Elections in France: An Possible rise of the extreme right

Macron with President Isaac Herzog. Wikipedia

Today, The first round is being held in the French parliamentary elections. This is a snap election announced by President Emmanuel Macron just three weeks ago, in light of the results of the European Parliament elections, in which far-right parties in France have won the majority of the votes. This seems to be a strange move, because right-wing parties in the French parliament are not large – and the European elections have proved that they have more power than represented. This is a strategic bet by Macron: On the open level, Macron sought to “prove that France is not an extremist” and to exploit a reactionary wave for the results of the European elections, which would actually lead to the weakening of the extremists. And on a hidden level, Macron knew that the left-wing parties were not organized properly, and therefore expected that many of the constituencies would be of his own party, ‘The Renaissance’, the alternative to the extreme right, which would significantly strengthen his own power.

On the hidden level, it turns out that Macron was wrong – because the moderate and extremist left parties managed to unite into a single coalition all over France – ‘The Popular Front’, and overcome the past. In most provinces of France, the choice is now threefold – between extreme left-wing candidates, center (Renaissance), and the extreme right-wing – the ‘National Union Party’ led by Jordan Bardela. Bardella, only 28, is considered the protégé of Marine Le Pen (the party’s leader in the presidential election, and Macron’s main rival). Each district in which a candidate does not receive 50% of the vote will pass a second round in a week between the two leading candidates. The fear is that the moderate center party will be wiped out, and that soon the French parliament will be dominated by extremists – and especially from the right.

As Israelis, we must denounce the Popular front party, which completely identifies with the Palestinians and calls for a boycott of Israel. The National Union Party, on the other hand, supports Israel and its war – but it is important to remember that this is not out of love, but out of hatred (of the Muslim world). The National Union Party has a difficult history of anti-Semitism toward French Jews and fascist roots, and Geopolitically, Le Pen is eager to stand with Putin. For Jews in many constituencies in France, the debate between the national union and the Popular front is equivalent to a debate between a Nevela and A Treif. If this leads to a more significant increase in Aliyah from France in the coming years, this is at least a positive point that can be derived from the story.

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