French Poll Claims Wide Public Agreement with De Gaulle’s Expressions on Jews

Forty-four percent of the French people agree with Gen. de Gaulle’s characterization of the Jewish people and 30 percent agree with his contention that Israel is an expansionist state, according to a poll taken by the weekly magazine, L’Express. Thirty-five percent disagree with the French leader who said at a press conference here Nov 27 that the Jews were always a domineering people who created ill-will.

The poll, however, apparently did not reflect the feelings preponderant in French political, academic and intellectual circles where de Gaulle’s statements on the Jews and Israel drew storms of protest and expressions of revulsion. Two prominent Gaullists today took issue with the French leader, one of them expressing regret over what he called the birth of French anti-Zionism which follows the Soviet anti-Zionist line.

Jacques Baumel, former secretary of the UNR Party, declared that “every Frenchman must fight against anti-Semitism,” adding that “each nation has a right to exist, especially the smallest ones which are the most threatened.” Jean Lecanuet, president of the Centre Democrat, accused the de Gaulle government of renewing the Middle East conflict.

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