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June 14, 2021 12:53 pm

‘Eradicate Jewish Impudence’: Antisemitic Social Media Posts Haunt Far-Right French Party as Regional Elections Loom

avatar by Ben Cohen

Election posters on display in the Loire region of France, with the word “No” handwritten on the poster promoting the far right RN Party. Photo: Reuters/Mathieu Thomasset/Hans Lucas.

As France heads towards critical regional elections on Sunday, a candidate from the country’s most notorious far-right party has been temporarily suspended for posting a viciously antisemitic tweet.

Juliette Planche — a candidate for the National Rally (RN), descended from the National Front (FN) founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen and now led by his daughter, Marine Le Pen — approvingly shared posts from a far-right activist convicted of incitement against Jews.

Among the posts which Planche shared from the Twitter account of Yvan Benedetti, a vocal French Holocaust denier, was the recommendation that if “you want to fight antisemitism, you must eradicate Jewish impudence.”

However, the leader of the RN in the Loire region, where Planche is a candidate, confirmed on Monday that she would still be allowed to stand as a candidate in the election.

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Planche “cannot be withdrawn from the lists which are deposited, but she will be suspended for the remainder of the campaign,” Andréa Kotarac said. He added that Planche had expressed “values” that were alien to both himself as the “grandson of a resistance fighter” and to RN leader Marine Le Pen, whose supporters insist that she wants to modernize the party by shifting it away from her 92-year-old father’s unabashedly antisemitic and racist legacy.

Nonetheless, Planche is the fifth RN candidate to be suspended during the regional election campaign for racist or antisemitic postings on social media. One of them, Marta Le Nair, was exposed as repeat offender, with antisemitic posts on her Facebook page dating back to 2015. A quote she shared that was attributed to her husband, Jean-Yves Le Nair, advised that “if you shake hands with a Jew, make sure you still have ten fingers afterwards.”

More recently, on Feb. 20, Le Nair posted a grotesquely antisemitic graphic from Poland, which showed a member of the Rothschild banking family with a Star of David pinned to his jacket. Alongside an antisemitic Polish text, Le Naire shared a quote in French: “We know you, we know you, and your nation also. An antisemite is not born, an antisemite becomes, through looking at you and watching your despicable acts across the world.”

Other social media posts by RN candidates and supporters unearthed by French media outlets showed that alarming levels of anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry towards the LGBT community remain present as well.

“Son of a b***h, you say you are native French? You cannot be French and Muslim!” RN candidate Benedict Alessio told a critic on Twitter, while another of his posts demeaned Muslims as “that dirty race.”

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