French far-right head meets Israeli diplomat in US charm offensive
The leader of France’s far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, met Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul during a diplomatic sweep through the US, French media reported Friday.
The meeting, which lasted a few minutes, is part of a campaign by Le Pen to build an international profile ahead of next year’s French presidential elections.
France’s Liberation newspaper reported that Le Pen met with the ambassadors to the UN of Israel, Armenia, Uruguay and Trinidad and Tobago in the cafeteria of the UN headquarters in New York. She also met with a Japanese diplomat, the report said.
The five were among more than a hundred diplomats that Le Pen had invited to a lunch, Liberation reported. None of the other invitees showed up.
Her meeting with Prosor was a coup for Le Pen, who has been trying to rid the National Front of the taint of anti-Semitism left by her father, party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, whom she succeeded as party leader in January.
The older Le Pen caused outrage in 1987 when he described the World War II Nazi gas chambers as a ‘detail of history’, a remark he later repeated, earning himself a conviction in Germany for inciting racial hatred.
Marine Le Pen focuses her attacks mainly on immigration, Islam and the euro.