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French umbrella group CRIF re-elects president

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PARIS (JTA) — Richard Prasquier was re-elected president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF.

Prasquier defeated Meyer Habib, 106 to 61, in Sunday’s vote by the General Assembly, according to a CRIF spokesperson. Two ballots were left blank and three were voided.

The 180-member General Assembly includes representatives of Jewish associations.

Prasquier, 65, an Ashkenazi Jew, was first elected in 2007 to head CRIF, the self-described “political representative” of French Jews. He is a a practicing cardiologist.

Habib, a CRIF vice president, is Sephardic and studied in Israel.

His reported friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fueled criticism leading up to the election, as the French media and politicians condemned Netanyahu for using excessive force during Israel’s May 31 interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla, which left nine passengers dead.

CRIF was founded in 1943 as an underground network to help Jews in Nazi-occupied France.
 

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