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Obama policies concern French Jews

A French Jewish umbrella group’s statement indirectly betrayed some of the community’s concerns over Barack Obama’s Middle East policy.

The statement was released following his election Tuesday.

“CRIF hopes that the new chief executive of the United States will firmly oppose the nuclear plans of the fanatical, aggressive and Holocaust-denying Iranian regime,” said an English version of the statement, which slightly differed from the French.

The French version said the organization hoped Obama would “oppose” Iran’s nuclear plans “with determination, and without a utopian” view, or “angelisme,” as the term appears in French.

Both the English and French statements said the organization “wishes that the new American administration will foster peace in the Middle East through realistic measures.”

Though polls on the French Jewish reaction to the American election do not exist due to the country’s secular tradition, individuals in the Jewish community have expressed concerns in interviews with JTA over the level of Obama’s support for Israel because of what they perceive as his softer diplomatic approach toward terrorism and the Iranian threat.

In contrast, the French population as a whole overwhelmingly supports the newly elected president.

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