Macron complained to Netanyahu after Likud minister publicly backed Marine Le Pen

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

France's President Emmanuel Macron leaves the polling station after voting for the first round of parliamentary elections in Le Touquet, northern France on June 30, 2024. (Ludovic Marin / AFP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron leaves the polling station after voting for the first round of parliamentary elections in Le Touquet, northern France on June 30, 2024. (Ludovic Marin / AFP)

During their phone call last week, French President Emmanuel Macron protested to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over comments made by Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli, a French official tells The Times of Israel.

The official confirms earlier reporting by the Walla news outlet.

The day before last Wednesday’s call, Chikli indicated in an interview that the Israeli leadership would be happy to see Marine Le Pen of France’s far-right National Rally party eventually become president of the country.

Speaking to the Kan public broadcaster, Chikli noted Le Pen’s support for Israel and her recent participation in a march against antisemitism, which Macron did not attend.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) sits with Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli, at the Knesset plenum in Jerusalem, June 26, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“It is excellent for Israel that she will be the president of France, with 10 exclamation marks,” he said. Asked whether his party leader, Netanyahu, agrees, Chikli said: “I think I and Netanyahu are of the same opinion.”

National Rally ultimately finished in third, behind a left-wing alliance and Macron’s centrist bloc.

Most Popular