Sunday, June 08, 2014
European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor called on the European Union to strip Jean-Marie Le Pen of his parliamentary immunity and for the French authorities to charge him with incitement after comments he made on a National Front Video referencing crematoria when asked to comment on Jewish singer and actor Patrick Bruel.
“Le Pen has unmasked the true face of the far-Right of Europe days after their electoral successes in the European Parliament,” said Kantor. “While some have tried to whitewash and mainstream these parties, Le Pen’s comments demonstrate that they still stand on foundations of hatred, Antisemitism and xenophobia.”
“The European Union should fight-back against these far-Right and neo-Nazi parties by demonstrating zero tolerance for racial incitement and it can begin by stripping Le Pen of any immunity for prosecution he might hold as an MEP for these comments.”
Le Pen, who is the Honorary President, former leader and an MEP for the National Front, said in a video for his party that “next time we will put him in an oven" when asked after Bruel’s criticisms of the party. Le Pen has a history of convictions for “inciting racial hatred” and Holocaust denial.
In 1997, the European Parliament removed his parliamentary immunity so that Le Pen could be tried by a German court for comments he made at a December 1996 press conference in Germany. Le Pen stated: "If you take a 1,000-page book on World War II, the concentration camps take up only two pages and the gas chambers 10 to 15 lines. This is what one calls a detail."
In June 1999, a Munich court found this statement to be "minimizing the Holocaust, which caused the deaths of six million Jews," and convicted and fined Le Pen for his remarks.
“It is time for the European Union and European nations to raise the bar to what constitutes acceptable speech by anyone, Member of Parliament or not,” Kantor continued. “The far-Right and neo-Nazis in Europe are pushing the boundaries further and further and they are destroying our democracy and the future of a tolerant and peaceful Europe that took a long time to build.”