Far-Left French Leader Blames Israeli ‘Networks’ for Corbyn Defeat

France's leftist party La France Insoumise (LFI) president Jean-Luc Melenchon answers journalists' questions on December 9, 2019 at the courthouse in Bobigny, north of the French capital Paris, following the sentence hearing of his trial after he shoved prosecutor in office during the search of October 2018 at the headquarters …
STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Leader of the far-left France Insoumise (Unsubmissive France) Jean-Luc Mélenchon has taken a leaf out of Ken Livingstone’s book by blaming an Israeli right-wing party for Jeremy Corbyn’s election defeat.

In a long-form post published to his official Facebook page on Friday, the far-leftist claimed that Corbyn had appeared “weak” before the electorate because he remained silent in the face of accusations of antisemitism from the UK’s chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. He further claimed that the party of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the centre-right Likud Party — had “influential networks” operating in the UK.

Mr Mélenchon said: “Corbyn spent his time being insulted and stabbed in the back by a handful of Blairite MPs. Instead of fighting back, he remained composed. He had to face the crude accusations of antisemitism, without defence, from the Chief Rabbi of England and the various influential networks of Likud…

“Instead of fighting back, he spent his time apologising and giving guarantees. In both cases, he displayed a weakness that worried voters.”

The far-leftist then proceeded to say that he would not be forced to “genuflect before the arrogant orders of CRIF communitarians”, CRIF, or the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, being the official French affiliate of the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

This week, a court handed Mélenchon a three-month suspended prison sentence for intimidating officials investigating his funding. In October 2018, prosecutors had authorised searches of his offices, and outside one premises the politician had shoved a police officer whilst shouting: “I am the Republic!”

French journalist Hugues Serraf drew a parallel between the French leftist’s comments and those of Corbyn ally Ken Livingstone earlier on Friday, saying with sarcasm: “Apparently, Mélenchon espouses the Livingstonian thesis. Labour lost because of the influence of the je…, sorry, the Zionists who had to be crushed without weakness.

In the early hours of Friday morning when it was apparent that Labour was going to face a crushing defeat, former Labour London Mayor Ken Livingstone — who has a history of making antisemitic comments — blamed Jewish people for the loss, saying: “The Jewish vote wasn’t very helpful.”

Brexit secretary Michael Gove reached out to Jewish Britons after the Conservative victory, saying: “You have had to live in fear — for months, now — with concerns we will have a prime minister who trafficked in anti-Jewish rhetoric and embraced anti-Jewish terrorists. You should never have to live in fear again.”

“Today, we celebrate a victory for the British people. They comprehensively rejected Jeremy Corbyn’s politics,” he added.

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