The representatives of the Jewish community in Marseilles call on voters in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region "to turn out massively at the polls on Sunday" and to vote for Christian Estrosi's Les Républicains list in the second round of the regional elections. In a statement, they also welcome "the republican attitude" of the left-wing candidates. Calling on people to form a barricade against the Front National, the head of the socialist block Christophe Castaner withdrew his PS-PRG list which came third behind the FN and Les Républicains (LR).
"We, French people of Jewish faith, through our institutions, Crif, Consistoire, Fonds social, call on all French people to turn out massively at the polls on Sunday 13 December so the values that form the basis of our daily actions prevail over hatred and obscurantism," writes Crif Marseille Provence [Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France], the Consistoire Israélite [Israelite Consistory] and the Fonds social juif [Jewish Social Fund], united in calling for a vote for Estrosi.
The president of Crif Paca Michèle Teboul said she was "staggered" after the first round. "We were expecting it (Front National coming first), but not in such a crushing manner." She said she appreciated the "immense sacrifice" that "the absence of any left-wing representative on the regional council for six years" represents. She also shared her concern about the future of the work of local associations if the Front National is elected. "If (Marion Maréchal-Le Pen) refuses aid to communities as she has said, our day-to-day work will be reduced to zero," thinks Michèle Teboul.
"All of this social bonding work, it's over!" she exclaims. "Closure, that's what's going to happen to all the associations, one after another!". "I'll have to go and search for donations, sponsors, for all of our association work," she adds. "The greatest difficulty will be, at the CRIF dinner, once per year, all the national authorities are represented. Do you think I'm going to invite Miss Maréchal-Le Pen, if she is elected? Never in my life!", she declares.Source
Crif has published a number of communal briefings encouraging people to vote en masse to block Ms Le Pen's party from power. France's chief rabbi, Haim Korsia, called for a "civic uprising" of voters, "to breathe life into democracy in these particularly troubled times for the nation".
Community leaders may have reason to fear growing support among French Jews for the party whose founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has a series of convictions for racism and antisemitism, and called Nazi gas chambers a "detail" of the Holocaust.
A report published by a French polling company last year claimed 13.5 per cent of Jews had voted for Ms Le Pen in the 2012 presidential elections, a substantial increase on the 4.3 per cent who voted for her father in 2007.Source