French president’s party boots candidate over anti-Semitic tweets

Macron expelled a parliamentary candidate from his party over anti-Semitic comments made on social media.

The party of newly installed French President Emmanuel Macron expelled a candidate for a parliamentary seat on Friday over anti-Semitic comments he had made on social media, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.

The En Marche party removed Christian Gerin, a journalist, from its ticket for next month’s legislative elections after tweets he had made were publicized by LICRA, a watchdog that exposes anti-Semitism and racism. The tweets in question were posted between 2013 and 2016.

One tweet asked, “When will there be a separation between CRIF and state?” CRIF is an umbrella organization representing the Jews of France. Its opponents say that CRIF wields too much influence in France.

Gerin characterized former Prime Minister Manuel Valls as “virulently Zionist, racist and an Islamophobe.” He also advocated for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

LICRA, one of the oldest civil rights organizations in France, characterized Gerins’ tweets as having “clear anti-Semitic connotations.”

A spokesman for En Marche, Laurence Haim, confirmed that Gerin was suspended over the tweets.

Having served as interior minster and then prime minister in the previous Socialist government, Valls was vocal in expressing his opposition to anti-Semitism.

In 2014, he said, “Criticism of Israel that is based on anti-Zionism — that’s anti-Semitism today, this is the refuge of those who do not accept the State of Israel.”

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A year later he said in a Paris synagogue that the fight against anti-Semitism in France “must be renewed.”

Macron also denounced boycotts of Israel during his campaign, deeming them anti-Semitic. “The role of France is to conduct an independent and balanced policy that would guarantee a dialogue by all sides and the construction of peace,” Macron said as he visited Lebanon in January. “France has already condemned boycotting Israel, and I have no intention of changing this position.”

The Court of Cassation, France’s highest court, ruled in October 2015 that the BDS campaign is a form of hate speech.

By: The Tower