Saturday, October 31, 2015

Marine Le Pen and the Jewish Vote

Jérôme Fourquet has taken up the question of the Jewish vote for the FN in Slate.fr. As Fourquet himself points out, this is a difficult question to investigate, because ethnic statistics are hard to come by in France and major polling organizations do not break down results along ethnic lines. Hence inferences about ethnic group voting patterns have to be inferred indirectly from precinct-level electoral results and known residential patterns. The results are never as clear as one might like. Nevertheless, Fourquet concludes that there has been a modest but discernible increase of Jewish support for the Front National as Marine Le Pen has shifted the party's discourse to downplay antisemitic themes and to emphasize concerns about "insecurity" at home and support for Israel abroad. As Jewish-Muslim tensions increase in France, so does Jewish support for the Front National. At the same time, as Fourquet is careful to note, the Jewish vote for the FN remains below the national average and largely confined to specific urban areas where Jewish-Muslim tensions have been particularly high.

14 comments:

dimitatu said...

Politics is history on the wing! What other sphere of human activity calls forth all that is most noble in men's souls, and all that is most base? Or has such excitement?' Cicero, in Robert Harris's 'Imperium'

dimitatu

Anonymous said...

Ye, and there were German Jews who voted for Hitler in 1933 too...

alexis said...

If hand wringers don't want to see the French, Jews or Gentiles, fall into the arms of the FM,they need to rediscover the concept of national sovereignty, and quick. A few more decades of diversity deluge and the demographics will be such that this won't even be a question anymore. Memo to the ahistorical: when a critical mass of a culture with no plans to assimilate is reached, it doesn't get assimilated. Rather, it enjoys the low hanging fruit of host society while rejecting much of its substance. See: the Mongols, the Ottomans, the Germans of late Rome, etc.

bert said...

Note to Art. Post on european antisemitism and you will necessarily attract commenters like Alexis.

From me, a question rather than a comment. Is that strange lovein between Dieudonné and J-M Le Pen relevant here? Is there a straightforward split between the old antisemitic detail-of-history FN and the muslim-hating racists now running the detoxified party?

Anonymous said...

Well said @Alexis. Merkel's moment of migrant madness looks set to be the trigger for the biggest right-wing backlash seen in Europe in 70 years.

The chancellor's self-serving emoting will see her swept away as the Germans come to grips with the fearsome realities and enormous costs of what she has done.

A dozen EU leaders and senior officials have been ringing alarm bells for weeks warning of the demise of the EU project. Merkel's fanatical foolishness is a gourmet feast for Marine le Pen and her political colleagues across the EU - just look at reactions in the Visegrad Group.

The Brusselocrats miserably bungled Europe's sovereign debt crisis and their on-the-hoof "migrant policy" is proving even more disastrous. The lack of plain common sense evinced by so-called EU leaders is breathtaking.

Note to Brent: Islam is a religion not a race. The term "muslim-hating racists" is a crude inappropriate slur unless of course you subscribe to the Orwellian reworking of the meaning of words embraced by the progressive lawyers at the UN and the EU.

bert said...

You have me confused with someone else.
Not the only source of your confusion. The FN is racist. Even when the leadership are choosing their words carefully the dogwhistle is obvious. To suggest otherwise only makes you look foolish.

At least you appear to be a real person. There's a stink of 55 Savushkina elsewhere on this thread.

Anonymous said...

@Bert Sorry name typo.

The phrase in your original post was "muslim-hating racists". Of course you may call the FN (or anyone else) "racist" if that pleases you, but you are confused when you adjectivally correlate such name calling ('racist' ie someone dismissive of other humans on the basis of their 'race') with opposition to a religion -- here, that professed by Muslims.

There are believers in the religion of Islam (ie Muslims)in many countries -- and they come from many different racial groups. What binds them is their religious belief not their blood.

In a democracy people are perfectly free to criticise any religion -- Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Zoroastrianism etc -- as the late Charlie Hebdo editorial team perfectly well illustrated.

It is however, imprecise and an etymological confusion to slur them as "racists" for doing so.

Art Goldhammer said...

