Jewish groups applaud French electorate as exit polls project clear win for Macron in presidential race
Exit polls indicate Emmanuel Macron has been elected president of France, to the relief of France’s Jewish community.
Mr Macron is projected to win 65.1 per cent of the vote against 34.9 for his far-right rival Marine Le Pen, whose party, the National Front has a history of antisemitism and racism.
A victory by Ms Le Pen would have represented a disaster for all minorities in France, especially it’s 500,000-strong Jewish community.
The National Front was founded in the 1970s by her father, a Holocaust denier with convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews.
The European Jewish Congress said: “We congratulate Emmanuel Macron and the French people on a victory against hate and extremism,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “This was a vote for France, for the European Union and for democratic values.”
“Never has a major European country faced such a challenge to its most basic value system of tolerance and democracy since all of Western Europe was dominated by fascism in the Second World War. We applaud the French people for facing this challenge with the full force of French democracy and the core values of the Republic.”
Together with Muslim and Christian faith leaders, France’s Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia on Thursday issued a letter to voters titled “Call to Vote for Mr Emmanuel Macron”. It was co-signed by Pastor François Clavairoly, president of the Protestant Federation of France, and Anouar Kbibech, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith.
The letter said: “Fully aware that our roles require us to be non-partisan, we are, however, first and foremost responsible citizens and therefore openly are calling for a vote in favour of Emmanuel Macron.”
Reiterating remarks he made in April, Mr Macron said in a TV interview on Friday he backs a two-state solution, and that unilaterally recognising Palestine would provoke instability and harm France’s relations with Israel.
In the interview, he recalled that he when visited Israel as economy minister in 2015, “I defended the principle of a two-state solution, and France’s commitment to that.” He also said he criticised settlement-building. “Those are my consistent positions,” he said.