Jean-Marie Le Pen: B’nai B’rith brokered ‘pact’ to isolate my party

(JTA) — The French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said that B’nai B’rith had signed a “pact” with other politicians to keep him out of government.

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“The leader of the soft right signed a pact in which they vowed never to unite with Front National,” Le Pen, who founded that party 40 years ago, said this week in an interview for the television show Minute. “It is said that it was B’nai B’rith, a sort of Jewish Freemasonry group, that imposed this clause.”

Le Pen, who is the honorary president of Front National, added that former French President Jacques Chirac of the center-right UMP party signed the pact.

“Furthermore, I think that certain representatives of the RPR took pride in that pact, which was notably signed by the abominable Chirac,” Le Pen, 84, said. Founded in 1976, RPR dissolved into the UMP in 2002.

Founded in the U.S. in 1843, B’nai B’rith is an international organization focused on promoting Jewish unity and countering anti-Semitism, according to its website.

The president of B’nai B’rith France denied the existence of any pact involving B’nai B’rith and Front National.  

Dr. Richard Prasquier, president of CRIF, the umbrella group representing French Jewish communities, called Le Pen’s theory the result of “senility or obsessive anti-Semitism, and probably of both.” In a statement posted on the CRIF website, he added: “The tendency to see conspiracies is a characteristic of anti-Semites and unfortunately this is the case with Mr. Le Pen.”

He also called on the current leader of Front National, Marine Le Pen, the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, to remove him as honorary president of the party, currently the third largest in France.

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