‘No future for Jews’: Prominent French Jews decry far-left’s gains in vote

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Melenchon applauds during the election night gathering of the of left-wing party following early results in the second round of France's legislative election at La Rotonde Stalingrad in Paris, July 7, 2024. (Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP)
France Unbowed leader Jean-Luc Melenchon applauds during the election night gathering of the of left-wing party following early results in the second round of France's legislative election at La Rotonde Stalingrad in Paris, July 7, 2024. (Sameer Al-Doumy / AFP)

Prominent French Jews lament the electoral success of a political bloc that features a far-left party widely regarded as antisemitic in the country’s parliamentary elections.

This reaction is in response to news that the New Popular Front, which includes the Socialist Party and the France Unbowed far-left party, or LFI, garnered the highest share of the vote in today’s final round, with 175 to 205 seats according to a preliminary count, followed by the Ensemble! party of President Emmanuel Macron (150 to 175) and then the far-right National Rally (115-150).

Moshe Sebbag, a rabbi for the Synagogue de la Victoire, tells The Times of Israel that “it seems France has no future for Jews.” He advises young French Jews to leave for Israel.

“But people my age, who are 50, 60, we’ve made our life here and we fear for the future of our children,” he says. His assessment is not due solely to the left-wing bloc’s success, but to the mainstreaming of antisemitism in general in France, he says.

“The left is once again kidnapped by the infamous Melenchon. Divisive language. Hate of the republic on the lips. Around him right now are some incarnations of the new antisemitism. A chilling moment. A stain: Continue to fight against these people,” French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy writes on X.

Jean-Luc Melenchon is the leader of LFI, and in a 2017 speech called French Jews “an arrogant minority that lectures to the rest.” He is on record in an earlier speech as celebrating anti-Israel protesters days after some of them stormed a synagogue, condemning in that speech only French Jews who demonstrated to show solidarity with Israel.

“Melenchon’s victory is a terrible signal of impunity sent to the anti-Jewish Islamo-Faschists,” writes French-Jewish journalist Yohann Taieb on X.

The elections do not necessarily affect Macron’s presidency, but may make it more difficult to pass legislation and some executive actions.

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