**France’s Jewish leaders have called for a ‘civic uprising’ against Marine Le Pen’s National Front after the far-Right group’s record election results
The party topped the country’s regional election vote on Sunday in a breakthrough that shakes up the political landscape in France.
But it has prompted a backlash from France’s chief Rabbi, Haim Korsia, who urged voters to ‘breathe life into democracy… in these particularly troubled times for the nation’.
The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) called on the electorate to block what it called a ‘populist and xenophobic party’, and warned ‘not to let the Republic give way in the face of threats,’ according to The Local.**
The anti-immigration party received at least 29.4 per cent of the votes as the country continues its state of emergency following the Paris terror attacks.
It won six out of 13 regions in the election’s first round, which 44 million people were eligible to vote for.
The FN’s anti-EU and anti-immigrant narrative has been a lightning rod for many voters who have lost faith in mainstream parties.
Its repeated linking of immigration with terrorism has also helped it climb in the polls since the gun and suicide bombing assaults in Paris.
President Francois Hollande’s Socialists called on voters to think tactically in next Sunday’s second round in a bid to prevent the FN from taking power at regional level for the first time ever.
Marine Le Pen, meanwhile, said her party now ‘embodied the alternative choice’.
‘French people have had enough - in one election after another, they have shown their confidence in the National Front,’ she said.
The main parties on the right and left now face difficult decisions on whether to strike an agreement to try to block the FN.
Former president Nicolas Sarkozy, leader of the centre-right Republicans, ruled out a tactical alliance, but the ruling Socialist Party said it would withdraw some candidates to allow the centre-right candidate to garner more votes against the FN.
Yesterday, Marine Le Pen hailed the ‘magnificent’ performance of the party - but it was her niece who has become the poster girl for the far-Right.
Marion Marechal-Le Pen, France’s youngest-ever MP when elected at 22, is on course to lead the southern Provence-Aples-Cote d’Azur region with polls giving her some 40 per cent of the vote.
The 25-year-old has emerged as the rising star of the National Front and is seen by many as the ideological successor to her 87-year-old grandfather, party (FN) founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Marechal-Le Pen is much further to the Right than her aunt Marine Le Pen, who has tried to soften the party’s image and even helped expel her father from the party over anti-Semitic Holocaust comments…
She is also outspoken, recently using the word ‘moronic’ while addressing the Socialist prime minister.
‘Marion has dumped her grandfather’s anti-Semitism, but beyond that sounds just like him,’ said one FN source.
She is also adept at invoking the mysticism and legend of the ‘old France’, regularly referring to national heroes such as Joan of Arc.
FN aides freely admit that she has had media training and tries to portray herself as a youthful alternative to ‘boring old men in suits’.
Marechal-Le Pen stood - unsuccessfully - for regional elections in 2010 and famously cracked when a reporter asked her to outline policy areas she wanted to address, unable to provide a single example.
But since becoming an MP, and a mother for the first time, Marion has gone through an astonishing transformation, building a growing following among young radicals and older party supporters disgruntled with her aunt’s apparent moderation.