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Yad Vashem reacts to Jean Marie Le Pens success in France's Presidential Primaries

22 April 2002

The electoral support for Jean Marie Le Pen is the latest signpost in a constellation of events in Europe that Yad Vashem views with concern.

Le Pen, a man with extreme xenophobic ideas who has trivialized the Holocaust, saying the gas chambers were just a detail of history, has gained the support of about one-fifth of the French electorate. At the same time antisemitic acts have become endemic throughout France and other parts of Europe. Part in parcel to this, Israel is being attacked in the media with loaded terms drawn from the lexicon of the Holocaust. Beyond being offensive, these appellations pervert and desecrate the Holocaust and its six million Jewish victims who were murdered in the heart of modern Europe.

Yad Vashem calls upon all Europeans to engage in a serious process of soul-searching. Why is this happening and toward what is it leading?