The head of French Jewry has publicly endorsed National Front leader Marine Le Pen, describing her as “irreproachable”.
Roger Cukierman, chairman of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (Crif), said Ms Le Pen could not be “faulted personally” for antisemitism.
He added: “The NF is a party for which I would never vote but it’s a party which today doesn’t commit violent acts. Let’s be clear: all the violence [against Jews] is now committed by young Muslims.”
Despite the antisemitism of Ms Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, who led the party until 2011, nearly 14 per cent of the Jewish community voted for the NF in the 2012 election.
That figure represents a sharp increase on the 2007 election, when 4.3 per cent of French Jews voted for the far-right party.
Mr Cukierman’s comments attracted criticism from prominent French Jews.
It’s like support for the Democrats, no one can explain it.