POLITICAL – “I’m even willing to admit I misspoke.” But, then, what did Jean-Luc Mélenchon mean? The leader of France rebellious to the next presidential election is singled out this Friday, October 29 for having made the link between the political positions of Eric Zemmour and the “traditions” linked to Judaism.

Guest of BFMTV, Thursday, October 28, on his return from a trip to Guyana, the deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône, credited with 7 to 10% in the voting intentions, was questioned on the words of Rabbi Haim Korsia, who estimates that the far-right polemicist is anti-Semitic.

“He is wrong,” replied Jean-Luc Mélenchon, after having qualified the cleric as a “rabbi-politician” and before elaborating: “that a Jew is anti-Semitic is news. I tried at the time, it made me smile because I like this type of paradox, I said to myself, ‘but how is such a thing possible.’ (…) it seems to me. that he is mistaken. Mr. Zemmour must not be anti-Semitic because he reproduces many cultural scenarios ‘we do not change anything in the tradition, we do not move, creolization my god what a horror’, all that, these are traditions that are very much linked to the Judaism. It has its merits, it has allowed it to survive in history. “

And finally he added: “So I don’t think he’s anti-Semitic. Well, I don’t know, it’s not really my problem. He’s a racist, that’s for sure since he was convicted of it. “

An answer given at the very end of the interview, summed up in a tweet this late Friday morning, which has since been widely echoed on social networks, amid accusations of anti-Semitism. After influential accounts, such as the boss of Mediapart Edwy Plenel, who qualifies the exit as a “political and moral fault”, several political leaders seized on the sequence.

Very shocked by Mélenchon’s anti-Semitic remarks yesterday on BFM: “Zemmour is not anti-Semitic” and “reproduces the traditions linked to Judaism”. We can give him the benefit of the doubt 1 time, 2 times, 3 times but at some point stop. pic.twitter.com/AZ1J8Ec9Eo

“The worst of the worst has just been said”, for the far-right MEP Gilbert Collard, when, Christophe Castaner, believes, for his part, that the Insubordinate “has crossed the last limits” with “remarks to most despicable references. ” “Nothing, ever, justifies falling into anti-Semitism,” wrote the leader of the walkers in the National Assembly in a tweet. “Nausea”, adds her colleague Aurore Bergé, still on social networks, “to fight an opponent of the Republic by using the worst anti-Semitic clichés.”

For a long time I saw in @JLMelenchon who he was: Republican, defender of our common values. But with these words with the most abject references, he crossed the last limits. Nothing, ever, justifies sinking into anti-Semitism.pic.twitter.com / UoT5rLlCmt

This is not the first time that Jean-Luc Mélenchon has been accused in such terms. “Again and again. On each occasion the accusation of anti-Semitism comes back like a refrain against me by the same haters ”, he wrote, of himself, on his Facebook page, this Friday, adding:“ Formerly Liberation showed how the accusation had been launched and fueled by the far right with the support of the ‘Republican Spring’. But it starts again. Without foundation, without argument, all about and above all irrelevant. ”

In 2019, for example, the boss of the rebels had commented on his blog on the historic defeat of Labor Jeremy Corbyn in the British elections by attacking the “arrogant oukases of the communitarians of the CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France)”. Enough to trigger, already, the first indignant reactions from part of the political class.

This Friday, however, Jean-Luc Mélenchon recognizes an awkwardness. He says he is “ready to admit” that he “misses the point”. “I gave rise to interpretations which are the opposite of what I think”, he writes, before adding: “One after the other ALL the spokespersons of our political movement in the world in were each accused in turn for the same purpose of personal stigma. ”

On Twitter, it was his personal guard who organized the response. Few of the rebellious leaders have not reacted on Twitter, speeches, rallies or political debate in support. “Jean-Luc Mélenchon has always firmly fought anti-Semitism”, writes the president of the LFI group to the Assembly, Mathilde Panot, when the number 2 of the movement, Adrien Quatennens, multiplies the tweets or retweets on the subject.

. @ JLMelenchon has always firmly fought anti-Semitism. Take a closer look at his struggles over the years. Read our program. You will see our consistency in the fight against this poison of anti-Semitism. Stop at #MelenchonBashing! Pic.twitter.com/SJlU6IgG1q

A few minutes earlier, an extremist group violently expelled us from the march in tribute to Madame #MireilleKnoll. I do not tolerate accusing Jean-Luc #Melenchon of anti-Semitism. There are already too many anti-Semites in this country. Change the disc! # MelenchonBashingpic.twitter.com / ygG3LSJzwc

He recalls in particular the presence of many personalities of rebellious France at the white march in tribute to Mireille Knoll in March 2018, or the recurring attacks already suffered by his candidate and his troops. A mobilization that makes the hashtag “mélenchonbasching” one of the most used, and therefore one of the most discussed themes, at the time of writing. What to extinguish or maintain the controversy?

See also on The HuffPost: Zemmour targets journalists with a gun, “horrifying” for Marlène Schiappa

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