Jewish leader wins seat in French parliament

Meyer Habib to represent southern Europe, Israel, in Paris’s National Assembly

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

French MP Meyer Habib (screen capture Meyer Habib/YouTube)
French MP Meyer Habib (screen capture Meyer Habib/YouTube)

Meyer Habib, the deputy president of the Jewish umbrella organization in France, was elected Sunday to the National Assembly in Paris.

Haviv will represent the district of southern Europe, which includes French nationals residing in Israel. He was deputy president of CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France), a group that unites most of the Jewish organizations in the country.

The National Assembly is the lower of France’s two parliaments, and consists of 577 députés. Since 2012, French expatriates send their very own regional constituency representatives to the National Assembly in Paris. Last year’s election was annulled because the winner — Franco-Israeli Daphna Poznanski-Benhamou, from the Socialists — was disqualified due to campaign funding irregularities.

The French diaspora is divided into 11 so-called conscriptions. Israel is part of the eighth conscription, together with Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, San Marino and the Vatican.

“It’s a system that was designed in order to strengthen the link, the interconnection, between France and the French diaspora around the world,” said Christophe Bigot, the French ambassador in Tel Aviv. “I am sure that whoever gets elected will carry a lot of influence within the French political system,” the ambassador told The Times of Israel, be it by proposing and voting for laws or by interacting with government officials.

Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

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