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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 zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

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