French Far Right Joins March to Honor Jewish Murder Victim

A march to honor Mireille Knoll will take place in Paris later on Wednesday, organized by Crif, an umbrella organization of French Jewish groups, but Crif's leader tells far-right and far-left groups not to attend

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A man stands in front of a picture of Mireille Knoll and a message announcing a "Marche Blanche" condemning the alleged anti-Semitic motive for of her killing, placed on the fence surrounding her building in Paris on March 27, 2018.
A man stands in front of a picture of Mireille Knoll and a message announcing a "Marche Blanche" condemning the alleged anti-Semitic motive for of her killing, in Paris on March 27, 2018. Credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP
Reuters
Reuters

France's far-right National Front and far-left France Unbowed movement said they would take part in a march on Wednesday to honor a Holocaust survivor killed in a suspected anti-Semitic attack, despite calls by a Jewish group for them not to attend.

Mireille Knoll, 85, was found dead with 11 stab wounds at her apartment in a working-class district of Paris on Friday. The apartment was set ablaze after the attack and her body badly burnt. Police suspect that part of the motive for the killing was because Knoll was Jewish.

A march to honor her will take place in Paris later on Wednesday, organized by Crif, an umbrella organization of French Jewish groups. But Crif's leader told far-right and far-left groups not to attend.

"Anti-Semites are over-represented in the far-left and the far-right, making those parties ones that you don't want to be associated with," Crif director Francis Kalifat told RTL radio. "Therefore they are not welcome."

His comments underscore the enduring tension and alarm among France's 400,000-strong Jewish community over anti-Semitism, which Interior Minister Gerard Collomb on Tuesday described as a cancer that must not be allowed to eat away at the nation.

This photo provided by Daniel Knoll shows Mireille Knoll, 85.Credit: Daniel Knoll/AP

But while Crif was adamant about the far-right and far-left staying away, Knoll's son Daniel said the rally should be open to everyone.

"Crif is playing politics but I'm just opening my heart," he told RMC radio, saying a ban was not the right approach.

Other rallies in honor of Knoll, who narrowly escaped being deported to Auschwitz during World War Two, when 13,000 Jews were rounded up in July 1942 at the Vel d'Hiv velodrome in Paris, are planned in Lyon, Marseille and Strasbourg.

The far-left said it would take part.

"We had planned to take part in the rally and will be there no matter what," France Unbowed lawmaker Adrien Quatennens told LCP TV. "Being associated with anti-Semitism is unbearable."

The National Front said officials including leader Marine Le Pen, who has strived to rid the party of the anti-Semitic associations it gained under her father, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, would attend the Paris march.

Ministers in President Emmanuel Macron's government said the rally should be a moment of national unity.

"Everybody is welcome to come and honor the memory of this woman today," government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told Radio Classique.

Despite Marine Le Pen's efforts to modernize her party, France's top court provided a reminder of its past -- it confirmed on Tuesday the conviction and her father for describing the Nazi gas chambers as a "detail" of history, and reaffirmed a 30,000 euro fine against him.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can