French far-right leader Marine Le Pen said French Jews should give up the wearing of yarmulkes as part of the country’s struggle to defeat radical Islam.
In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 that aired Friday, Le Pen expressed support for banning the wearing of yarmulkes as part of her broader effort to outlaw religious symbols in public, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle reported Sunday.
“Honestly, the dangerous situation in which Jews in France live is such that those who walk with a kippah are in any case a minority because they are afraid,” Le Pen said, using the Hebrew word for yarmulke. “But I mainly think the struggle against radical Islam should be a joint struggle and everyone should say, ‘There, we are sacrificing something.’”
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Referring to French Jews, Le Pen added: “Maybe they will do with just wearing a hat, but it would be a step in the effort to stamp out radical Islam in France.”
Le Pen is a leading contender in the upcoming French presidential contest, with a recent poll showing her advancing to the second round of balloting in May but still losing handily to front-runner Emmanuel Marcon. Her political party, the National Front, was founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who routinely minimized the Holocaust.
The younger Le Pen has sought to move the party past her father’s controversies, but French Jewish leaders still consider the National Front anti-Semitic.
In the latest polls, Independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron is seen beating Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election run-off, as Macron's score is edging up, showed an Opinionway poll published Tuesday.
Opinionway's daily poll of voting intentions said Le Pen would get the biggest score in round one of the election in April, with Le Pen obtaining 25 percent of votes, compared to 23 percent for Macron.
Francois Fillon, candidate for The Republicans right-wing party who has been hit by allegations concerning his wife's work for him, would get 20 percent but would be eliminated after the first round.
In the second round, Macron was seen winning with 66 percent - up slightly from his score in Opinionway's poll on Feb. 6 which had showed Macron getting 65 percent of votes.