Aging French politician defends anti-Semitic jabs at his nation’s prime minister.
Former French foreign minister Roland Dumas is standing by his statement that current French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is under undue “Jewish influence.” Dumas criticized Valls on France’s BFM-TV for condemning a recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, including those inspired by what Valls termed “Islamo-fascism.”
Valls sought to reassure French Jews that France would do its utmost to protect them following a weekend in which 300 Jewish graves were vandalized in Alsace, and a Jewish man was killed guarding a synagogue in Denmark. These events came just over a month after a terrorist loyal to ISIS took a kosher supermarket hostage in Paris, killing four. The gunman had collaborated with the terrorists involved in killing the staff of the satirical publication, Charlie Hebdo.
Speaking on RTL Radio, Valls indicated that he was “sorry” that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had called on European Jews to move to Israel for their own safety, claiming that “the place for French Jews is France.” He also stated, “France tells you again of its love, support and solidarity. That love is much stronger than the acts of hatred, even if such acts are repeated.”
Marriage Deemed ‘Jewish Influence’
Dumas criticized these statements, noting that Valls “has personal alliances which make him prejudiced. Everyone knows he is married to someone – a very good person, by the way – who has influence on him,” referencing Jewish businesswoman and violinist Anne Gravoin. When specifically asked if Valls “is under Jewish influence,” Dumas replied, “Probably, I would think so.”
The former foreign minister’s old party, the Socialists, called on him to apologize, noting that his statements were “unworthy of a Socialist decorated by the Republic.” When asked by France 24 about this rebuke, Dumas replied, “I will not apologize!”
Dumas has made numerous controversial statements in the past, including denying the official accounts of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He served as foreign minister under Francois Mitterand.