Macron’s clear French victory underscores unease with Le Pen’s extremist baggage

(April 25, 2022 / JNS) The Jewish establishment across France and Europe breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday as President Emmanuel Macron cruised to re-election, earning 58% of the vote against Marine Le Pen’s 42%. While the heir to her father Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front (turned National Rally) gained supporters since her dismal 2017 showing, Le Pen failed to convince French voters that she has what it takes to lead the country on the international stage.

She also failed to convince the portion of the Jewish electorate that had embraced the Jewish right-wing candidate Éric Zemmour that she cared at all about improving her standing among Jews, despite her hardline against Muslim immigration. While these Jews, mostly of North African descent, may not be joining the sighs of the legacy Jewish institutions like CRIF, whom they disregard as elitist and out-of-touch, they are not wringing their hands either.

“Her name is radioactive,” said Phillipe Karsenty, a pro-Israel Parisian politician and spokesperson for the Trump campaign in France.

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