´We always defend Israel’s right to protect itself´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JOSEPH STRICH JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT 04/30/12)
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PARIS – I met National Front leader Marine Le Pen at her Paris office
on Thursday on the Boulevard Malsherbes, the headquarters of the
Support Committee for her candidacy in the presidential election.
We met on the same day she published an open letter to the two
remaining candidates, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, accusing
both of “scorning” her 6.5 million voters. She has said she will
announce voting advice for her supporters on Tuesday at the party’s
annual “Joan of Arc Day” rally.
She welcomed me to her office with a smile. On the wall was a blue
oil painting, a reference to her first name, which means navy blue.
She said the painting had been given to her by a Jewish friend.
Jerusalem Post: When I arrived in Paris I saw Le Nouvel Observateur
with a photo of Sarkozy as Orpheus sinking below the waves. The title
was: Why does Marine Le Pen want him to lose? So I’ll ask you the
question myself. Why do you?
Le Pen: I have already said I was not hoping for the victory of one
or the other [Sarkozy or Hollande]. They are like two heads fighting
each other but they have the same body: Europeanism, ultra-
liberalism, laxness, the libertarianism of [the protests and strikes
of] May 1968, the giving in to the surrender of national sovereignty.
But now is the time to be clear, to tell the truth. Nicolas Sarkozy
cannot address my voters simply by speaking against the Socialist
Party. He has to answer the question: In the coming general election,
if there is a duel between the National Front and the Socialist
Party, from which would he prefer a member of parliament? My voters
will decide according to his answer.
So you are the “divine surprise.” I heard you during your post-
election meeting when you said, “Here comes the navy blue wave.”
True, but I can see there is also another wave, red-glowing. It will
be necessary to surf between the two waves.
Hollande has already acquired the Left party votes, whereas Sarkozy
will lose without you, so you could contribute to his downfall.
It is his own fault; he betrayed my voters and he should have kept
his 2007 promises. He would have kept his National Front voters. It
is his choice, not mine... It is Nicolas Sarkozy who will make
François Hollande president of France. Personally, I do not want an
alliance. I don’t want to be prime minister.
Sarkozy’s spokeswoman, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, explained to me
that in the case of a challenge at the general elections, she will
vote for the Socialist Party. In that case, he has to pay the price.
Sarkozy questioned the “compatibility” of National Front voters with
the republic, provoking indignation in Libération and L’Humanité,
which plastered him across the front page next to [Phillipe] Pétain
[who was later tried for treason]. But the National Front has not
Where is Nicolas Sarkozy’s right to decide if a 40-year-old party is
accepted or not accepted in the republic? Why wait until now, before
the second round of the election, when he already contributed to the
vision of National Front voters as social pariahs, with contempt and
injustice, for electoral reasons. This is called dishonesty.
Your young niece, Marion, is running for parliament from the southern
French town of Carpentras, where the National Front was accused of
desecrating a Jewish cemetery years ago. Her grandfather, Jean-Marie
Le Pen, asked her to “clear his name.”
Yes. Carpentras is still a symbol of injustice. We were accused by
the highest authorities of the state of something we did not do. This
wound, this slanderous gossip was used as the basis for a war against
us, a deeply unjust attack.
Your father has uttered some negative comments about the Holocaust.
I am not going to spend my life making comments about a phrase
uttered 25 years ago.
But you do understand that our paper and our readers have a
particular interest in this question? I have said a thousand times
that I did not possess Jean-Marie Le Pen’s vision about World War II;
we do not have the same references because we do not have the same
age nor have we followed the same career.
I think people are making unfounded accusations against him. Our
political adversaries have used this to create a make-believe anti-
Semitic threat from the National Front, where in reality the danger
comes from the catastrophic rise of the Islamic fundamentalists in
our country. I have been saying for years: Make no mistake, the
danger is not where you think it is and today we find ourselves
confronted with the Merah Affair [the shootings last month of three
soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children by a Muslim man]. That’s
But you are aware of the link between negativism, anti-Semitism and
anti-Zionism? There is a transfer of the Israeli- Palestinian
conflict to French territory, in some districts, a reality negated
for years. Nicolas Sarkozy has granted visas every year to preachers
from the UOIF [Union of Islamic Organizations of France] congress who
are people calling for the murder of Jews and we had to point this
out, right up to the last minute, until he refused them visas.
When you see the relations between Nicolas Sarkozy and Qatar, which
supports him at the international level, the core support of Islamic
fundamentalism... Nicolas Sarkozy and the UOIF have built up together
the ‘Council of Muslims in France,’ which is representing the Muslim
Brotherhood and spreads its hate thought within French territory.
