A spokesperson for Francois Fillon, a leading contender in the upcoming French presidential election, sought to soften the candidate’s claim that Jews in the past did not respect French law.
Jérôme Chartier said Wednesday that criticism of Fillon was “a misunderstanding” of the candidate’s attempt to note all religions have extremists.
“Francois Fillon is very clear on the fact that there may occur in all religious groups sectarian streams,” Chartier said. “They exist, everybody knows it. But at the same time he has always appreciated the integration of Jews in France.”
Chartier added, “The Jews of France are French like the Christians of France are French and the Muslims of France are French, except for those who partake in Islamic sectarianism, in Islamic totalitarianism, which needs to be fought against.
Chartier’s statement came after Fillon said earlier Wednesday that France must combat Muslim sectarianism like “we fought against a form of Catholic sectarianism or like we fought the desire of Jews to live in a community that does not respect the laws of the French Republic.”
Haim Korsia, the chief rabbi of France, called on Fillon to set the record straight, the rabbi’s office said in a statement.
Korsia “underlined that any communal insularism that might have existed in the past was neither the result of any action nor the expression of any choice by Jewish citizens, but the consequence of their non-acceptance” by non-Jewish Frenchmen.read more
The Jewish Chronicle reports that the "CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jews, tweeted in response: “The law of the land is the law – a Talmudic saying which requires Jews since antiquity to respect the laws of the land where they live.”"