(JTA) A satirical article suggesting that the French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy plans to emigrate if a far-left politician is elected president triggered a slew of anti-Semitic comments on Twitter.
In the fake interview published last week on the satirical website NordPresse, Levy, one of the countrys best-known celebrities, is quoted as saying, “If Melenchon is elected, Im leaving France.”
Jean-Luc Melenchon, who is the presidential candidate of the French Communist Party and several other far-left groups, has made considerable gains in polls ahead of the first round of the presidential elections on April 23.
Using the hashtag #BHL the Jewish philosophers initials hundreds of Melenchon supporters circulated the fake interview on Twitter, adding anti-Semitic comments about it.
Shove off to Israel or the States, you son of a bitch, one Twitter user wrote in an apparent reference to the fact that Levy, who is a citizen neither of Israel nor of the United States, is Jewish. Another wrote, If Melenchon wins BHL knows where he can return. The latter added a banner advertising Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to tourists.
The LExpresse daily accused the satirical website of encouraging anti-Semitic discourse by inventing a quote by Levy.
I cannot agree to a 90-percent taxation of my revenues in explaining his opposition to Melenchon. The Jews, as we all know, are rich, LExpresse wrote sarcastically.
Levy has criticized Melenchon, whose policies he has called dangerous. This week, Levy wrote on Twitter: A reminder on the deplorable remarks by Melenchon following 2014 rallies featuring chanting about death to Jews.
The post included a link to an article about Melenchon that was published on the Levy-owned opinion website Le Regle du Jeu recalling Melenchons statement on Aug. 24 that protesters against Israel in Paris remained dignified and embodied better than anyone the founding values of the French republic.More than nine synagogues were attacked in July that year in the French capital by pro-Palestinian protesters, some using firebombs. In a July 2014 incident at one synagogue, a gang of 150 assailants besieged dozens of worshipers.
Melenchon has climbed to third place in an Ifop survey from April 14 with 19 percent of the vote matching the Republican candidate Francois Fillon moving up from fifth in February and 9 percent. Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate, topped the April poll with 23 percent, followed by Le Pen of the National Front party with 22 percent.