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French Government Renews Dialogue with Nation’s Jewish Community

The French government today renewed its dialogue with France’s half-million Jews as Premier Raymond Barre played host to a five-man Jewish delegation led by Baron Alain de Rothschild. After the meeting the two sides described the discussions as “cordial and frank.”

Barre invited the delegation to lunch at his official residence in Hotel Matignon. A similar delegation was hosted by President Valery Giscard d’Estaing last spring at the Elysee Palace.

A member of the delegation said “all subjects” were discussed. Among these were the anti-boycott law voted by the French Parliament in June and shelved by the government one month later, the European stand on the Middle East and France’s own diplomatic initiatives in the area.

Observers eye the meeting as an attempt by the government to try and woo the Jewish electorate six months before the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. Recent public opinion polls show that should the elections be held now, the Socialist-Communist coalition would win by a 54 percent majority. The government, according to these observers, is trying to woo the Jewish electorate be fore the confrontation at which every vote will count.

Most major French Jewish organizations were represented at today’s lunch. These include the Alliance, Israelite Universelle, the Franco-Israeli Alliance, the CRIF (Representative Council of French Jewish Organizations) and the French Consistory.

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