The French chief rabbi has called a Jewish journalist mulling a presidential bid “antisemitic and racist” in a TV interview.
Eric Zemmour, who has referred to Muslim immigrants as “invaders” whose arrival will lead to “a great replacement”, is widely thought to be eyeing a bid for the Elysée Palace early next year.
With that in mind, Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia was asked about Zemmour during a recent interview on France 2, in which he pulled no punches. “Antisemite? Certainly. A racist? Definitely,” he said.
Zemmour is the son of Berber Jewish immigrants from Algeria. His wife and son are Jewish, and he attends synagogue. Last month, polling put him at 15 percent nationally, although he is yet to declare his intention to run.
His past comments have been described as “disconcerting”, “obsessive” and “pathologically nationalistic” by the main French Jewish newspaper, Tribune Juive, which also criticised Korsia for his “nonsensical” labelling of Zemmour as antisemitic.
If he does run for president, Zemmour will have to contend with fellow right-wing politician Marine Le Pen, whose late father was convicted of antisemitism, but whose own comments regarding Jews and Israel have been largely supportive.
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