Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Israeli President Rivlin Calls Out Le Pen On Holocaust Remarks

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin used Holocaust Remembrance Day to lash out at Marine Le Pen, the far right nationalist French leader who came in second in the first round of voting in the French presidential election.

Without naming Le Pen, Rivlin referred to a “French presidential candidate” who “denied France’s responsibility for the deportation of its Jewish citizens to the Nazi concentration and death camps,” said Rivlin in his speech at Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta’ot in the Galilee on Monday.

Rivlin was referring to an interview Le Pen gave on RTL radio earlier this month saying that France was not responsible for the round up of 13,000 Jews in 1942 at the Vel d’Hiv cycling stadium before they were shipped off to Nazi death camps.

Responsibility lied, she said, with the people who committed the the atrocity at the time, but not with the nation of France.

The Israel Foreign Ministry called the remarks “contrary to historical truth.”

Rivlin said that the trend across Europe to minimize crimes against Jews during the Holocaust was dangerous.

“The denial of responsibility of the crimes committed in the days of the Second World War is Holocaust denial of a new, more destructive and dangerous kind from that we have known until now,” he said.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at [email protected] or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.