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French Jews Will Not Play Decisive Role in Forthcoming Elections

France’s 300,000 Jewish voters will not play a decisive role, as Jews, in the French national elections in March, according to a group of French Jewish leaders visiting here. The leaders, attending the Conference of European Jewish Communities, discussed the electoral position of French Jewry privately with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today. They stressed that they were presenting their views as individuals rather than as members of the French delegation to the conference.

Henri Bulawko of Paris, said, “There is no such thing as a Jewish vote in France.” He noted that while French Jews solidly supported Israel, they tended to vote for left, right or centrist candidates according to their interests, like any other group of citizens. He added that the 300,000 Jewish votes would hardly play a significant role in an electorate of 30 million.

Mons Grynfogel, president of the Jewish community in Toulouse, said French Jews were “deeply disappointed by French policy in the Middle East.” Yet, he added, they recall the sympathetic attitude of the same French government toward Jews in the North African countries and toward the struggle for the rights of Soviet Jews. “There is a kind of dichotomy here,” he said.

Marcel Greilsammer of Paris, vice-president of the Fonds Social Juif Unifie, said, “A Jew may be inclined to vote for the Socialists on various counts. But he will also ask himself whether the Socialist candidate had a good record in regard to the Nazis, from the Jewish, or indeed, the French point of view, and whether he is pro-Israel.” According to Greilsammer, the Jewish voter “may sometimes choose to vote for a pro-Israel candidate with a good resistance record who does not correspond to his political and social outlook as a citizen.”

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