PARIS (Oct. 20)
French Jews were accused of “colonizing” the country, controlling the government’s policies and of dual loyalty by representatives of six extreme rightwing organizations at a meeting here this week attended by close to 8,000 people. The gathering was dubbed “Friendship Day” by the organizers and was an effort by the extremist groups to try to unify their forces and strengthen their impact in the political arena.
Several of the speakers at the meeting said that two of the government’s Jewish Cabinet members, Transport Minister Charles Fitterman, a Communist, and Justice Minister Robert Badinter, a Socialist “represent the two traditional poles of Jewish influence: Marxism and capitalism.”
Arnoud de Lassus, representing an association of Catholic school parents, said “Badinter is the son-in-law of the king of French advertising and one of the country’s richest men, Marcel Blaustein-Blanchet, while Fitterman headed the (Communist) party school for cadres. This is the first time that the two exponents of Jewish colonialism sit in the same government. It is as if Rothschild and (Karl) Marx had been ministers together in their days.”
The extreme right has been deeply split since the end of the war and until last month had failed to play an active role in French politics both on the national and local level.
CENTER-RIGHT AND EXTREME RIGHT FORM ALLIANCE
Last month, the center-right opposition parties for the first time concluded a formal alliance with the extreme right to contest the municipal elections in the city of Dreux. Their joint platform was based on their opposition to the presence in France of immigrant guest workers whose percentage is especially high in industrial Dreux, hard hit by unemployment.
Although many liberals opposed the deal, the opposition won a sweeping victory. Simone Veil, a prominent Gaullist leader and often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 1988, said she could not approve this sort of political alliances and stressed that she herself would have abstained had she had to chose between the government coalition and an opposition linked to the extreme right.
Some liberals within the Gaullist and Republican parties, led, respectively, by Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac and former President Valery Giscard D’Estaing, privately continue to echo Veil’s warnings.
Most commentators, nonetheless, believe that the center-right parties campaign committees plan to continue, whenever useful, their alliance with the extreme right. Many campaign workers say the extreme right helps to mobilize votes on certain popular issues and yet is not important enough to influence party lines.”
Extreme rightwing spokesmen also generally deny, at least in public, any anti-Semitic policy or intentions and claim that their views are “badly misinterpreted and misrepresented by the media.”
BROAD SWEEP ATTACKS
At last Sunday’s meeting, many of the speakers were not only openly anti-Semitic but also opposed to the Protestant minority and, to what some of the speakers said was “the growing influence of the Masonic lodges.” Two non-Jewish ministers were singled out for attack: Agriculture Minister Michel Rocard, a Protestant, and Defense Minister Charles Hernu, a Mason.
The most violent attacks were directed, however, at the Jews and alleged Jewish influence on government decisions. One of the speakers, militant Catholic writer Romain Marie, accused Jews “of putting the interests of Judaism far above the interests of France.” He added: “The Jews claim that we are anti-Semitic. We should retort that we are anti-Communist and that Communism is mainly Jewish. Jews still are a majority within the Communist International, an international of murder.”