Saturday, November 12, 2011

Marine Le Pen Courts American Jews

A fascinating analysis by Arun Kapil of the Front National's relations with American conservatives from the time Jean-Marie Le Pen to the current effort by Marine Le Pen to court conservative American Jews can be found here. A small excerpt from a long, thorough, and intriguing analysis:

A new trend in the European populist right, which seeks to enlist Jews in its campaign against Islam and Muslims (e.g. Geert Wilders). But French Jews, who have voted in their large majority for the left over the years but are now moving right—Jews were enthusiastic supporters of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007—, are deaf to Marine LP’s siren song. The far right, on account of its history and sociological composition, is radioactive among Jews, but also the Israelis, who have shown no interest in Mme Le Pen’s overtures. Acceptance by Jews is the key to making the FN respectable and in breaking down the wall between it and the mainstream right. So if Marine LP can’t get to French Jews via Israel, she’ll try to do so via their American counterparts.
After her stopovers in Washington and New York, she flew to south Florida, with Jews and Republicans the twin objective. On Saturday November 5th a reception was held for her at the plush Palm Beach home of Bill Diamond, a wealthy realtor and member of the Palm Beach town council, and to which some 200 mostly Jewish Republicans were invited (here and here). Diamond, a prominent member of the local Jewish community, is pals with Rudolph Giuliani—he was a top Giuliani appointee in New York and a financier of his 2008 presidential campaign—, was Florida co-chair of the recent Draft Trump boomlet, and is a local fundraiser for AIPAC (here, here, and here). Mme Le Pen’s intermediary in all this—her US fixer—was one Guido George Lombardi, an Italian-American operator, friends with Donald Trump and Silvio Berlusconi so it seems, a leader of something called “Tea Party Italy”—”which has brought the values of small government and more personal freedom to Italy”—, and the executive director of an outfit called the North Atlantic League, “which promotes positive foreign relations between Italy, Israel, and the United States”… (here and here).

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