Tuesday, March 15, 2016

801 Roger Waters of Pink Floyd: musicians who oppose Israel are labelled Nazi & anti-Semite, their careers destroyed

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd: musicians who oppose Israel are labelled
Nazi & anti-Semite, their careers destroyed

Newsletter published on 20 February 2016

(1) Roger Waters of Pink Floyd: musicians who oppose Israel are labelled
Nazi & anti-Semite, their careers destroyed
(2) No Nazis here. Stop Le Pen (2013)
(3) Marine Le Pen sparks protest on Cambridge visit (2013)
(4) Ex-aide to Jean-Marie Le Pen: ‘Zionists, Freemasons’ control French
media
(5) Marine Le Pen crowned  ‘Liar of the year’ by French journalists,
over migrant comments
(6) Marine Le Pen's Party asks Russia for €27 Million loan to finance
election campaign

(1) Roger Waters of Pink Floyd: musicians who oppose Israel are labelled
Nazi & anti-Semite, their careers destroyed


From: "Ken Freeland diogenesquest@gmail.com [shamireaders]" Date: Sat,
20 Feb 2016 14:49:30 -0600

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/roger-waters-pink-floyd-israel-boycott-ban-palestine-a6884971.html

Roger Waters: Pink Floyd star on why his fellow musicians are terrified
to speak out against Israel

Exclusive: 'If they say something they will no longer have a career – I
have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite'

Paul Gallagher

Saturday 20 February 2016 16:18 BST

American musicians who support boycotting Israel over the issue of
Palestinian rights are terrified to speak out for fear their careers
will be destroyed, according to Roger Waters.

The Pink Floyd star – a prominent supporter of the boycott, divestment
and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel since its inception 10 years
ago – said the experience of seeing himself constantly labelled a Nazi
and anti-Semite had scared people into silence.

"The only response to BDS is that it is anti-Semitic," Waters told The
Independent, in his first major UK interview about his commitment to
Israeli activism. "I know this because I have been accused of being a
Nazi and an anti-Semite for the past 10 years.

"My industry has been particularly recalcitrant in even raising a voice
[against Israel]. There’s me and Elvis Costello, Brian Eno, Manic Street
Preachers, one or two others, but there’s nobody in the United States
where I live. I’ve talked to a lot of them, and they are scared s***less.

"If they say something in public they will no longer have a career. They
will be destroyed. I’m hoping to encourage some of them to stop being
frightened and to stand up and be counted, because we need them. We need
them desperately in this conversation in the same way we needed
musicians to join protesters over Vietnam."

Waters likened Israeli treatment of Palestinians to apartheid South
Africa. "The way apartheid South Africa treated its black population,
pretending they had some kind of autonomy, was a lie," he said.

"Just as it is a lie now that there is any possibility under the current
status quo of Palestinians achieving self-determination and achieving,
at least, a rule of law where they can live and raise their children and
start their own industries. This is an ancient, brilliant, artistic and
very humane civilisation that is being destroyed in front of our eyes."

A trip to Israel in 2006, where Waters had planned to play a gig in Tel
Aviv and the end of the European leg of his Dark Side of the Moon Live
tour, transformed his view of the Middle East.

After speaking to Palestinian artists as well as Israeli anti-government
protesters, who called on him to use the gig as a platform to speak out
against Israeli foreign policy, he switched the concert from Hayarkon
Park to Neve Shalom, an Arab/Israeli peace village. But as the tickets
had already been sold, the audience was still entirely Jewish Israeli.

Waters said: "It was very strange performing to a completely segregated
audience because there were no Palestinians there. There were just
60,000 Jewish Israelis, who could not have been more welcoming, nice and
loyal to Pink Floyd. Nevertheless, it left an uncomfortable feeling."

He travelled around the West Bank towns of Jenin, Ramallah and Nablus,
seeing how the two communities were segregated – and also visited the
security barrier separating Israel from the Occupied Territories
spraying a signed message from his seminal work "Another Brick in the
Wall", which read: "We don’t need no thought control".

