Le Pen pledges to ban dual Israeli-French citizenship

'Israel is not a European country,' says National Front leader, adding French Jews will have to choose either French or Israeli citizenship.

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David Rosenberg, | updated: 09:38

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen
Reuters

French Jews living in Israel or holding Israeli citizenship in France may no longer be allowed to hold dual citizenship if Marine Le Pen wins the country’s presidential election, slated for May 7th.

Le Pen, chairwoman of the National Front and daughter of its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has pledged a hardline on immigration, trade, and public expressions of non-Christian faiths, including a pledge to ban the wearing of kippahs and Islamic garb in public and the prohibiting of kosher and halal slaughter.

Speaking with France 2 TV Thursday evening, the French nationalist leader stated that she would also target dual citizenship if elected this spring.

While dual citizenship would be permitted, said Le Pen, in the case of holders of other European countries’ passports, she would move to prohibit dual citizenship for citizens of non-European countries.

Relating the case of Israel, where as many as 250,000 first and second generation French immigrants reside, Le Pen said no exception would be made.

“Israel is not a European country and doesn’t consider itself as such,” she said.

“I’m asking the Israelis to choose their nationality. It doesn’t mean that if they don’t choose French nationality they have to leave. France can certainly accommodate foreign people on its soil long-term… as long as they respect French laws and French values, which is often a problem on the immigration issue. It’s really not a problem with Israel on this topic.”

Once considered marginal candidate, Le Pen has consistently lead in election polls for the first round of voting since early January.

If Le Pen finishes in either first or second in the April 23rd vote, she will proceed to the run-off vote two weeks later on May 7th. Polls still show her trailing her likely run-off vote opponents, Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon by double digits, though she has gained ground in recent weeks.

Citizens of the United States, Canada and the UK, for example, are allowed to hold dual citizenship.