(JTA) — Far-right French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen was suspended from the party he founded and his daughter now leads over his anti-Semitic rhetoric.
The top executive authority of the National Front handed down the suspension on Monday after Le Pen appeared at a disciplinary hearing over statements he made last month in which he told French TV that he does not regret saying in 1987 that the Nazi gas chambers were “just a detail of World War II.”
In addition to the suspension, party members will hold a special meeting in three months to decide whether to strip the title of honorary president from Le Pen, the French news agency AFP reported.
In recent years, Marine Le Pen, 46, has rejected her father’s revisionist and anti-Semitic views and courted French Jews in a move that many observers said was designed to rehabilitate the anti-immigrant party’s name and gain mainstream acceptance. Since she took the helm in 2011, the once-isolated party has achieved victories in some town and county legislatures. Marine Le Pen has flirted with the idea of a presidential run in 2017.
Jean-Marie Le Pen was convicted of racial hatred for his observation about the gas chambers and fined.