Waters soon joined the BDS movement, inviting opprobrium and
condemnation for daring to do what so few musicians are prepared to.
"I’m glad I did it," he says, as people in Israeli are "treated very
unequally depending on their ethnicity. So Palestinian Israeli citizens
and the Bedouin are treated completely different from Jewish citizens.
There are 40 to 50 different laws depending on whether you are or you
are not Jewish."

Waters expected to be shouted down by critics, but it is the Nazi
accusations that he considers the most absurd, especially given that his
father, Lt Eric Waters of the 8th Royal Fusilliers, died aged 31
fighting the Nazis at Anzio, Italy, in early 1944. His body was never
found but his name is commemorated at the Commonwealth War Graves
cemetery at Monte Cassino.

(2) No Nazis here. Stop Le Pen (2013)
http://www.smh.com.au/world/the-devils-granddaughter-20130728-2qthd.html

The devil's granddaughter?

     August 3, 2013

Welcome to the new, glamorous face of fascism. Jane Wheatley meets
Marion Le Pen and her aunt Marine, part of a far-right dynasty intent on
reshaping French politics.

I am due to meet France’s youngest MP in her office at the country’s
National Assembly but am prevented by a cordon of police and barricades
holding back thousands of protestors. The Assembly is voting this
afternoon on a bill legalising same sex-marriage and demonstrators on
both sides of the debate are out in force. I call her press assistant,
who comes out to get me. "The French love their demonstrations," he
says, as a policeman waves us through the barriers.

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, of the far right Front National (FN) party, sits
at her desk by an open window with a view through the leaves of a plane
tree onto a small square below. There is a faint smell of cigarettes in
the room and I think that, like so many young women in France, Marion is
probably a smoker.

     Marine is, in fact, far more dangerous than her father ever was.

Dressed in black pants and fitted jacket over a crisp, white shirt with
a small gold chain at her throat, Marion talks fast and fluently, though
perhaps a little too much and too eagerly – like a student who has done
her homework and wants you to know it.

Here she is on globalisation: "A form of protectionism should be
enforced at national level, at least on strategic areas such as
agriculture."

And on membership of the European Union: "Choosing Europe is suicidal,
even more so with intra- as well as extra-Europe competition."

On social policy: "French people should be prioritised; clandestine
immigrants get 100 per cent refund on healthcare while two-thirds of
French people can’t afford medical help. Charity begins at home."

How did she vote in today’s debate on same-sex marriage? The FN is
radically opposed, she says: "It is not homophobia; it is because
[same-sex marriage] opens the door to adoption. Love is important but
not always enough. I think it is egotistical for people to knowingly
deprive a child of having both a mother and a father just because they
want a child."

What about single-parent families? "Generally it’s a way for homosexuals
to adopt."

Would she like to have children herself? "Well," she smiles, "I need to
find my soul mate first. The life of a female politician makes it hard
to combine personal life and work, but I think it is almost a patriotic
duty to have children."

Marion belongs to a political dynasty. Her grandfather is Jean-Marie Le
Pen, the 84-year-old father of France’s extreme right: founder of the
Front National, bruiser, patriot and, in the eyes of the country’s bien
pensant middle classes, devil incarnate. Marion’s aunt is Marine Le Pen,
who at 44, after doing the hard yards in municipal politics, was elected
– some might say anointed – president of the FN when her father retired
in 2010 and is an MEP in the European Parliament. In the first round of
the 2012 presidential elections, Marine won almost a fifth of the vote
behind Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. The same year, her niece
Marion became a deputy (MP) in the National Assembly, at 22 the youngest
in the history of the republic.

Thanks to Marine and Marion, the FN has increased its support among
women and young people – 30 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted for
Marine in the presidential elections – and Marion says she is proud to
represent patriotic youth: "Being so young is an asset, people see it as
a kind of purity – it’s hard to imagine someone as young as me being
corrupted already!"

