European Jewish Congress
Jean Sarkozy marries with Jessica Sebaoun Darty
France
Jean Sarkozy marries with Jessica Sebaoun Darty

EJP


PARIS --Jean Sarkozy, the youngest son of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, exchanged wedding vows Wednesday with school sweetheart Jessica Sebaoun Darty, heiress of a Jewish family that founded one of France's biggest electrical goods retail chain.

Sarkozy, who turned 22 on September 1, and Jessica Sebaoun Darty, in her early 20s, tied the knot at the city hall in Neuilly-sur-Seine, west of Paris, where Nicolas Sarkozy launched his political career when he was 28.
They became engaged in June.

Guests at the wedding, who were only notified by text message, included Immigration Minister Brice Hortefeux and French rap star Doc Gyneco, as well as family members including President Sarkozy and his wife of seven months, model-turned-singer Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Sebaoun is a member of the Darty family that in 1957 founded what became an eponymous nationwide chain of big-box home appliance stores, now owned by Britain's KESA Electricals group.

According to French media, Jean and Jessica wanted only a civil wedding.

Jean Sarkozy, a Sorbonne law student and amateur actor, is already an elected politician, sitting in the Hauts-de-Seine regional council where he leads the centre-right UMP majority.

Jean, who is the second son from Nicolas Sarkozy's first marriage to Marie-Dominique Culioli, the daughter of a Corsican chemist, has denied speculation he is planning to convert to Judaism.

After his engagement in June, the press reported that the couple, who know each other from Saint James school in Neuilly, made a trip to Israel "in order to learn more about Jewish culture."

Nicolas Sarkozy has Jewish roots as his mother was born to the Mallah family, one of the oldest Jewish families of Salonika or Thessaloniki, in Greece.

In July, a French cartoonist-columnist of a satirical political magazine was fired a by the editor for writing anti-Semitic remarks towards Jean Sarkozy when he suggested that the president's son, who is a Catholic, intended to convert to Judaism before the marriage.

The caricaturist suggested also that Jean Sarkozy was “an opportunist who would go far in life."

Although the caricaturist nickamed Siné, denied claims of anti-Semitism, the magazine's editotor, Philippe Val, said the remarks "could be interpreted as drawing a link between conversion to Judaism and social success", rehashing the old stereotype linking Jews and money.

Twenty leading writers and politicians, including the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, wrote an open letter to influent Le Monde newspaper saying the caricaturist had "crossed the line between humorous insult and hateful caricature" and was rightly sacked.
Jean Sarkozy told a magazine: "The rumour of conversion is false. And when I read anti-Semitic remarks on blogs, I'm very shocked; I ask myself where it all comes from and why I'm singled out for such treatment. People seize on a rumour to ask me about possible choices that have nothing to do with my political work."

Thursday, September 11, 2008
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