Marine Le Pen in her own words – POLITICO

How well do you know Marine Le Pen?

Within striking distance of gaining power, the French far-right presidential candidate has been active in front-line politics since she took over as leader of her father’s party in 2010.

But over the years, which have covered three presidential candidates and several local campaigns, it’s easy to lose sight of Le Pen’s positions and statements, especially considering the effort she’s put into softening her image.

Not only has she changed her party’s name from Front National to Rallye National, Le Pen has also flipped on issues as important as France remaining in the eurozone and whether she is an admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

To refresh the memories ahead of the final round of elections on April 24, when Le Pen will face President Emmanuel Macron for the second time, here is a top 10 list of Le Pen’s controversial statements on all topics related to the France’s role in arresting Jews during WWII for Islamic headscarves and what she would do about immigrants trying to ‘impose on us ways of life that are not ours’.

1. “France not responsible for the Vél’ d’Hiv”

During the 2017 presidential election, Le Pen commented on the largest deportation of Jews from France to Germany in World War II called: “If there are those responsible, it is those who were in power then, not France.” She added that she wanted France’s children “to be proud to be French again”.

In July 1942 13,000 Jews were arrestedimprisoned in Paris Velodrome d’Hiver – or Vel’ d’Hiv — and transported to their deaths in Auschwitz, which became the largest raid on Jews by the Nazi-allied Vichy regime in France. Thousands of police officers and civilians were involved in their capture.

2. “France is a university for jihadists”

Also in 2017 during a TV debate with her presidential rival Le Pen in the first round told Ex-Prime Minister François Fillon: “The policies of the government you led were absolute nonsense. It put the Islamists in power in Libya, it weakened the integrity of the region – now we have radical Islamism on our soil. France is a university for jihadists.”

3. Parity is contrary [our Republic’s] meritocracy

Le Pen argues that she is a fierce advocate of women’s rights. “I’m a feminist,” she says called on French television in March last year, while cautiously adding that she “expresses no hostility towards men”.

But during her first presidential campaign in 2012, Le Pen was caught saying, “Parity is the opposite of [our Republic’s] meritocracy.” She then defended the lawsuit, to quarrel that she is against affirmative action as “reserve a share for women has perverse implications” and that this makes women themselves appear as “the quota”.

4. There was prayer in the public space…it’s an occupation

At a party rally in 2010, Le Pen dragged the conviction behind him compared Muslim street prayers in France up until the Nazi occupation during World War II.

“Fifteen years ago we had the veil, there were more and more veils. Then came the burqa, there were more and more burqas. And then there were prayers in the streets … now there are 10 or 15 places where a certain number of people come regularly and take up all the space,” she said.

“For those who like to talk a lot about World War II, when it comes to occupation, that’s occupation of territory,” she added to thunderous applause.

5. The policy I espouse is the policy Mr. Trump espouses [and] Mr. Putin

In a 2017 interview with the BBC, Le Pen said aimed at the ex-German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s austerity and immigration policies towards Syrian refugees, saying: “You [Merkel] Letting in 1.5 million migrants… It imposes austerity measures on all nations in Europe. And by the way, it’s increasingly isolated, because the policy that I represent is the policy that Mr. [Donald] Trump, you are represented by Mr. [Vladimir] Putin… the British people have just made it clear that they want to go in that direction.”

6. Anti-Semitism is due to the implantation of Islamism in our country

At the height of discussions about the rise of the Islamic State in 2014, Le Pen tweeted: “Our Jewish compatriots know that anti-Semitism is due to the implantation of Islamism in our country.”

The comment is controversial, and not just because of France’s long and complex history of anti-Semitism — her party had one, too checkered past with anti-Jewish sentiments under her father Jean-Marie.

7. Did you win your car in the lottery?

During an election campaign in the northern town of Hénin-Beaumont in 2012, a man of North African descent saw Le Pen in a passing car and shouted, “Long live Mélenchon!” – echoing her far-left rival Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

“Did you win your car in the lottery? Or through work?” Le Pen replied. “Every time men shout ‘Long live Mélenchon’, they are Maghrebi – every time,” she later explained.

8th. The veil is not a trivial piece of fabric, it is a sign of radicalism

In 2019, Julien Odoul, a member of Le Pen’s party’s regional assembly, required that a Muslim woman who accompanies children to the assembly building of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté takes off her veil. The comments sparked a storm that saw President Emmanuel Macron later intervene and Urge People not to “stigmatize” Muslims.

But Le Pen doubled down and defended Odoul on Radio Europe 1, saying that the “veil is not a cap or a headband – it has been a claim of the Muslim Brotherhood for decades to veil women”.

9. I hope we will not find out that you have an offshore bank account in the Bahamas

During the “Great Debate” in the 2017 presidential election, the then leader of the National Front brought up for discussion Rumor has it that her rival Macron had an offshore bank account. The claims, which began with fake documents circulating on Twitter in the final days of the campaign, were soon there exposed by several French media. “That’s slander,” Macron replied.

Le Pen’s perceived poor performance in the debate hurt her poll numbersand Macron easily won the runoff.

10 Criminals from France, in prison. The foreigners, on planes

When she launched her 2022 presidential campaign in the French Riviera resort of Fréjus last September, Le Pen told their supporters: “We will … root out all those, Islamist or not, who want to impose rules and ways of life on us that are not ours. Criminals being eliminated… Criminals from France, in prison. The foreigners on planes.” Marine Le Pen in her own words – POLITICO

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