French politician Marine Le Pen distanced herself from her father, the founder of the party she now heads, after Jean-Marie Le Pen defended his description of the Nazi gas chambers as “just a detail of WWII.”
Jean-Marie Le Pen, 86, the longtime leader of the National Front, on Thursday told French TV that he does not regret the statement he made in 1987.
“I continue to uphold the view because I think it is the truth and it should not shock anyone,” he told BFM. “They have exploited this affair against me, implying this is about anti-Semitism. But I defy anyone to quote me on anything anti-Semitic I have said in my political career.”
Marine Le Pen told Europe1 radio on Thursday that she “profoundly disagrees” with her father. She also criticized her father for his repeated attempts to draw attention to himself and the party.
“His words are just his own,” she said. “He purposefully provokes and looks for controversy.”
In recent years, Marine Le Pen, 46, has rejected her father’s revisionist views and courted French Jews in a move that many observers said was designed to rehabilitate the party’s name. Since she took the helm in 2011, the once-isolated party has achieved victories in some town and county legislatures. Marine Le Pen has flirted with the idea of a presidential run.
Jean-Marie Le Pen was convicted of racial hatred for his observation about the gas chambers and fined.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.