Marion Maréchal-Le Pen’s parliamentary seat is Carpentras, in the
Vaucluse region of the rural south. A bus takes me from the former papal
seat of Avignon, past the stout city walls and past several posters of
Marine Le Pen’s face bearing the legend, "Oui, la France".

Carpentras was once a thriving market town surrounded by fertile fields
and orchards. "It was known as the bread basket of France," local hotel
manager Frédéric Van Orshoven tells me. "Then the trucks came from
Spain, straight up the new motorway to Paris, and Carpentras began to
collapse."

Thirty years ago the region imported labour from North Africa –
Tunisians and Moroccans, known as Magrebs – to work in the fields and
processing plants.

"We needed them," explains Van Orshoven. "But now the next generation
are unemployed, hanging about in gangs, dealing drugs. Their women wear
the veil [frowned on in aggressively secular France] and we have two
mosques, one of them fundamentalist."

Can the town’s new deputy do anything useful? He shrugs: "What can she
do – throw them away? They are French after all." In the market the next
morning I find two elderly woman gossiping: what do they think of Marion?

"She is very pretty, very agreeable, always smiling, but what she
proposes is impossible," says one, prodding me gently in the chest.
"Return France to the French? It is too late for that. There are Magreb
women here of my age, they have children and grandchildren."

In a playground in one of the squares, two well-dressed women, mother
and daughter, are watching a toddler on the swings. "This Le Pen girl is
parachuted in," says one. "You can see why people voted for her." She
nods meaningfully towards a young woman wearing a niqab. A Senegalese
woman in a colourful turban tells me: "Patriotism is good, I love my own
country, but sometimes it feels dangerous to be from somewhere else."

I walk out of town to the brand new FN office where Marion holds her
weekly meetings with constituents. Builders are hammering and drilling
while she sits at an enormous table in an otherwise empty room,
listening to problems. One woman explains she is worried for her
children’s safety because of gangs of older boys roaming the streets and
torching cars, seemingly out of reach of the police and courts.

Marion is sympathetic and attentive; she doesn’t have any ready
solutions but the woman relaxes, feeling listened to. It’s an impressive
and, I think, genuine performance from the 23-year-old.

As I leave them still chatting and smiling, I study the posters in the
foyer: several of Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marion’s grandfather, in his
younger days, looking generally virile and heroic – one of him holding
Marion as an angelic, curly headed baby – and more of her aunt Marine
during her presidential campaign.

While the junior member of the family has made a good debut and Le Pen
père trades on past glories, there is little doubt that Marine is the
big hitter just now.

These two women – blonde, statuesque Marine with something of her
father’s physicality, and Marion, slim and strikingly pretty with long,
fair hair – are the new faces of the far right.

Both are intent on what Marine has termed the de-demonisation of the
party, carefully distancing themselves from some of Jean-Marie’s more
notorious rhetoric – xenophobic, anti-Semitic, homophobic – and from the
thuggish, skinhead elements in the party. One member, captured on film
giving a Nazi salute, was summarily dismissed by Marine.

Instead, they have appeared to modernise without abandoning a right-wing
discourse: not pro-abortion but pro a woman’s right to choose; not
anti-gay but against gay marriage; not overtly racist but in favour of
draconian curbs on immigration. When Marion used her one chance, as a
new deputy, to speak in the full Assembly, she chose to protest at the
influx to French cities of poverty-stricken Romanians and Bulgarians –
known colloquially as "les Roms" – and was applauded by the House.

And the current dire economic downturn has played to the party’s
strengths: themes of anti-globalisation, protectionism and immigration
control resonating with communities struggling with 10 per cent
unemployment and the loss of traditional blue-collar jobs.

Marion grew up in the family house with her siblings and cousins and is
close to Jean-Marie. "Though he always had a busy schedule, he is not
the classic grandfather sitting with the grandchildren on his lap," she
says.

Practically everyone in the Le Pen family, including spouses and
partners, are paid-up party members and yet Marion insists they came to
their political views independently. "We don’t talk about politics
around the dinner table; there was no brainwashing. My grandparents’
passion for France was conveyed, naturally, but the FN wasn’t the
obvious route for me at first."

