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Far-left French leader says Jews promote ‘violent sectarianism’

Jean-Luc Melenchon falsely claims ‘ridiculous’ Jewish umbrella group CRIF urged rally-goers to attack him at memorial for slain Holocaust survivor

8 November 2019

A leader of the French left accused French Jews of inciting violence against him and promoting “violent and aggressive sectarianism.”

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the France Unbowed party, inveighed against the CRIF federation of Jewish communities on Sunday during a televised interview with France Inter.

“Sectarianism’s always been a problem for the republican idea,” said Melenchon. “Take CRIF. It practices blatant, violent and aggressive sectarianism, namely against me, right? To the point of encouraging people to hit me during a demonstration like the one for Mirelle Knol.”

Mirelle Knol was a Holocaust survivor who was murdered in her Paris apartment last year, allegedly by a Muslim neighbor. CRIF asked Melenchon and the leader of the right-wing National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, not to attend a commemorative march for Knol. Both politicians came to the march anyway, where participants booed them until police escorted them away.

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