The remark was contained in a video clip posted on the FN website and since removed. In the video, Le Pen railed against a number of critics including pop star Madonna and Yannick Noah, the French singer and former tennis champion. When asked about another one — French singer Patrick Bruel, who is Jewish — Le Pen said he would be part of “a batch we will get next time,” using the word “fournée” for “batch”, evoking the word “four”, which means “oven”. SOS Racisme said it would file a complaint “in the coming days” against Le Pen, whose daughter Marine took over as FN leader in 2011. She has sought to rid the party of its reputation for racism and anti-Semitism in recent years, and members were quick to distance themselves from the founder’s comment. FN vice president Louis Aliot, who is also Marine’s boyfriend, criticized it as “a bad phrase. It is politically stupid and dismaying.” Another FN lawmaker, Gilbert Collard, said it was time for the party founder to “take his retirement”.
More from the Wall Street Journal:
The president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, called on the European Union to strip Mr. Le Pen, who is a member of the European Parliament, of his parliamentary immunity. “Le Pen has unmasked the true face of the far-right of Europe days after their electoral successes in the European Parliament,” Mr. Kantor said in a statement. “While some have tried to whitewash and mainstream these parties, Le Pen’s comments demonstrate that they still stand on foundations of hatred, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.” Mr. Le Pen later responded to the outrage. In a statement posted on the National Front website, he said the French word “fournée,” which he used, had no anti-Semitic connotation. But several high-ranking National Front party members distanced themselves from the remarks of Mr. Le Pen, who is still honorary president of the party. Ms. Le Pen called her father’s comments “a political error,” according to French daily Le Figaro.
In late May the National Front won numerous seats in the European Parliament.
PREVIOUSLY ON JMG: Last month Jean-Marie Le Pen suggested using ebola on immigrants. The National Front is a backer of the anti-gay Manif Pour Tous and has supported its numerous, vicious and often violent rallies, as have Brian Brown and Tony Perkins. Jean-Marie Le Pen has been convicted six times for inciting racial hatred, including for denying that the Holocaust took place. Last year Le Pen’s daughter, Marine Le Pen, herself a failed candidate for France’s presidency, praised the man who committed suicide at Notre Dame Cathedral in protest of same-sex marriage. In February of this year Le Pen’s granddaughter, 24 year-old Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, led a massive anti-gay march through the streets of Paris. In January of this year the youth leader for the National Front called for France to institute anti-gay laws similar to those in Russia.