In fact, Marion flirted with Sarkozy’s centre-right Union for a Popular
Movement (UMP) party before joining the FN. "I didn’t support him as
such," she says, "But his character seduced me and I thought, ‘Why not?’
He galvanised people and he was a lawyer, not from high administration,
so it was a change from other politicians. My interest drifted, though,
when I saw discordance between his words and actions: he aligned too
much with the United States; he disappointed people on fiscal matters,
competition, sovereignty and especially on security. There was more
immigration under Sarkozy than under Jospin!" (Socialist Lionel Jospin
was prime minister of France from 1997 to 2002.)

Yet for all her talk of independence, the widespread and sometimes
violent antipathy towards Jean-Marie’s political extremism created a
siege mentality within the family. Marion’s mother and aunts were
children when the family apartment was bombed by anti-FN activists, and
they had a hard time from pupils and staff at the state schools chosen
for them by Jean-Marie. "He told them, ‘You will have to face the knocks
as they will last your whole life,’ " explains Marion. She, too, was
sent to a state school but changed to the private system after
experiencing similar discrimination: "Because my name, Le Pen, is
heavily charged, it unleashed a lot of passion."

Yet she chose to keep the name, along with her father’s, Maréchal. "Yes,
because despite the discrimination I’m very proud of the Le Pen name. It
is part of my political heritage."

Though Marine is now leader of the FN, Jean-Marie’s staff still refer to
him as "Monsieur le President". In the leafy confines of the family home
in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud at least, JM is still clearly le
grand fromage. During my afternoon with him, he confided that Marion was
at first reluctant to stand for election to the Assembly. "She said,
‘But grandpapa, I have my law exams.’ I told her, ‘How can we expect
young people to be involved in politics if we don’t set the example?’ So
she won her election and straight afterwards she passed her exams!"

Today, Marine Le Pen is on the cover of the weekly news and current
affairs magazine L’Express, her head thrown back, laughing, and
underneath in large type, two words: "Elle monte!" Inside, five pages
analysing the rise and rise of "the devil’s daughter", and how she has
brought the FN in from the cold, from outside the pale into mainstream
French politics.

In the 2012 presidential election, Marine stole centre-right voters from
Nicolas Sarkozy, pushing him into second place behind Francois Hollande.
The Socialist Party leader went on to win the presidency but has made a
sad fist of it, losing popularity at a cracking pace. A recent poll
concluded that in a straight race between Hollande and Le Pen, Marine
would win. Another poll revealed that 65 per cent of French people think
Marine is "courageous".

How did the woman who is, as several political commentators have warned,
a wolf in sheep’s clothing, gain so much credibility?

"Her feminine softness makes what was aggressive in the father
relatively admissible in the daughter," says Pascal Perrineau, professor
at Paris’s elite Institute for Political Studies. Commenting ahead of
the 2012 presidential race, Alain Duhamel of the left-wing Libération
newspaper went further: "She is, unfortunately, a very intelligent
woman: combative, highly polished … extremely sure of herself and her
intuitions and gifted with an incomparable aplomb. She is, in fact, far
more dangerous than her father ever was."

Last month, the European Parliament voted to strip Marine Le Pen of
diplomatic immunity, leaving the way clear for French authorities to
prosecute her for inciting racial hatred by comparing Muslim prayers in
the street to the Nazi occupation of France.

At a 2010 rally in Lyon, she told party members, "For those who like to
talk about World War II, to talk about occupation, we could talk about,
for once, the occupation of our territory. There are no armoured
vehicles, no soldiers, but it is an occupation all the same and it
weighs on people."

After the overwhelming vote against her, an unrepentant Le Pen attacked
her fellow MEPs for violating her right to freedom of expression.

Earlier this year, on a blustery spring day in England, knots of
protesters were assembling outside the Cambridge University Union,
unfurling banners in readiness for the arrival of Marine Le Pen. "No to
racism, fascism and Islamaphobia" read one, "No Nazis here. Stop Le Pen"
another.

