'France was saved from the extremists'

Rabbi Aryeh Weil of the Portuguese Synagogue in Paris speaks to Arutz Sheva about the aftermath of Macron's victory.

Refael Levi, Paris ,

Rabbi Aryeh Weil
Rabbi Aryeh Weil
Refael Levi

Rabbi Aryeh Weil, rabbi of the Portuguese Synagogue in Paris, spoke to Arutz Sheva on Monday about the feeling of relief among French Jews after the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election.

"The feelings are positive, because we were spared the fear and the extremists. We hoped that the extremists would not succeed in rising to power, because it was a real danger to democracy. It is a feeling of joy and happiness for all of us in France, that there is no extremist party in power,” said Rabbi Weil.

At the same time, he said that the Jewish community is still concerned that the power of the extreme right has grown.

"The results Marine Le Pen got also concern us, because this is a rising movement - and it is a real danger," said Rabbi Weil, though he added that the Jews in Paris remain optimistic.

Leaders of French Jewry have expressed both relief over the defeat of Le Pen in the presidential elections and concern over her receiving more than a third of the vote.

Le Pen received 34.2 percent of the vote compared to the 65.8 percent who voted for Macron.

“I am happy with the result of Emmanuel Macron being elected president, which constitutes a veritable relief for all our nation and for the Jewish community of France,” Joel Mergui, the president of the Consistoire, wrote Sunday evening in a statement by his group, which is responsible for providing religious services to Jews.

Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia, who is employed by the Consistoire, also spoke of his satisfaction from the vote. But in his statement, Korsia also referenced concerns over the support shown to Le Pen, who seeks a ban on wearing Jewish and Muslim religious symbols in public, ritual slaughter and the provision of pork-free meals in school cafeterias.