A large majority of French Israelis voted for center-right presidential candidate François Fillon, the former prime minister and presidential candidate of the Republicans party who failed on Sunday to advance to the runoff elections next month.
Some 60 percent of voters in Israel — more than 5,000 people — voted for Fillon.
In the general election, he only garnered around 20%, coming in third to centrist Emmanuel Macron and the leader of the far-right National Front (FN) party, Marine Le Pen.
In Israel, Macron came in a distant second with 31%, or 2,590 votes, while Le Pen, whose party has been called anti-Semitic, garnered only 3.7%, or 311 votes.
Macron, who in the general election got 23.7 percent, and Le Pen with 21.5 percent, will face off in a second round of voting on May 7.
Some 135 French-Israelis — less than two percent — voted for far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who in the general election came in fourth with 19.6 percent. Benoit Hamon, the candidate of President Francois Hollande’s Socialists, garnered less than one percent in Israel, compared with 6.3 percent he received in the general election.
According to the French embassy in Tel Aviv, 8,434 French citizens voted on Sunday in polling stations in the Tel Aviv and Haifa regions. Nearly 58,000 people were eligible to vote, which means that only voter participation in Israel was at a mere 14.6 percent.
On Thursday, some 500 French-Israelis gathered at Tel Aviv Museum of Art in support of Fillon. During the rally, which was organized by French member of parliament Meyer Habib who represents French citizens living in Israel, Fillon, in a recorded message, vowed to fight anti-Semitism in France.
“Israel was and remains a true friend of France, an ally. As French president, I will never compromise on Israel’s security,” Fillon said in the message.
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