PARIS (Mar. 11)
Three men were arrested today for assaulting a Jewish candidate for the French Parliament, Jean Pierre-Bloch, and later attacking his office. The incident was the only one with anti-Semitic overtones to occur while some 28-million Frenchmen went to the polls in the second and final phase of France’s parliamentary elections. Bloch, running on the Reform Party ticket, was attacked to cries of “Dirty Jew, you want to buy your way to power.” The candidate was injured in the face and his car. was damaged.
Bloch told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the three managed “to escape detention while being escorted to police headquarters.” He said the attackers may have been motivated by the fact that the Gaullist candidate pulled out of the race in his electoral district. Bloch, son of the president of the League Against Anti-Semitism (LICA), said his assailants apparently blamed him for “forcing” the Gaulist out of the contest.
The balance of power in today’s voting seemed to be held by the three million Reform Party voters. The party’s platform calls for a change in France’s Middle East policy and closer ties with Israel. During the first round of voting last Sun-day, the Socialist-Communist coalition won 46 percent of the popular vote and were only four points away from an absolute majority.