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July 16, 2020 4:28 pm

French Far-Left Leader Accused of Voicing Antisemitic ‘Jews Killed Jesus’ Trope

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Jean-Luc Melenchon, head of the far-left La France Insoumise (LFI) party. Photo: Gwendoline Le Goff / Reuters.

The leader of France’s main far-left political party is being accused of espousing an antisemitic trope during a recent radio interview.

Asked by his interviewer whether police should “be like Jesus on the cross and not reply” when provoked by demonstrators, Jean-Luc Mélenchon — head of the LFI (La France Insoumise) party — replied, “Listen, I don’t know if Jesus was on the cross. I know who put him there, it seems that it was his own compatriots” — an apparent reference to Jews.

French Jewish parliamentarian Meyer Habib reacted on Twitter, writing, “No Mr. Mélenchon! A bit of history: Jesus Christ was condemned to death by crucifixion by the Roman Ponce Pilate, not by his Jewish compatriots (21’32)! The temptation was perhaps too strong to recycle the age-old antisemitic deicide trope.”

The LFI currently holds 17 of the 577 seats in the French National Assembly. In the first round of the 2017 presidential election, Melenchon won 7 million votes — nearly 20 percent of the total number cast.

Last month, as reported by The Algemeiner, the 68-year-old Mélenchon was criticized for dismissing chants of “Dirty Jews!” that were heard at an anti-racism demonstration in Paris as “gossip.”

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