French expats elect Israeli to Assembly

French expats from eight Mediterranean countries elected a Tel Aviv woman to represent them in the French Parlia-ment.

Daphna Poznanski-Benhamou of the Socialist Party will represent the eighth constituency for French residents overseas,  made up of French citizens living in Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, the Vatican and San Marino.

“I was very warmly received in Turkey and elsewhere,” Poznanski-Benhamou said. “The only times my Israeli identity became an issue were in Israel.”

Of 577 seats in France’s National Assembly, 11 are reserved for representatives of expats.

Poznanski-Benhamou won the June 17 election with 55 percent of 13,571 votes cast. However, in Israel, 58 percent of the 3,092 votes cast went to her rival, Valerie Hoffenberg of the UMP party.

Hoffenberg was special envoy to the Middle East peace process under former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

 Poznanski-Benhamou immigrated to Israel in 1979 and has Israeli and French citizenship. She may be the first Israeli citizen to be elected to the French National Assembly; the French Embassy in Tel Aviv would not confirm it. — jta