French Jewish students accuse Far left candidate of “sliding towards antisemitism”

The Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) published a series of tweets following the announcement by the far left  La France Insoumise (LFI) party to present the journalist-activist Taha Bouhafs as a candidate for the upcoming legislative elections.

The UEJF explained why Bouhafs candidacy, in the constituency of Venissieux is problematic, citing his tweets and statements, such as one in which he referred Charlie Hebdo journalists as “lice”, in 2019.

At the same time, Bouhafs gave his “support” to since-dissolved Islamist associations such as Baraka City and the CCIF. He also wrote to former presidential candidate Benoit Hamon: “Holy Benoît, it’s the CRIF dinner soon: are you afraid of being deprived of your petits fours?,” a reference to the annual dinner of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF).

“As a bonus, Taha Bouhafs often uses the attack on Israel to slide into antisemitism. This is logically enough for France Insoumise not to support him as a candidate, or at least for the Republican parties to make his candidacy a ‘no-go’,” the UEJF also wrote.

Faced with this candidacy, President Emmanuel Macron said he was “stunned”, according to the Canard Enchainé newspaper.

Nevertheless, the main “insoumis” leaders have defended Bouhafs.

The LFI party  and its leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon have been repeatedly accused of antisemitism. In 2019, several politicians accused Mélenchon who came third in last month’s presidential election of having a “problem with antisemitism”, after he had attacked on his blog the “arrogant proclamations of the CRIF communitarians”.

The candidate had denied any accusation of antisemitism, denouncing “petty, underhanded and unbearable” practices while criticising the CRIF again.

Shortly before, he had already criticised “the thick, violent communitarianism”, and according to him “aggressive” towards him of the CRIF.

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