European Jewish Congress
Fake quote on French elections triggers antisemitic avalanche
France
Fake quote on French elections triggers antisemitic avalanche

A satirical article suggesting that the French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy plans to emigrate if a far-left politician is elected president triggered a slew of antisemitic comments on Twitter.

In the fake interview published last week on the satirical website NordPresse, Levy, one of the country’s best-known celebrities, is quoted as saying, “If Mélenchon is elected, I’m leaving France.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who is the presidential candidate of the French Communist Party and several other far-left groups, has made considerable gains in polls ahead of the first round of the presidential elections on April 23.

Using the hashtag #BHL — the Jewish philosopher’s initials — hundreds of Melenchon supporters circulated the fake interview on Twitter, adding antisemitic comments about it.

“Shove off to Israel or the States, you son of a bitch,” one Twitter user wrote in an apparent reference to the fact that Levy, who is a citizen neither of Israel nor of the United States, is Jewish. Another wrote, “If Mélenchon wins BHL knows where he can return.” The latter added a banner advertising Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to tourists.

The L’Expresse daily accused the satirical website of encouraging antisemitic discourse by inventing a quote by Levy.

Lévy has criticized Mélenchon, whose policies he has called “dangerous.” This week, Levy wrote on Twitter: “A reminder on the deplorable remarks by Mélenchon following 2014 rallies featuring chanting about death to Jews.”

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, has a boycott policy on Mélenchon’s party and that of the far-right politician Marine Le Pen.

“They both traffic in hatred,” CRIF President Francis Kalifat said in February in explaining this policy.

 Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Friday, April 21, 2017
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