The ancient university’s debating chamber prides itself on inviting
controversial speakers to address members. A placard reading, "Union,
you [heart sign] rapists and fascists", referred both to Le Pen and to
the recent visit of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the
International Monetary Fund, accused of raping a chambermaid in a New
York hotel.

By the time Marine Le Pen’s black BMW swings into the street at the rear
of the Union building, the crowd has swelled to several hundred and
police lines are in position. She could have been smuggled in via a
secret underground passage but chooses instead to walk to the entrance
in full view of protestors, as her father had done 10 years earlier.

A queue of ticket holders snakes around the building waiting to be
frisked by security. I ask a third-year law student why he has come.
"She got 20 per cent of the [presidential] vote," he says, "so she’s
obviously a force in French life and I think we should hear what she has
to say. Nazis didn’t come to power because people listened to them –
rather because people didn’t listen."

Every seat in the chamber is taken, there are overflow rooms packed with
people and as reporters squeeze onto a bench in the upper gallery Le Pen
makes her entrance, wearing tailored pants and a black jacket over a
low-cut blouse.

Using her hands for emphasis, blonde bob swinging, she is straight into
familiar themes: the "re-armament" of France to reclaim sovereignty from
a domineering eurocracy, the need for market regulation, the "poison" of
mass immigration, the "insult" of women in burqas and Muslim prayers in
the streets of France, and the 21st-century "totalitarianisms" of
globalisation and Islam.

By the time she and I sit down together in a room upstairs, she has
talked for an hour, faced a battery of universally hostile questions and
her deep, powerful voice is croaking a little. Her minder tells me we
can have only 10 minutes. So, we must rattle through some questions.

Why did she come?

Because, she says, the Front National has been caricatured, mainly in
the minds of the elite: "If I can show them our true face, what we
really stand for, then it is worthwhile coming here." Her party is
conflated with the extreme right National Front in Britain, she says,
when actually it is closer to the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP).

She would like to reduce immigration to France to 10,000 a year from its
current level of 250,000. How?

She would put a stop to family reunions and cut back on the right to
asylum, "which has been heavily abused". She sees no reason to welcome
nationals from former French colonies: "Having won their independence,
why should they be allowed in the country of their former colonial masters?"

Who would she let in?

She would allow a small number of "really deserving people" seeking
asylum from persecution, otherwise only those whose skills and talents
could contribute something to France.

If she were in power, what would she do for working women with families?

She would increase child-care provision but also offer a "parent salary"
to those who choose to stay home to raise children. Why does she
continue to reside in the Le Pen family home?

"We all have heavy work schedules and this way we can keep the family
links going strong. And my mother is kept very busy caring for her
grandchildren; I couldn’t do all I do without her."

When I ask about her niece, Marion, her face softens visibly: "She is
really like my own daughter," she says, "I am so proud of her."

Can these two Le Pen women alone reshape the Front National to be the
third force in French politics? Not without more MPs – although the
party achieved more than 13 per cent of the vote in the 2012 national
legislative elections, there are currently only two FN MPs in the
Assembly. But the crisis with the euro and the economic recession
gripping Europe are grist to their mill. And the FN’s anti-European
Union stance finds echoes across the channel, where the UKIP is making
inroads among Conservative Party voters.

The FN’s emphasis on protectionism, regulation of financial markets and
what Pascal Perrineau calls "welfare-state chauvinism" chime with the
rhetoric of the French left while also appealing to beleaguered
conservative voters. Writing in left-leaning US magazine The Nation
ahead of the presidential election, the French journalist Agnès Poirier
noted: "[Marine] Le Pen has cunningly surfed on the euro crisis and
blurred traditional and ideological boundaries … She [is] hunting on
everybody’s grounds, stealing from all in the most unpredictable way."

Will the UMP be forced to consider a coalition with the FN? Not at a
national level, says Gilles Ivaldi, head of research at think tank, the
National Centre for Scientific Research. "Leaders of the mainstream
right have unambiguously rejected alliance with the FN," he says.
"Coalitions between the right and extreme right are more likely to take
place at the local level, particularly in the southern regions, like
Vaucluse, where the local UMP has traditionally had closer links with
the FN."

And Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, Ivaldi says, is already set to lead the FN
municipal campaign in the south next year. I recall that in Carpentras,
hotel manager Frédéric Van Orshoven had told me that he could see Marion
as a town mayor – a position that is important in provincial France,
much more than ceremonial. It seemed such an odd idea, this slender,
educated Parisienne, chief among the stolid burghers, but he was quite
serious.

I ask Ivaldi, could Marine Le Pen be president one day? Unlikely in the
near future, he says. "The FN is still stigmatised by a majority of
voters and the party remains isolated in French politics, where there is
little space available to third parties outside of an alliance with one
of the dominant actors of the left and the right."

In the elegant upstairs room of his luxury home, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the
family patriarch, sits in a silk upholstered armchair considering the
future for his golden girls.

Le Pavillon de l’Ecuyer – the Squire’s Pavilion – is an imposing
red-brick manor screened by tall horse-chestnut trees, their creamy
candles just in flower, and set on a hill in the private, gated grounds
of Montretout Park in the affluent suburb of Saint-Cloud. From the wide,
balustraded stone terraces on ground and first floors, it seems the
whole of Paris is spread at our feet: in the distance the tower of
Montparnasse, the gold dome of Les Invalides, the roofs of Montmartre
and – if you peer round the pink froth of a splendid Japanese cherry –
the Eiffel Tower.

Through the open French windows with their pigeon-grey wooden shutters,
there are the sounds of birdsong and children’s voices – several of Le
Pen’s nine grandchildren are playing in the grounds with friends.

Of his three daughters, two still live here with their children: the
middle one, Yann, occupies converted servants’ quarters on the top floor
and the youngest, Marine, has an apartment over the former stable block.
Their mother, Le Pen’s first wife Pierette, lives in a Hansel and
Gretel-style chalet in the grounds.

After their very public split in 1987, Pierette posed for Playboy
magazine, naked save for an apron, wielding a broom in protest at her
husband’s suggestion that if she lacked money she should work cleaning
houses. There had presumably been a rapprochement at some stage? "Why,
yes," says Le Pen expansively. "I could not deprive les petites of their
grandmother."

He believes that Marion might be more talented than her aunt: "She has
started young," he says, "so will have many years to gain experience,
whereas Marine began in politics much later."

He once called Marine "une petite bourgeoise" and now explains: "It was
in comparison with my upbringing. I was born in a house with no floor.
Marine is a woman of her time, she’s had a middle-class education, she
has three children, she’s been divorced twice, women recognise
themselves in her. And men are becoming more feminine, too."

I look around the resolutely masculine room with its rows of
leather-bound books, model ships, shelves of tiny lead soldiers and
statuettes of Joan of Arc, long ago claimed by the FN as its nationalist
figurehead. What on earth does this burly former parachute officer, the
son of a Breton fisherman, make of a world in which men find their inner
female and the movement he created is now headed by a woman?

"I approve of the way Marine is leading the party," says her father,
"and the direction in which she is bringing it – she’s very capable. Our
‘man’ today is actually a woman, Jeanne d’Arc!"

(3) Marine Le Pen sparks protest on Cambridge visit (2013)

http://www.france24.com/en/20130219-marine-le-pen-protest-cambridge-union-french

Text by Sophie PILGRIM

Latest update : 2013-02-19

Hundreds of students gathered outside Cambridge University’s prestigious
debating society on Tuesday to protest a speech by French far-right
leader Marine Le Pen, whose visit sparked an outcry among anti-fascist
groups in the country.

France’s far-right darling Marine Le Pen paid a visit to the historic UK
city of Cambridge on Tuesday when she was invited to speak at the
university’s famed debating society.

Some 200 students turned out to protest the arrival of the National
Front (FN) leader, waving banners reading "No Nazis here. Stop Le Pen"
and "No platform for fascists".