Are you speaking about Barcelona FC [football club], which is
sponsored by Qatar? I am talking about Paris Saint-Germain FC. I have
a very bad feeling about this takeover and the importance it has in
this country. They were allowed to buy some key parts of our
strategic enterprises, invest 50 million in French banlieues
[suburbs] for ethnic and religious reasons, and why do they buy a
football team, PSG? Because they know it is a way of having power
over the young. To let this happen is madness.
Are you concerned about an Iranian nuclear bomb and an Israeli attack
to stop it? I do not believe in that. When Israel talks about it, it
means that they are not sure they would do it. They will do it when
they don’t talk about it anymore. The principle of international
relations is to function with pressure, intimidation, leadership
One should not minimize tomorrow’s role of Qatar and Saudi Arabia –
maybe Iran is barking, but the other two, they could bite.
Do you believe there is an Iranian nuclear menace to Israel? I do not
believe so. If one day Iran imagined using the bomb, they would be
liquefied in a second... but Iran has the right to civil nuclear
power. I worry when the United States maneuvers a situation, it has
always been bad with international affairs, a proper walking
catastrophe, and it has created conditions of danger in the world.
Remember Iraq: Is Israel more secure after the Iraq war and the Arab
Spring? All that did not improve security for Israel, but I was the
first one to say, be careful not to replace a secular dictatorship
with an Islamic one. I prefer the secular one.
In 1990 your father was on the side of Iraq.
There was an analysis made which since has turned out to be exact,
the same for Libya. This assessment said that Iraq is not a country,
a nation, but a conglomeration of tribes, and Saddam Hussein’s
downfall – the same thing that happened later to [former Libyan
leader Muammar] Gaddafi – was not going to pacify but aggravate the
situation, with Islamic fundamentalism taking over in the country and
the persecution of religious minorities.
More than 100,000 Christians fled from Iraq to Libya. Where are they
going now? Tunisia, Egypt, Mali and Syria, that is a bit much! This
brings me back to false friends: Who are the real friends, those who
make decisions that give you security or those who embark upon
actions that put you in danger? This is the real question Israel
should ask itself.
They have always thought our position was anti-Zionist. A mistaken
analysis based upon prejudice. Jean- Marie Le Pen fought at the side
of the Israelis during [the] Suez [Crisis] in 1956. The National
Front has always recognized Israel’s existence.
And now in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? If there is a solution,
it consists of separating the fundamentalists from the two sides in
order to arrive at a compromise. Regarding Jerusalem, we are not
going to agree, as not all my Jewish friends even agree with me on
the subject: Jerusalem is the heritage of humanity; it should be
under international community responsibility.
You have never been there; you were refused entry into Israel.
I was prevented going, Israel has too many friends (laughs)... I will
only go if I am invited... you have seen what has happened to the
Israeli ambassador in the UN? The day after we met, the ambassador
was saying he knocked at the wrong door. Frankly, why create enemies
where there aren’t any, hasn’t Israel enough enemies already? It is
Your rise together with other extreme right-wing parties in Europe
creates strong anxieties.
I am delighted! I am very happy, because the European countries have
understood that the real enemy of the EU is us, that’s true. I am
against European federalism; I support the sovereignty of the people.
The people decide in any circumstance; it is not the technocrats nor
the bureaucrats nor the Europhiles, nor the European representatives,
all that looks like dictatorship to me.
From the moment my dispute with the EU attracted such a number of
votes, the commission realized that for the EU it was the beginning
of the end. The euro zone will implode, and we will move
toward “intra-national” relationships, the only hope for the
countries of Europe.
LE PEN INSISTED on sending a message to the international press: “The
image constantly imposed upon us as a party of the extreme right is
insulting and pejorative. We are formally contesting it. We are a
patriotic party and consider that the future is the nation-state, not
the ‘Soviet European Empire.’ The austerity plans, we are fighting
against them; the transfer of sovereignty, we are fighting it... the
decay of identity, we are fighting it. Our program is eminently
respectable, because [there are] a lot of countries in the world that
defend their prosperity, that defend their security, that want to
control their frontiers [and] defend their identity.
If it is fine elsewhere, why isn’t it here, at home?” She also had a
few final words on Israel.
“[We] have always defended the right of Israel to be a nation free to
insure its own security.”
”If only in France we could enforce only 10 percent of Israel’s
defense, defense of her identity, defense of her frontiers,” she
added. “I said to the French that the economic problem is reversible,
but there are so many thousands of children calling to have French
nationality. There are 100,000 naturalizations each year, 200,000
foreigners arrive each year, and probably the same amount
illegally... this has to stop immediately.”
When asked if she was at least slightly pessimistic for the future of
her country, Le Pen concluded by saying, “I am always optimistic for
France, even on her knees; at some point a burst of vital energy will
arrive. France is not only an asset to herself but also to the rest
of the world...
Like Israel... ? Come on, the patriots!!! (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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