Le Pen courts Jewish vote

Jean-Marie Le Pen courted the French Jewish vote in an interview with an Israeli daily in the lead-up to presidential elections. “Jews who are French and linked to France, and whose interests are those of France, should vote for me as a bloc,” the right-wing candidate told Ma’ariv on Thursday. Elections will be held Sunday.

Le Pen suggested that front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy, the son of a Hungarian immigrant and a French woman of Greek Jewish origin, was not “French enough” to lead the country.

“The French president has to embody the
French nation,” he said. “Sarkozy has only one grandparent of French origin. He might
fulfill legal obligations to present himself as candidate, but he does not
fulfill the ethical conditions. I myself fit much better than many other
candidates to be at the head of this country.”

Le Pen also said there is no proof that Tehran intends to develop military
nuclear capacity. “And even if this is Tehran’s intention, one can not
prohibit Iran what its
neighbors, Pakistan, India, Israel
and China
already have.” Asked about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declarations that
Israel
should be destroyed, Le Pen answered, “He did not say how.”

Le Pen called on France to have a greater role in
the Middle East and expressed astonishment that Israel, although “responsible for all damages caused in Lebanon,”
did not take part at a Lebanon
aid conference in Paris. The summer war in Lebanon was sparked by a cross-border raid by the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah in which eight soldiers were killed and two kidnapped.

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