Lazar: If Le Pen Wins Jews Should Leave France

Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar warned that French Jews should leave that country if extreme-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who is leading in the polls, should win the election.

Addressing more than 2,000 people at the Limmud FSU conference in Moscow, he stressed that ‘’the situation in Europe is very worrying.’’ ‘’If Marine Le Pen is elected president of France, the Jews must leave,” he said.

Rabbi Lazar also voiced general concern about the rise of nationalism across Europe. “The situation there is very worrying. Not only because of immigrants, but also because the general population is heading toward radicalization. The best example of this is the rise of extreme-right parties.”

In his speech, Lazar said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has done more for the Jewish community in Russia including fighting anti-Semitism than any other Russian leader.

Rabbi Lazar, addressing more than 2,000 Jews at the Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) “FSU Study” conference today, said:

“Putin was the first president to publicly speak out against anti-Semitism and did the most for the Jews in Russia,’’ he said, as he insisted that ‘’there is no institutional anti-Semitism in Russia where the attitude toward the Jews is excellent.”

The rabbi declared: “In contrast to (former Russian leaders- Gorbachev and Yeltsin, who were not interested in hearing about the situation of the Jews in Russia, Putin was the first to say that anti-Semitism has no place in Russia. He was the first to speak publicly against anti-Semitism, and did the most for the Jews in Russia. This is not self-evident, nor is it obvious that there can be a conference in Russia today like the study of FSU with more than 2,000 Jews.”

Evoking recent anti-Semitic statements by Russian parliamentarians, Lazar said, “It’s just a drop in the ocean. These statements are of course inappropriate, but they are not the end of the world either. Our goal is to have a finger on the pulse and raise the issues on the political level in order to protect the Jewish community. We must cooperate with the government as long as it protects us.”

Lazar also defended Putin for his role in supporting Syrian President Bashir Assad. “It is not certain that there are better options for Syria than Assad. The Arab spring did not produce positive results. It seems that the Arab countries are not yet ready to accept the rule of democracy.”

When asked about recent media reports linking US President Donald Trump and Chabad, Lazar said: “I do not like that people are intentionally looking for ties between Trump and Chabad or between Trump and the Jews in general. The only thing I can say it, it’s excellent that Ivanka Trump is Jewish, and that Trump’s grandchildren are Jewish too, but I have nothing to add beyond that.”

Before the U.S. presidential election, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner visited the grave of the late Lubavitch Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, in Queens, N.Y. The site is popular among Orthodox Jews seeking a blessing and inspiration.

Since its inaugural conference in Moscow in 2006, Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) has created an independent educational and communal network of annual conferences and festivals, attracting more than 45,000 participants in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Israel, North America and Australia. Limmud FSU engages young Russian-Jewish adults, empowering them to take ownership of their identity and to connect with their communities through pluralistic, egalitarian volunteer-driven conferences of Jewish learning and culture.

13 Comments

  • 1. Gman wrote:

    Now Jewish people fill safe in France?
    Rabbi Lazare speaks only what is good or permitted by Putin.

    I don’t think Le Pen is anti Jewish, she is anti Extreme Muslims taking overy France and Europe

    Reply
    • 2. Citizen Berel wrote:

      “Rabbi Lazare speaks only what is good or permitted by Putin.”

      Probably the intersection of both conditions, which makes sense.

      Rabbi Lazar doesn’t have any magical insight into the French situation. It’s just his opinion.

      The Le Pen issue is hugely controversial and French Jewry have better insight into their situation than we or Rabbi Lazar do from afar.

  • 3. To #1 wrote:

    Le pen is extreme, most likely dislikes Jews. Why? Because she’s a hardcore nationalist. That means that French people come first. Jews and other minorities are most likely not included on that list. Hitler (may he burn in hell for eternity) was also an extreme nationalist. Nationalism. Is. Dangerous.
    Also regarding Rabbi Lazar’s comment on Assad….I see where he’s coming from, but truthfully. Syrians are being slaughtered by him left and right. Much of the refugee crisis can be blamed on Assad and his Allies. He is a madman. A dictator. And the man responsible for the killing of over a million of his own people.

    Reply
    • 4. Milhouse wrote:

      Nationalism is not dangerous, it’s normal, and it’s right and just. Any normal person ought to be loyal to his nation, and there’s something wrong with someone who doesn’t. If someone is not a nationalist that should make one cautious of him, because if he puts some universalist ideology ahead of his natural loyalties he will put it ahead of everything else as well, including the basic morality of not killing and robbing and kidnapping people.

      Unfortunately this is very common among Jews, who rush to put everything ahead of their just and rightful duty of loyalty to their own nation, am Yisroel. A Jew must know that he is first and foremost a Jew, before he is anything else, and a Frenchman or a Chinaman or anyone else ought to do the same.

      That Le Pen puts her own people before us is not surprising and not anything to worry about, because she knows that we are not her people’s enemies, and that in fact her people’s enemies are ours as well. This is no reason to fear her. We should certainly not hold her father’s sins against her; on the contrary, we should give her credit for rejecting them. But it’s no reason to support her either. She’s a socialist and an extreme secularist — those are reasons to oppose her, but if she wins there will be no reason to panic.

  • 5. NTG wrote:

    Putin was not the first who spoke very strongly against Antisemitism. Stalin did for sure. Possibly Lenin too, I just don’t recall.

    Reply
  • 9. just words wrote:

    Lazar = puppet. Lazar is under control of Putin. What ever Putin allows him to say that’s what he says.
    Sure, Putin likes the Jews, we bring in millions of dollars to the soviet economy with tourism and support of Jewish communities. Putin also recognizes the great potential of Jewish businessman an innovators and wants to keep them in Russia.
    btw Putin is also an ultra nationalist (just look what he did in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine)
    What does Lazar have to say about that???

    Reply
  • 10. Moishe wrote:

    I am sorry to say, but Rabbi Berel Lazar is WRONG.
    More and more Jews get slaughtered in France by Muslim settlers. Instead of speculating what may happen under Le Pen/ R. Lazar should concentrate on what is happening in France today.

    Reply
  • 11. סתם שליח wrote:

    אתה שליח של הרבי ולא של פוטין, אסור לך להתערב בענינים לא שלך שאין אתה מבין בהם ולא כלום, ומי התיר לך לפרסם דעתך ברבים? הכבד ושב בביתך

    Reply
    • 12. Milhouse wrote:

      Did he say it in the Rebbe’s name? No, he said it in his own name; as a senior rov beyisroel he’s entitled to express his own opinions, and we’re entitled to disagree with him.

      But your remark about his not being Putin’s shliach is very strange. What made you think that Putin wanted him to say this? On the contrary, the whole world assumes that Putin supports Le Pen and that her election would benefit Russia. So unless you know something all the mevinim have missed, it would seem that in making this statement he was very much not acting as Putin’s mouthpiece.

      Who knows, maybe he’s even right; he has better sources than you or I do, so maybe he knows something we don’t. For instance, maybe he has reliable inside information that Le Pen secretly shares her father’s antisemitism. That would be a game changer, if true. I have no reason to believe it is, but it’s possible.

    • 13. milhose wrote:

      Lazar represents Lubavich so what he says reflects on Lubavich and the Rebbe. The only inside information Lazar has is what Putin lets him know and allows him to say. You are wrong about your assumption that Putin supports LePen, on the contrary he wants a weak France so he does not want LePen in power. Stop pontificating. I agree with the Dib, Lazar should keep quite about France.

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