With Sarkozy vulnerable, concern that the anti-Israel far left will gain ground.
French Jews fear that the odds-on favorite to win the French presidential run-off election May 6 will do so by reaching out to the far left, among whom are rabid anti-Israeli activists who favor the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that seeks to delegitimize Israel.
The Jewish community’s favorite candidate, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, remains behind in the polls after coming in second in a 10-candidate race in the first round of balloting last Sunday.
To read the recent headlines from what most Americans blithely refer to as Eastern Europe -- an expanse of territory that more accurately is Central and Northern and Southern and parts bordering on Western Europe -- one might think that the cauldron of Nazi-era anti-Semitism is boiling over again.
A Hungarian legislator invoking the centuries-old blood libel accusation. Neglect of a small Jewish cemetery in the former Yugoslavia. Restaurant patrons in Ukraine who get hats with attached side curls that mock payot.
PARIS — French Prime Minister Francois Fillon advised Muslims and Jews to forego ritual slaughter practices he deems un-modern, sparking controversy.
“I think religions should think about maintaining traditions that no longer have much in common with the state of science and technology, health issues today,” Fillon said Monday on French Europe 1 radio, in reference to halal and kosher practices.
Joann Sfar probes the Jewish identity of the French singer-songwriter-actor-provocateur, animatedly so.
Special To The Jewish Week
It’s entirely appropriate that Joann Sfar’s first two feature films, “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life” (which opens on Aug. 31) and “The Rabbi’s Cat” are all or partly animated.
Judging by his demeanor in a Midtown hotel last week, Sfar is very animated himself. From the moment he enters the room, he is bubbling with good humor and bonhomie, engaging with a photographer (“You have to make me look handsome, you know”), and just plain happy to be present.
PARIS (JTA) -- Shock waves continue to ripple throughout France as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, considered the likely Socialist Party candidate to challenge President Nicolas Sarkozy in French presidential elections next year, remains in a New York City jail on charges of sexual assault.
Saturday's arrest of Strauss-Kahn significantly changes the political playing field in France, as some recent polls had showed that the 62-year-old head of the International Monetary Fund was the most popular among those considered to be possible presidential contenders.
PARIS (JTA) -- French Jewish leaders condemned the far right leader Marine Le Pen at a rally in Paris.
Monday's rally was presaged by a French-Jewish radio station's plans to interview Le Pen, the daughter of notorious French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen and president of the National Front Party, which many French Jews consider anti-Semitiic. The interview was canceled amid broad community outrage.