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Crif Leader Says Organization Will Play Active Role Against Racism

April 6, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Theo Klein, who was elected last month president of the Representative Council of Major French Jewish Organizations (CRIF), said CRIF will lead the fight against racism in all its forms.

Klein, addressing a press conference here, said CRIF should play an active role against racism regardless of what form this scourge takes. “Often in the past we, the Jews, were the first on the list of victims, but we know from past experience that even if we are not the initial target, a racist campaign will practically invariably turn against the Jews as well at one point or another.” Klein was referring to the campaign waged in France against North African workers during the recent municipal elections campaign.

Klein, a 63-year-old attorney and former resistance fighter, said he sees nothing contradictory in the fact that he held both French and Israeli citizenships.

“I was born French in an Alsatian family which opted over 100 years ago, when Alsatia was occupied by the Prussians, for French nationality. I also felt that I belong to Israel which is the original homeland of all Jews.”

Klein said his dual nationality will, on the contrary, “enable me to better explain Israel’s positions in France and France’s in Israel. This, after all, is part of my new responsibilities.”

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