Dear Anonymous, When you refer to the religion "professed by Muslims," you are equally guilty of conflating under a single collective noun a variety of beliefs. Although you do not ascribe a similarity of political attitudes to self-identified Muslims, you do seem to accept the assertion of the other Anonymous commenter that adherents to Islam who immigrate to Europe have "no interest" in assimilation. Such sweeping judgments of large groups of people are not helpful. Not all prejudices are racist, but they are prejudices.

bert said...

The detoxified FN is a party of muslim-hating racists.
Nothing whatsoever wrong with that statement, conceptually or otherwise.
Get back in your box.

bernard said...

Bert is of course right. Furthermore, to paraphrase Larry Summers, there are idiots, likely equally distributed among religious, ethnic, nations, races,anonymouses, blog commentators etc.

brent said...

re: 'muslim-hating racists'
'Race' is a biologically indeterminate category, a social fiction. So while 'Muslim' doesn't define a race (nor does 'white', 'Caucasian,' black', etc.) with any accuracy, racism is not limited by racial pseudo-typologies. Yes of course there are 'muslim-hating racists', not because Muslims constitute a race but because racists think they do. To Art's point, the other typologies--around degrees of assimilation, secularity, cultural identification and so forth are where the discussions would be useful (in the US as well as Europe), since migration, Muslim and otherwise, isn't going to stop--not even with Trump's or LePen's fanciful fences.

Parenthetically, I find that hijabs can be great enhancers of feminine beauty. As this seems to be an important element in traditional French culture, I would encourage French observers to open their eyes and cultivate a similar appreciation.

Massilian said...

The very introduction of Jerôme Fourquet is questionnable. The "lock" allegedly preventing moslems to vote for a FN candidate was broken easily in the Marseille "municipales" when the FN Stephane Ravier was elected in the 13e and 14e arrdt (part of the (in)famous quartiers Nord). I personaly know one moslem voter who voted for Ravier and he clearly stated he wasn't the only one to do so, because he wasn't the only one who was fed up with the PS and the UMP, fed up to live in a "zone de non droit", fed up with the dealers, the shoot outs between dealers, fed up with the big show of police forces for the tv news and ridiculous results. Most of the comments above are highly intellectual and ideological and do not take into consideration what is happening "sur le terrain" and how real people react to it. The locals here are not interested at all in who does or doesn't "joue le jeu du FN" among the elite of the political class. They react to the things that affect them. Period.

Mitch Guthman said...

@ Bret,

I do not see the relevance of your point about whether a woman can be attractive wearing a hijab. I believe that many French people who object to it, particularly those on the left, do so not on aesthetic grounds but rather because it is an ostentatious public display of religious affiliation that is inappropriate in a secular public space. This is particularly true as regards schools and other public buildings.

@ Massillon,

I think you’re right about how the FN will unlock the Muslim vote. They are the only ones (apart from Melenchon) who are still talking about good governance, fighting crime and anti austerity. The new “business friendly,” supply-side PS really doesn’t seem to have much to offer to its traditional constituencies.

What’s more, I think Fourquet has missed a large part of a paradox that we've been discussing here for several years. Like Bert, my first thought was of the Dieudonné affair. Unless I misunderstood Fourquet, this affair and its larger implications was something that really needed to be addressed in that article (even if only to say that there are no such implications).

It seems to me that the FN will unlock the Muslim vote with anti-austerity and the promise of a better life as Massillon describes, but the Dieudonné affair suggests that another basis for the FN’s outreach to Muslims that is worth thinking about, namely, a shared hatred of the Jews.

But this outreach to the Muslims is taking place even as the FN has been trying for quite some time to unlock the Jewish vote with thinly veiled and some not so thinly veiled attacks on Muslims. The appeal to the Jews being that they should let bygones be bygones and focus on the immediate and far greater threat presented by Muslims. It seems to me that the paradox is that the FN is successfully making essentially an identical appeal to two groups who despise each other even knowing that the FN despises them both.

By the way, if it turns out that there actually are some silly Jews who are tempted to take the FN up on its offer of friendship, I would advise them to be sure and bring very long spoons when they dine at Chez Le Pen.

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