The protesters were referring to comments made by Le Pen in 2010 when
she compared Muslim prayers in the streets of France with the Nazi
occupation. "For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if
it's about occupation, then we could also talk about [Muslim prayers in
the streets]," she said. "There may not be any tanks or soldiers, but it
is nevertheless an occupation."

     The protest was supported by the university's Black and Minority
Ethnic Campaign, the Cambridge Universities Labour Club, the NUS Black
Students’ Officer and the Socialist Worker movement. Posted on yfrog by
@Fio_edwards.

The demonstration against her visit on Tuesday was organised by the
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) association, which described Le Pen and her
national Front party as "deeply racist".

"Fascist organisations across Europe are attempting to take advantage of
the economic crisis and the impact of austerity, to build support," the
group said in an online statement. "Like her father, Marine Le Pen seeks
to organize a capacity for extra-parliamentary activity through rallies,
street demonstrations and links to openly ‘revolutionary nationalist’
groups," it said.

The protest was supported by the university's Black and Minority Ethnic
Campaign (BME SC), the Cambridge Universities Labour Club, the NUS Black
Students’ Officer and the Socialist Worker movement. Members of the
Cambridge University's Student Union were also in attendance.

The FN dismissed the UAF and its allies as "radical minority,
communitarian groups" and argued that Le Pen was widely respected in the
UK. "These fringe groups are bound to make noise," FN Vice President
Florian Philippot told French TV channel i-Tele on Thursday. "But the
majority of British people are very happy to welcome Marine Le Pen. They
are pleased to see that there is still a free spirit in France."

‘Don’t even know who she is’

France’s National Front party has become a popular force in French
politics since it was formed in 1972. Marine’s 2011 takeover from her
aged her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is thought to have softened the
reputation of the party. The raspy-voiced leader, who is considered
almost charming in comparison with her short-tempered father, gained an
easy third place in last year’s president election with 17.8% of the vote.

But the 44-year-old leader remains relatively unknown in the UK, where
far-right groups are gradually gaining speed but have yet to match the
electoral achievements of the FN in France.

"Up till two days ago, I did not know who Marine Le Pen was," Cambridge
law undergraduate Jinho Clement admitted in a blog on HuffPost Students.
Clement, who is also chair of Cambridge University Students’ Union,
supported Le Pen’s invitation. "For the sake of people like me who don't
know much about people like Le Pen, it makes a lot of sense to invite
her to Cambridge," he said. "Free speech ensures that societies like the
union can provide a forum for discussions like these."

The Cambridge Union Society, which prides itself on its "political
independence", is known for raising hackles both within the university
and in society at large with its choice of guests.

Le Pen joins a list of controversial figures in addressing the
prestigious university union. Dominique Strauss-Kahn paid a visit in
March 2012 and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made an appearance via
video link in November. The union has also hosted Holocaust denier David
Irving and, infamously, former fascist leader Oswald Mosley in the 1970s.

(4) Ex-aide to Jean-Marie Le Pen: ‘Zionists, Freemasons’ control French
media


http://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-aide-to-jean-marie-le-pen-zionists-freemasons-control-french-media/

Saturday, February 20, 2016 Adar I 11, 5776 10:06 pm IST

Ex-aide to Jean-Marie Le Pen: ‘Zionists, Freemasons’ control French media

Former National Front party adviser Elie Hatem once ran for mayor of
Paris district for nearly defunct monarchist movement

BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF  February 19, 2016, 2:59 am

Elie Hatem, a political adviser to former French National Front party
leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, accused "Zionists and Freemasons" of
controlling "public opinion" and the media in France.

Le Pen was removed from leading the party he founded in 2011, and the
reins were taken by his daughter Marine.

"We know that Marine Le Pen got closer to some movements that control
public opinion in France," Hatem, a Maronite Christian of Lebanese
descent, told Al Arabiya TV last week. A transcript of the interview was
translated from Arabic by MEMRI.

"She did so in order to whitewash the National Front. These movement
include Zionist movements and Freemasonry which control the press and
the government in France," Hatem said.

