Jean-Luc Melenchon has come under fire before for statements widely condemned as anti-Semitic; in 2014, he called French Jews “an aggressive community preaching to the rest of the nation.”
Melenchon – who won 19 percent of the votes in France’s last presidential race in 2017 failing to make it past the first round – is running again next year. He made the comments during an interview with the France Inter radio station.
Self-proclaimed jihadist Mohammed Merah admitted to killing seven people in shootings in Montauban and Toulouse, southwestern France, in March 2012. He targeted French Army soldiers as well as children and teachers at a Jewish school and was killed in a police siege on 22 March 2012.
On 20 April 2017, three French National Police officers were shot by Karim Cheurfi, a French national wielding a rifle on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris, France. One officer, French National Police Captain Xavier Jugelé, was killed while the other two were seriously wounded, so too a German female tourist. Karim Cheurfi was eventually shot dead by police.
Melenchon’s remarks were slammed by Francis Kalifat, the president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish organisations, as “an obscene attack on the memory of the victims” of…