European Jewish Leader Welcomes France’s Hollande

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EJC President Moshe Kantor thanks outgoing French President Sarkozy, says he looks forward to working with his replacement Francois Hollande. About rise of Greece’s Golden Dawn party, Kantor says: “European leaders to rethink priorities.”

President of the European Jewish Congress, Dr. Moshe Kantor, on Monday reacted to the election results in France and Greece, congratulating Francois Hollande on his success in the French presidential elections and voicing concern over the rise of a neo-Nazi party in Greece.

Kantor recounted the meeting an EJC delegation recently held with Mr. Hollande, saying he looked forward to working with him on a variety of issues. “Our recent meeting with Mr. Hollande was very constructive and touched on many areas of concern to the Jewish community,” Kantor said. “I believe we have a sympathetic ear in the new French leadership and we look forward to continuing this relationship with the new president.”

Kantor also spoke highly of the outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy. “I would like to thank President Sarkozy for his work, not just for the French Republic, but also in his efforts towards the Jewish community,” Kantor said. “I would like to reiterate our gratitude for his friendship and solidarity with the Jewish people after the recent murders in Toulouse.”

Regarding the Greek elections, Kantor expressed major concerns over the rise of far-right and neo-Nazi parties.

“We have had long-standing concerns over LAOS, however, the rise of the Golden Dawn party is a major blow for democracy and tolerance,” Kantor said of the extremist party that won enough seats to join the Greek parliament.

“Golden Dawn is a party that does not even hide its Nazi tendencies and is the type of group that used to only appear on the extreme-margins of European society,” Kantor said. “We hope that this party will be ostracized and will not be included in the coalition government.”

Kantor continued, “The fact that they have now gained a semblance of support and power should rock Europe to its foundations and force European leaders to rethink their priorities. During the last few years, the European leadership has been understandably engrossed in fending off economic woes, and has largely ignored the loosening of tolerance and the emergence of hate by those who have taken advantage of the financial situation to attain power.”