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Marine Le Pen to sue French-Jewish philosopher for libel

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A lawyer for Marine Le Pen said the leader of the French far right will sue French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy for libel.

Wallerand de Saint-Just said he would submit a libel suit on behalf of Le Pen, president of the National Front party, to the Paris Magistrate’s Court next week. Levy in an article originally published on the website La Regle du Jeu had suggested that Le Pen may bear some responsibility for attacks against Jews because of her alleged penchant for habitually mocking Jewish-sounding names in meetings.

Referring to a recent attack at Villeurbanne in which three young Jewish men wearing yarmulkes were attacked by about 10 assailants, Levy asked, "Is it really a coincidence that this aggression follows a campaign in which one candidate, Ms. Le Pen, has systematically lampooned Jewish-sounding names in meetings?"

De Saint-Just told JTA that "There is no basis to the claim that Ms. Le Pen jeeringly uses names of Jewish people in meetings and speeches or any other fora. Mr. Levy is simply inventing it." He added, "Suggesting Ms. Le Pen bears responsibility for the attacks in Villeurbanne is particularly ignoble."

The article by Levy, which promises to offer "the key to understanding the new anti-Semitism,” was disseminated by CRIF, the umbrella organization of France’s Jewish communities.

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