Israel Condemns Le Pen Comments on WWII Round Up of Jews
Israel on Monday condemned French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's for denying her country was responsible for the war-time round-up of Jews later sent to Nazi death camps.
Le Pen said Sunday that "I don't think France is responsible for the Vel d'Hiv," referring to the round-up of more than 13,000 Jews at the Vel d'Hiv cycling track ordered by Nazi officers in 1942.
"We condemn the declarations by Marine Le Pen stating that France is not responsible for the deportation of Jews from its territory during the Holocaust," Israel's foreign ministry said in a statement.
"The declaration is contrary to the historical truth, which has been expressed by French presidents who have recognised the country's responsibility for the fate of French Jews who died in the Holocaust."
Speaking ahead of the first round of France's highly unpredictable presidential election on April 23, Le Pen said that "I think that generally speaking if there are people responsible, it's those who were in power at the time. It's not France."
Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the free French forces, lived in exile in London during World War II while France's Vichy regime collaborated with Nazi Germany.
Several opinion polls show a tightening race between the top four candidates in the French election, with support for frontrunners Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron slipping back and conservative Francois Fillon neck-and-neck with Jean-Luc Melenchon of the far-left.