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Jewish Vote Played Small Part in French Socialist Landslide

Several Jewish candidates and other prominent friends of Israel were elected yesterday in the first round of France’s parliamentary elections in which President Francois Mitterrand’s Socialist Party won a landslide victory.

They include Claude-Gerard Marcus, of Paris and Oliver Stern of Vire, both Jews; and industrialist Marcel Bloch-Dassault of Beauvais who was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism some 40 years ago. He will be 90 next January. All are neo-Gaullists.

Two prominent Jewish Socialists, Claude Estier and Marcel Benassayag were defeated. Jewish neo-Gaullists Jean-Pierre Bloch, Lucien Neuwirth and Nicole Chouraqui will run in the second round next Sunday under what the pollsters say are unfavorable conditions.

The proportions of the Socialist victory yesterday were unprecedented in post-World War II France and barring a major upset next week, Mitterrand’s party is expected to control some 300 seats in Parliament out of 491. This would free it from the need to compromise with other parties such as the Communists. It would also make it less dependent on the Jewish vote which appears to have played no role in yesterday’s balloting and is not expected to carry any particular weight next Sunday.

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