French Jewish leader warns of Hollande presidency

Richard Prasquier, the president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewry, said that a Francois Hollande presidency would boost the anti-Israel left.

Speaking to reporters April 30 before a meeting at the French Consulate in New York, Prasquier said, “We know that some of the parties who are supposed to be partners of the coalition in favor of Francois Hollande are not friends of Israel. The place they will play [in a Hollande administration] we will see.”

Prasquier came under fire recently for an April 25 column he wrote in the Israeli daily Haaretz in which he appeared to express more concerns about a Hollande presidency than a second term for the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Hollande, of the Socialist Party, and Sarkozy, of the Union for a Popular Movement, will face off in a second round of voting Sunday, May 6.

The problem, Prasquier said, is not with Hollande or the people close to him, but with the adamantly anti-Israel parties that are supporting him.

“The Left Front has declared that they will vote for Francois Hollande,” Prasquier said. “If Francois Hollande is elected president, I do not expect the far left would be given the position of foreign minister, but if they have more visibility there might be an increase in demonstrations against Israel in the public society — BDS and so on — and we will have to face them.”

In France’s first round of voting on April 22, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front captured 18 percent of the vote while far-left parties, including the Green Party, the French Communist Party and the Left Party, captured less than 15 percent of the vote. — jta