French lawmaker says Éric Zemmour is part of France’s anti-Semitism problem

At a Holocaust commemoration event, a French official said the rhetoric of Éric Zemmour, the right-wing Jewish pundit and potential presidential candidate, adds to the problem of anti-Semitism in France.

“One potential candidate, polemicist Éric Zemmour, makes multiple shocking statements about Pétain and Dreyfus, strengthening existing clichés about powerful Jews and their dual allegiances,” said Marion Lenne, a lawmaker for the centrist La République En Marche. party, at a conference on anti-Semitism at the Auschwitz museum and memorial on the eve of the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms of 1938.

Lenne, who is also secretary of the foreign affairs commission of the National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, was referring to the statements of Zemmour on the infamous case Albert Dreyfus and Philippe Pétain, the head of Vichy France, who collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II.

Zemmour, who has not announced a political career but remains one of President Emmanuel Macron’s main challengers in the spring elections, said earlier this year that Dreyfus, the French-Jewish army captain of German descent, whose prosecution for Allegations of deceptive espionage was widely condemned as anti-Semitic, he may have been targeted “for being German, not for being Jewish.”

It also agrees with a controversial historical theory that the Vichy government sacrificed foreign Jews to save the locals. Accepted by some historians, vehemently questioned by others, who say the Vichy government also betrayed Jews with French citizenship.

Last month, French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia publicly called Zemmour an anti-Semite, drawing criticism, including in an editorial in the French Jewish newspaper Tribune Juive.

Last week, Zemmour responded to these allegations in an interview with i24 News, an Israeli news channel.

French journalist Eric Zemmour leaves after delivering a speech at the UMP political party conference at the National Assembly in Paris (credit: CHARLES PLATIAU / REUTERS)

“The chief rabbi said that I was anti-Semitic and not really Jewish. Non-Jews who hear this have a reaction that ranges from disbelief to mockery. It’s grotesque, ”Zemmour said. Korsia, Zemmour said, “wants to give Macron my scalp.”

Zemmour, a son of Algerian Jewish immigrant parents who is known for his staunch nationalist and anti-immigrant rhetoric, has divided French Jews on policy issues.

Lenne made his statement Monday at Auschwitz 2021, a conference in Krakow dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and attended by dozens of European Union officials.

“Europe is fighting anti-Semitism, but it is not winning yet,” Rabbi Menachem Margolin, president of EJA, said at the conference his group co-organized with the watchdog group the League for Action and Protection.

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