French official says Éric Zemmour is adding to France’s antisemitism problem

According to a French official, the shocking statements of Éric Zemmour, the Jewish far-right polemist and potential presidential candidate, about Pétain and Dreyfus strengthen the clichés about powerful Jews and their double allegiance.

Jewish right-wing Éric Zemmour has not yet announced a political run but is still considered President Emmanuel Macron’s most serious challenger in the upcoming presidential elections.

Marion Lenne, a lawmaker for the centrist La République En Marche! party and Secretary for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, was referring to Zemmour’s statements from earlier this year about the Dreyfus Affair, in which he claimed that Albert Dreyfus, the French-Jewish army captain of German descent, whose false prosecution is still considered a symbol of modern-day injustice and antisemitism in the Francophone world, may have been targeted „for being German, not for being Jewish.” Zemmour also claims that Philippe Pétain, Chief of State of Vichy, France, collaborating with Nazi Germany in World War II, sacrificed foreign Jews to save local ones. Although some historians agree with this statement, many strongly oppose it, saying that the Vichy government also betrayed French Jews.

Last month, French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia publicly called Zemmour an antisemite, attracting strong criticism. Zemmour responded to the allegations: „The chief rabbi said I was an antisemite and not really a Jew. Non-Jews who hear this have a reaction ranging from disbelief to mockery. It’s grotesque,” Zemmour said.

Éric Zemmour has been urged several times by his political supporters to run for office but so far declined the position. Nevertheless, although he has not yet announced his candidacy for the 2022 French elections, he is considered Emmanuel Macron’s most serious challenger.