French PM Criticized for Being Under 'Jewish Influence' of His Wife

Local politician continues string of officials attacking Manuel Valls' position on Israel, Jewish community.

France's Prime Minister Manuel Vall at a dinner of the Representative Council of France's Jewish Associations (CRIF) in Paris, Monday, March 7, 2016.
AP

A French deputy mayor on Facebook urged the country’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, to stop his support for Jews, which the local politician attributed to Valls’ Jewish wife.

The post by Jallal Chouaoui, a deputy mayor of the northern municipality of Nogent-sur-Oise for the centrist UDI party, featured a claim often made against Valls, which traces his staunch opposition to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism to his marriage to Anne Gravoin.

In 2011, Valls said his marriage to Anne Gravoin connected him “in an eternal way” to Israel and the Jewish people.

“The position taken by Manuel Valls on the Jewish community is well known notably by his marriage to a Jewish woman,” Chouaoui wrote in the March 8 post, according to a report Tuesday on the website Actualite Juive. While noting he does not oppose politicians supporting the Jewish community, Valls’ case “is ridiculous and totally abusive,” Chouaoui wrote. “As a simple French citizen I want to say, damn it, enough!”

Noting France’s financial and social problems, Chouaoui urged Valls to “mind France and simple French citizens.”

In recent years, several French well-known individuals criticized Valls for his statements that anti-Zionist equals or leads to anti-Semitism, and for his opposition to the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, among other “career anti-Semites,” as Valls has termed them.

During a talk in January before members of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, Valls condemned former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, who last year said Valls is “under Jewish influence” because of his wife.

“It is anti-Semitism of the worst kind,” Valls said of Dumas, “and certain compulsive anti-Semites act on the fact that my wife is Jewish.”

In 2014, Nicolas Anelka, a soccer star, said Valls’ wife influenced him to oppose Dieudonne’s antics.