Wiesenthal Centre to French President Francois Hollande: As Grand Master, Strip former Foreign Minister of his Légion d'Honneur for Dishonouring France"

SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTRE-EUROPE
Tel: +33(0)1 47 23 76 37
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Email: csweurope@gmail.com

"Dumas versus Valls evokes the shadows of another charge of Jewish double loyalty in France : The Dreyfus Affair revisited

Paris, 20 February


In a letter to President Francois Hollande, Richard Odier, President of Centre Simon Wiesenthal - France and Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Centre's Director for International Relations, expressed shock at the "antisemitic attack by former Foreign Minister Roland Dumas against Prime Minister Manuel Valls, in claiming that the latter's “personal alliances mean he has prejudices. Everyone knows he is married to someone... who has influence on him” – a clear allusion to his Jewish wife and widely interpreted as an accusation against Valls of double loyalty, by implication, the regurgitation of a Dreyfus-style conspiracy charge of Jewish control of politicians and media".


The letter stressed that, "when challenged on television, Dumas responded that Valls was, indeed, under Jewish influence and refused to apologize for his recent remarks".


Samuels commended the President in that, "since last month's Hyper Casher atrocity and this week's cemetery desecration, you have taken strong measures to assure the Jewish community of your concern for its safety", adding that "those who foment further Jew-hatred must now be sanctioned".


The Centre urged Hollande, to invoke his authority as Grand Master, to strip Roland Dumas of the Légion d'Honneur in accordance with Article R96, Title V:Discipline of the Order's Code: '... when the awardee has committed acts contrary to the honour of France' <www.legiondhonneur.fr/sites/default/files/code_lh_decembre_2012.pdf>".


Odier reminded the President that, "following the death of Maurice Papon  –  who had been convicted for deporting 1,600 Jews from Bordeaux to Auschwitz between 1942 and 1944 –  you, as then First Secretary of the Socialist Party, had endorsed the cancellation of Papon's Légion d'Honneur for 'having dishonored the French State' (France Inter 18 February 2007).

In September 2011, you stripped British fashion designer, John Galliano, of his decoration for his antisemitic remarks.


At a time when the French Jewish community is in mourning, Roland Dumas' 'Jewish influence' incitement and hate-speech assault on the integrity of your Prime Minister, is 'contrary to the honour of France' and tarnishes the Code of the Légion d'Honneur".

The Centre called on the President, as the Order's highest authority, "to definitively withdraw Dumas' membership of the Légion d'Honneur, and to publish this decision in the Official Journal".

"Failure to act decisively can evoke the shadows of a former charge of Jewish double loyalty in France – the Dreyfus Affair revisited," argued Odier (son of a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur) and Samuels (Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur awarded by President Chirac in 2007).

For further information please contact Shimon Samuels 00 33 609 77 01 58,

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.