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Paris, 20 June 2022

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, commented on this week-end’s French Parliamentary elections, “which focused mainly on internal issues of purchasing power and popular discontent, resulted in the ‘Ensemble’ cluster aligned with President Macron suffering a great loss, obtaining only a relative majority of 245 seats of the total 577 in the Assemblée Nationale (the lower Chamber).”

In order to pass laws, the governing majority will need to either form a rickety coalition with another party to rise up to the minimum of 289 seats, or else gather fragments of consent on specific issues, giving way to painstaking negotiations in Parliamentary Commissions and corridors – a situation France is not used to, unlike other democracies where proportional representation is the norm, such as Israel, Belgium or Spain.

Samuels continued, “Worrying are, on the one hand, the left NUPES coalition – with their 131 seats – where Socialists, Greens and Communists are dominated by the ‘France Insoumise’ of Jean-Luc Mélenchon... and, on the other, the extreme right of the ‘Rassemblement National’ (RN) of Marine Le Pen, who obtained a record 89 seats.”

Though not a Corbyn type of left – mired by strands of antisemitism – the NUPES coalition is likely to be more prone to accepting the anti-Israel narrative, from the BDS campaign to the “neo-Apartheid” travesty, from the ICC charges to embracing the PLO’s agenda...

Le Pen will lead an anti-Muslim and anti-migration agenda, which we had paraphrased as: “First they will attack the People of Friday, and then the People of Saturday!”

Le Pen’s ambiguous sympathy towards Putin may be silenced vis-a-vis the Ukrainian situation.

“France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, and his Government, led by Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, value French secularism and respect of minorities, thus should remain close to our issues.”

Nevertheless, one other measure is the growing presence of French Jews in Israel, buying homes in areas viewed as “Little France,” where baguettes and croissants are replacing burekas and hummus.

“The next stop will be the 2024 European Parliament elections,” concluded Samuels.