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Anti-Semitism: words from (future) RN MPs!

4 July 2024 Investigations   527  

As part of its “de-demonisation” strategy, the National Rally is doing everything it can to distance itself from the fascist and anti-Semitic past of the National Front and its founder Jean-Marie Le Pen. So much so that the RN not only claims to be contributing to the fight against anti-Semitism but is now posing as the ultimate “protector of the Jews”, a label accorded to it by eminent figures including the famous Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld.
And yet, despite all the efforts made to banish natural anti-Semitism from its ranks, it is back at full gallop! Witness the many infamous anti-Semitic statements made by RN candidates who have qualified for the 2nd round of the current legislative elections.

By Nora Bussigny

“My ophthalmologist is a Jew and my dentist is a Muslim”, Paule Veyre de Soras, RN candidate in the 1st constituency of Mayenne, defends herself in front of a local media camera that has come to question her about the accusations levelled at her party. The sequence would almost make you smile, if the anti-Semitism of many National Rally candidates, including, no doubt, future MPs, were not so outspoken.

A fascination for the Third Reich

While Jean-Marie Le Pen took full responsibility for his anti-Semitism with a series of denialist remarks, others like Philippe Chapron make no secret of having belonged to the GUD (Groupe Union Défense). Disbanded on 26 June 2024, this ultra-violent organisation’s ex-chairman was Marine Le Pen’s former adviser Frédéric Chatillon, a fan of Nazi salutes and willing to meet former Waffen SS member Léon Degrelle on several occasions.

On Tuesday 2 July, Philippe Chapron, RN departmental delegate in Calvados, was forced to announce the withdrawal of the candidacy of Ludivine Daoudi, RN candidate in the first constituency. It has to be said that the photo of the young woman, proudly posing with a Nazi Luftwaffe non-commissioned officer’s cap bearing a swastika, leaves little room for doubt. “She doesn’t deny it, she took the photo several years ago at an arms market in Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (…) Indeed, (…) the photo is in bad taste”, the former GUD member explains, embarrassed. But Chapron is not the only candidate to have close links with members of the ultra-right-wing collective: Jean-Lin Lacapelle, who has a close relationship with several GUD figures, came well ahead in the first round of the legislative elections in the Pithiverais region.

On 11 April 2024, National Rally councillor Thomas Lutz (who came third in the first constituency of Doubs on 30 June) exclaimed at the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté regional council: “Untermenschen, that’s enough!” Derived from Nazi vocabulary, the term “Untermensch”, literally “sub-human”, refers to those who are not of the “Aryan race”, i.e. “inferior beings”. This outburst led to a complaint from the President of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Region, Marie-Guite Dufay.

Other potential future RN MPs seem to be publicly accepting their admiration for the Third Reich. This is the case of Françoise Billaud, who is the target of a judicial warning from the Human Rights League for her anti-Semitic and racist posts on social networks, including messages paying tribute to Marshal Pétain and the collaborationist priest Jean-Marie Perrot. The candidate nevertheless qualified for the second round of the legislative elections in the 1st constituency of Côtes-d’Armor.

In Toulon, Frédéric Boccaletti, who in 1997 opened a bookshop called “Anthinéa”, in homage to the anti-Semitic author Charles Maurras – where he sold his customers Holocaust deniers including Roger Garaudy – and was sentenced to prison in 2000 for “violence with weapons”, nevertheless triumphed in the first round of the legislative elections in the 7th constituency of the Var.

An anti-Semitic conspiracy

In 2019, Agnès Pageard, RN candidate for the 10th constituency of Paris, publicly tweeted about a debate between Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Gilbert Collard on the subject of the Holocaust: “Who are these people who squat on TV screens?” Obsessed with the Freemasons, the Covid vaccine, abortion, the elites and, of course, the Jews, Pageard wrote as recently as 2021: “We’re fed a line about Momo not wanting to deliver a kosher kebab. But our ‘elites’ sodomising their own children is much more serious. Momo has no power, but the likes of Lang, Attali, Finkielkraut, Duhamel, Kouchner, Fabius, Guigou, Cohn-Bendit and BHL do!”

More doubts about the gas chambers!

Pierre Gentillet, RN candidate in the Var, who is close to Jordan Bardella and has been featured on the “Égalité et Réconciliation” website co-founded by Alain Soral and Dieudonné, whose positions he publicly praised, tweeted in 2013 that “Secularism at #Peillon means naming your children: Salomé, Maya, Élie and Izaak”.

But the award for anti-Semitic conspiracy goes to Laurent Gnaedig, RN candidate qualified for the 2nd round in the 1st constituency of Haut-Rhin. On Wednesday 3 July, during a televised debate on BFMTV Alsace, he shamelessly claimed that Jean-Marie Le Pen’s infamous remarks describing the gas chambers as a “detail of the Second World War” were not anti-Semitic. He added that he himself still had “doubts at the moment”!