Israel Slams Le Pen's Remarks Denying French Role in Holocaust

French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon rallied his supporters on Sunday as multiple polls suggested the Communist-backed candidate is gaining momentum with two weeks of campaigning left.

She added that this in no way exonerated those who participated in "the vile roundup of Vel d'Hiv and all the atrocities committed during that period".

"Those who were in power at the time" would seemingly refer to Nazi Germany, whose occupation of France surely made it hard to defy orders to hand over Jews.

She added: "I think that generally speaking if there are people responsible, it's those who were in power at the time. It is not France".

Macron, an independent centrist, was among many presidential candidates' voices criticizing Le Pen's comments Monday.

The ministry's statement also said: "This recognition underpins the annual events marking the anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews from France and the study of the Holocaust in the education system, both of which are important elements in the battle against anti-Semitism, which unfortunately is once again raising its head".

He alluded to the fact that Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted several times already for contesting crimes against humanity and stating that the gas chambers used to kill Jews were a mere "detail" of history. A self-described patriot, Le Pen hopes to extract France from the European Union and do away with France's membership in the shared euro currency.

Le Pen and her closest allies will hit the airwaves in a series of interviews meant to sway voters tempted by her vision of a nationalist France, unburdened by the European Union and the euro currency.

The Vel' d'Hiv Roundup was a Nazi directed raid and mass arrest of Jews in Paris by the French police on 16 and 17 July 1942.

French presidential election candidate for the En Marche! movement Emmanuel Macron gestures at the end of a speech during a campaign meeting in Furiani, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica, on April 7, 2017.

Mrs. Marine Le Pen claims to be the "authentic" heir to the Gaullist tradition.

After decades of denial, Chirac in 1995 became the first French president to publicly acknowledge France's role in the deportations of Jews, issuing a long-awaited public apology at the start of his first term in office.

"We can't accept the National Front candidate coming to our territory to spread her message, which is stamped with the seal of hate and straightforward anti-Corsicanism", the group wrote.

Le Pen's latest remarks will do little to disprove her rivals' belief that she has failed to the Front National's image and move it away from the anti-Semitic rhetoric employed by her father, the party's former leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

The French affiliate of the World Jewish Congress blasted the younger Le Pen's comments.



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