Presidential Election
Thursday’s terrorist attack in central Paris — in which one police officer was killed and two others were seriously wounded — will bolster far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round of France’s presidential election this weekend, a prominent French Jew told the Hebrew news site nrg on Friday.
Rabbi Moshe Levin — CEO of the Conference of European Rabbis and an adviser to Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia — was quoted by nrg as saying, “There is no doubt that last night’s attack will influence the election on Sunday. It will, unfortunately, unequivocally help Marine Le Pen. If until now it was not certain she would advance to the second round, now there is no question at all.”
The shooting, which ISIS claimed responsibility for, appeared to have been aimed at delivering a “blow to French nationalism,” Levin went on to say.
“The Champs-Élysées (where Thursday’s attack took place) is a French symbol,” he noted. “There is no doubt that the goal was to harm all French citizens.”
French Jewish journalist Daniel Hayek told nrg he was not surprised by the timing of the attack, just days before the start of the election. “The attack will definitely affect voters and strengthen the right-wing candidates. I think people in France will start to vote like people in Israel — that is for candidates who give us the biggest feeling of security, especially after the era of President Francois Hollande, which was full of attacks. If security is a consideration, the right will only get stronger.”
Earlier this week, a number of community figures told The Algemeiner that French Jews were apprehensive and had no favorite candidate among the 11 running in the election’s first round.
“French Jews in their vast majority reject the extremes,” Robert Ejnes — the executive director of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions — said.
Philippe Karsenty — deputy mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine and a candidate of the center-right Republican party in June’s parliamentary elections — noted, “One of the only scenarios in which Le Pen could win [the presidency] is if there is a huge terrorist incident.”