French President Macron denounces Israeli minister’s support for Marine Le Pen | Election News

Israel’s Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Amihai Chikli, has publicly supported far-right candidate Marine Le Pen ahead of a vote in the French parliament.

French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned “unacceptable” comments by an Israeli minister who publicly supported far-right candidate Marine Le Pen ahead of France’s parliamentary elections.

Israeli media quoted Diaspora Affairs Minister Amihai Chikli as saying the National Coalition leader was “great for Israel.”

An infuriated President Macron called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to complain about the remarks.

“I think Netanyahu and I are of the same opinion. This is not a personal issue,” Cirkuli was quoted as saying.

Cirkuri said his support for Le Pen was based on her stance on Hamas, the International Criminal Court (where Israeli leaders face war crimes charges) and “the Jewish community’s fight against anti-Semitism.”

The French president told Netanyahu that Chikli’s comments were “unacceptable” and that he considered it an act of interference, two sources familiar with the call told the Axios news site.

The call reportedly ended with Netanyahu promising to block further comments by his ministers on France’s internal affairs.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, an anonymous Israeli official described Chikli’s actions as a “diplomatic bombshell”.

In recent years, Le Pen and the Rally National have taken pro-Israel stances on foreign policy and have tried to distance the party from accusations of anti-Semitism after its founder, her father, once called the Nazi gas chambers “part of history.”

During the second round of voting, Foreign Minister Israel Katz tweeted that Israel would “not intervene in French elections and respect French democracy.”

Marine Le Pen, the far-right French Rally National candidate, casts her vote. [File: Yves Herman/Reuters]

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