Barry Shaw

The French election does not bode well for Europe or French Jews

Following the French political whiplash in which the world thought Macron had lost the country to his political right over his failed monetary and social policies, we woke up to the results of an election to discover that France had swung hard Left with the Marxist Melenchon’s party in command of the vote.

As French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy put it, the victory of the far left FLI marks a rise in the “new antisemitism.”

This new antisemitic threat is the amalgamation of Marxism with a rising harsh Islamism, both carrying explicit Jew hatred.

Jean-Luc Melenchon has called French Jews “an arrogant minority that lectures to the rest.

This after Jews complained they had been victims of anti-Israel protesters who stormed a synagogue. Melenchon sided with the attackers by accusing the Jews of being responsible for the attack by expressing “solidarity with Israel.”

There is growing talk of a mass exodus of French Jews, even if Melenchon forms a coalition with Macron, because Macron will be seen as the weak leg of that union which will be dominated by the Marxists and their economic policies which will, inevitably, lead to a worsening in both the French economic and social structure.

The uptick in attacks against Jews in the name of Palestinian support was led by masses of Arab Muslim migrants will feel even more emboldened to take out their grievances on the local French community.

They were actively aided and abetted in their demonstrations by Melenchon supporters.

One French rabbi, Moshe Sebbag, said that “France has no future for French Jews,” and advised young French Jews to leave for Israel.

During Melenchon’s victory speech, one of his party’s most prominent figures, Rima Hassan, a French-Palestinian lawyer who has called Hamas’s October 7 onslaught a “legitimate action,” stood next to Melenchon during his concluding speech in the first round of the voting, wearing a keffiyeh, in what many observers interpreted as a signal to Muslim voters that Melenchon’s party was their political home.

Jews were already questioning their future weeks before the election as anti-Jewish attacks grew in barbarity with the rape of a Jewish 12-year old girl by two Muslim teenagers.

This incident brought several high-profile figures, including the Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, to vote for Marie Le Pen’s National Rally in the French election for the European Parliament which they won.

In a panic, Macron publicly encouraged voters not to vote for the right in the national election, mistakenly thinking they would return to his party.

Instead, the votes swung far left to the Marxists.

Macron’s centrist alliance took second place ahead of the National Rally in third place.

Sadly, France has now bucked the trend of most of Europe, with the notable exception of Britain. Even there more pro-Hamas politicians will be seated in the House of Commons than ever before.

By swinging into the arms of a radical Marxist-Islamist alliance, with Macron as the meat in a coalition sandwich, does not bode well for France, for its Jews, for Europe, or for Israel.

About the Author
Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is also the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism,' '1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel, 'BDS for IDIOTS,' and his latest work 'A Tale of Love and Destiny,' the dramatic life of a Jewish heroine.
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