(JTA) — The French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said that B’nai B’rith had signed a “pact” with other politicians to keep him out of the government.
“The leader of the soft right signed a pact in which they vowed never to unite with Front National,” Le Pen, who founded the National Front party 40 years ago, said this week in an interview for the weekly "Minute." “It is said that it was B’nai B’rith, a sort of Jewish Freemasonry group, that imposed this clause.”
Le Pen, who is the honorary president of the National Front now headed by his daughter, Marine Le Pen, added that former French President Jacques Chirac of the center-right UMP party signed the pact.
“Furthermore, I think that certain representatives of the RPR took pride in that pact, which was notably signed by the abominable Chirac,” said Le Pen, 84. Founded in 1976, RPR dissolved into UMP in 2002.
B’nai B’rith is an international organization focused on promoting Jewish unity and countering anti-Semitism, according to its website.
The president of B’nai B’rith France denied the existence of any pact involving B’nai B’rith and Front National.
Dr. Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the umbrella group representing French Jewish communities, called Le Pen’s theory the result of “senility or obsessive anti-Semitism, and probably of both.” In a statement posted on the CRIF website, Prasquier added that “The tendency to see conspiracies is a characteristic of anti-Semites and unfortunately this is the case with Mr. Le Pen.”
He also called on Marine Le Pen to remove her father as honorary president of the party, currently the third largest in France.