French Jews must give up Israeli citizenship under plan proposed by Le Pen

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen waves as she arrives to give a speech at a National Front (FN) rally in Lyon, on February 5, 2017
JEFF PACHOUD (AFP)
French far-right leader also urges Jews to give up wearing yarmulkes as part of fight against radical Islam

French citizens who hold another citizenship that is non-European will have to give up their second passport under the proposed immigration rules of far-right presidential contender Marine Le Pen. 

Le Pen, leader of the Front National party, told France 2 TV in a comprehensive two-hour interview, that the rule would also apply to French-Israeli dual citizens, since “Israel is not a European country and doesn’t consider itself as such.”

 An estimated 230,000 French Jews live in Israel, while around 200,00 more, 

In a France ruled by the far-right Marine Le Pen, Jewish citizens will be forced to give up their Israeli citizenship, the Front National party leader said on Thursday.

Le Pen said that the proposed ban will also apply to citizens of the US and North African countries, drawing ire over her remark that dual citizens of the EU and of Russia, will be exempt as Russia is part of what she termed the "Europe of nations."

Le Pen has previously made a number of pro-Moscow comments, describing Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula as legitimate. 

Her National Front party also received a $9.8 million loan from a Russian bank with Kremlin ties, but Le Pen has repeatedly denied that this has influenced her party’s support of Russia.

A recent poll showed Le Pen advancing to the second round of balloting in Spring 2017 but still losing to front-runner Emmanuel Marcon.

Her political party, the National Front, was founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who routinely minimized the Holocaust and called gas chambers a "detail" of history.

Since taking over from her father, the younger Le Pen has sought to rid the party away of its extremist, anti-Semitic fringe, but French Jewish leaders still see the National Front anti-Semitic.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 last week, Le Pen said French Jews should stop wearing yarmulkes as part of her broader effort to outlaw religious symbols in public.

“Honestly, the dangerous situation in which Jews in France live is such that those who walk with a kippah are in any case a minority because they are afraid,” Le Pen said, using the Hebrew word for yarmulke.

“But I mainly think the struggle against radical Islam should be a joint struggle and everyone should say, ‘There, we are sacrificing something.’”

Referring to French Jews, Le Pen added: “Maybe they will do with just wearing a hat, but it would be a step in the effort to stamp out radical Islam in France.”

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