Roland Dumas
Roland Dumas Reuters

Former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas's comments on a TV interview claiming that French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is "under Jewish influence" because his wife is Jewish have raised a furor, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemned Dumas on Wednesday.

Speaking to BFMTV on Monday, Dumas was asked if Valls is "under Jewish influence," and replied "probably, he has personal relations that cause him to be biased. Everyone knows that he is married to someone, a respected person, by the way, who has influence over him." Valls' wife Anne Gravoin is Jewish.

"This bigoted remark by Mr. Dumas will only fan the flames of anti-Jewish prejudice," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Conspiracy theories claiming invisible Jewish control of governments are among the pillars of anti-Semitism and a staple of modern-day anti-Semites."

Highlighting the danger of Dumas's comments, ADL noted that in its survey of anti-Semitic attitudes world-wide released last May, it found 45% of French respondents agree that "Jews have too much control over global affairs," and 42% agree with the statement that "Jews have too much control over the United States government."

Dumas's anti-Semitic remark was condemned by French National Assembly president Claude Bartolone, who tweeted that he was “repulsed” by it, saying the statements "reveal an ordinary anti-Semitism" and absurd conspiracy theories.

ADL welcomed the French condemnations of the statement, and likewise praised French President Francois Hollande's speech at Sarre-Union where hundreds of Jewish graves were desecrated last weekend.

The statement by Dumas was made after Valls made several comments supporting French Jewry, saying "the place for French Jews is France," and condemning the terror attacks on Jews in Paris and Copenhagen as acts of "Islamo-fascism."