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Fake Bernard-Henri Levy quote unleashes torrent of anti-Semitic comments

French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Levy speaks at the United Nations headquarters in New York on January 22, 2015 during a meeting to address concerns of rising anti-Semitic violence worldwide
Jewel Samad (AFP)
Supporters of far-left presidential candidate attack French Jewish philosopher over imaginary statement

A satirical article with an imaginary quote by famed Jewish French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy led to a torrent of anti-Semitic comments online, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA).

A satirical "interview" with Levy published last week quoted him as saying that he would emigrate if Jean-Luc Melenchon, the presidential candidate of the French Communist Party who has seen a surge in the polls, is elected.

Hundreds of Melechon supporters proceeded to circulate the article on Twitter, said the JTA.

"Shove off to Israel or the States, you son of a bitch," wrote one Twitter account, apparently referencing Levy's Jewish background. Another user wrote: "If Melenchon wins BHL knows where he can return" and added a tourism ad for Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Levy has slammed Melenchon for having "dangerous" policies, writing this week on Twitter: “A reminder on the deplorable remarks by Melenchon following 2014 rallies featuring chanting about death to Jews.” He included a link to an article about Melenchon that referenced to comments made by the candidate in August.

Melenchon said then that anti-Israel protesters in Paris “remained dignified and embodied better than anyone the founding values of the French republic", raising eyebrows in light of nine attacks by pro-Palestinian protesters on Paris synagogues in July alone, including some using firebombs, said the JTA.

The article accused Melenchon of using the anti-Semitic trope alleging that Jews believe they are superior because of the biblical concept of the "chosen people." Melenchon had remarked in the same August speech in reference to pro-Palestinian work: “We say no to peace for some, war for others. We do not believe that any people is superior to another.”

The umbrella group of France's Jewish communities, CRIF, boycotts both Melenchon's party and Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front.

Read more: In wake of Paris attacks, Bernard-Henri Lévy calls Islamism the 'third fascism'

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