The Al Arabiya interviewer interrupted Hatem, saying it was up to the
French authorities responsible for the media to answer the allegations.

Hatem replied: "Even some Zionists say so, this is well known in France,
that is why everybody is afraid to talk about this. This is a sort of
dictatorship."

Hatem said he was a member of the French national movement L’action
Francaise, "a royalist movement founded by Charles Maurras."

"I am against the idea of secularism espoused by Marine Le Pen, as I
told her on several occasions," Hatem said.

"The Freemasons were behind the secularism and they founded the French
republic government on the three principles defended by Freemasonry:
liberty, equality and fraternity," he said.

In 2014, Hatem was the National Front’s candidate for mayor of the 4th
arrondissement of Paris. He was a curiosity of sorts at the time, being
the first Action Francaise member to stand for election in any capacity
in 20 years.

Action Francaise is a far-right monarchist movement established in 1899
in reaction against the support of left-wing intellectuals of Jewish
French army officer Alfred Dreyfus.

Maurras, mentioned by Hatem, became the movement’s ideologue and steered
it in a Catholicist, anti-secularist direction. Maurras called for the
reversal of the principles of the French Revolution.

Maurras was imprisoned after World War II and the movement’s popularity
waned. Its ideas, however, remain influential in some circles of the
French far right.

When Hatem ran for election, his colleagues in the National Front tried
to play down his ties to Action Francaise, presenting the movement as a
stream with the National Front more than a political entity in its own
right.

(5) Marine Le Pen crowned  ‘Liar of the year’ by French journalists,
over migrant comments

http://www.politico.eu/article/marine-le-pen-is-liar-of-the-year-french-national-front/

Marine Le Pen is ‘Liar of the year’

French journalists pick FN for dubious honor.By

SOFIA MELO

2/5/16, 6:44 PM CET

Updated 2/6/16, 6:15 AM CET

PARIS — Marine Le Pen, leader of the French far-right National Front,
was crowned "political liar of 2015" by a panel of journalists for
making false claims about migrants.

Among the comments that earned the FN leader the prize was a false claim
about the number of migrants headed towards Europe. In June, Le Pen said
around 4,500 migrants were arriving in Europe "every day" in an
interview with French channel iTélé.

Le Pen was slammed for making claims that bore little relation to
official figures from Frontex, Europe’s border agency. Frontex figures
from April 2015 showed that migrants had actually been arriving in
Europe at a rate of around 330 per day since December 2015.

The majority of Le Pen’s claims were made during French regional
elections in December, in which the FN rode a wave of anti-migrant
sentiment in the aftermath of the November 13 terror attacks.

The prize was set up in 2015 by political scientist Thomas Guénolé as a
way of holding politicians accountable. The first winner of the prize
was former President Nicolas Sarkozy, which, according to the rules,
meant he couldn’t win this year’s award.

Among those on the panel were journalists from French dailies Le Monde
and Libération.

(6) Marine Le Pen's Party asks Russia for €27 Million loan to finance
election campaign

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/marine-le-pens-party-asks-russia-for-27-million-loan/560066.html

Marine Le Pen's Party Asks Russia for €27 Million Loan

The Moscow Times

Feb. 19 2016 15:39

Last edited 15:39

Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

France's far-right National Front party has asked Russia for a
27-million-euro ($30 million) loan, claiming that the party needs it to
finance its election campaigns in 2017, The Times newspaper reported
Friday, citing the party’s treasurer.

Le Pen's party received a loan of 11 million euro from a bank with ties
to Russia in 2014. At that time, French politicians and media claimed
that the loan bought the party's public support of Russia's actions in
Ukraine, the Meduza news agency reported.

Le Pen's party claimed that the results of the Crimea referendum in
2014, followed by the annexation of the peninsula by Russia, were
legitimate, and also criticized the implementation of European Union's
sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

The CIA has opened an investigation into Russian influence on European
political movements over the last 10 years, according to an announcement
made in January, Meduza reported.

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