Lebanese Jean-François Jalkh Is Now The Head Of Le Pen’s Far-Right French Party “Front National”

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AFP PHOTO / JACQUES DEMARTHON.

Mabrouk Lebnen! We keep exporting the best of the best, don’t we?

After her expected ascension to the second round of the French presidential elections, Marine Le Pen resigned her position as president of the party she inherited from the father, in order to airbrush herself as a candidate who’s open to everyone and is devoid of political attire.

I guess it’s a bit hard to try and label yourself as an outsider when you’ve inherited an entire party from your father. That’s like Taymour Jumblat or Sami Gemayel in Lebanon going like: “oh, we’re new to this game. We are not politicians,” while both of them take up the mantel of a party founded by their grandparents.

But I digress.

In her attempt to gain as many votes as possible in the second round, Marine Le Pen is trying to further distance herself from the party that led to her rise, which is why Lebanese-French Jean-François Jalkh has been appointed interim chairperson, until – I would guess – Le Pen learns of the result of the second round and, in the case she’s not elected, resumes her position.

In summary, this is the Lebanese-French man who is now the head of the far-right populist French party whose rhetoric is fueled by anti-semitisim, racism and hate:

Jean-Francois Jalkh is a 59 year old French man of Lebanese origins who was born in 1957 at Tournan-en-Brie, in the Ile-De-France region. He has been a member of the party since 1974, and wasn’t even 18 years old when he enlisted.

Within 7 years of his enrollment, Jean-Francois Jalkh rose up the ranks of the Front National until he became a member of the party’s central committee, with further promotions to other more important committees later on. He became a deputy of his region in 2005.

Jalkh was a candidate for the 2012 French parliamentary elections but did not qualify to the second round with him ranking third behind the Republican and the Socialist candidates (much like his party’s head Marine Le Pen in the 2012 elections as well). However, that did not deter him from further rising up the echelons of the Front National: a few months after he failed to win a parliamentary seat, he became the vice president of the Front National and was tasked to run all electoral purposes.

His most important position came about two years later when in the European Parliament elections of 2014, Jalkh was voted as a European Parliament Member with his list getting about 30% of the votes in his region.

His career has not been devoid of scandals. Did you expect otherwise?

While he’s not a French household figure, he was involved in a financial scandal investigation about the election funding of Le Pen’s party, in which investigators were suspicious of fraudulent activity involving public money going into the party’s campaigns.

Jalkh was also appointed by Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father, as his advisor while the latter was a member of the European Parliament, even though Jalkh had already been a secretary of the Front National. This led to Le Pen being forced to pay back 300,000 euros in retribution.

In November 2016, his parliamentary immunity was revoked after an anti-discrimination group filed a suit against Jalkh for allowing publications by the Front National which call for access to public social registries, something which was proposed by his party for municipal elections in their program.

Another scandal involving Jalkh was his borderline Holocaust-denying attitude with him questioning the use of certain types of gas in the mass extermination that were conducted. Not at all surprising given his history’s party, be it with his founder or with Marine Le Pen’s recent attempts at absolving the French-Vichi government of its Nazi-fuled past.

I can’t comment on whether this man is an appropriate lead of the Front National or not. For starters, he sure goes hand in hand in what the party represents, but then again what the party represents is in complete contradiction of any decent values as well as with the foundation of the French Republic.

I sure hope, however, that French-Lebanese, 60% of whom voted for the Republican Francois Fillon in the first round, and are on the fence regarding their choice for the second round do not see this as a sign that the Front National will be nicer to French of Lebanese origins than everyone else.

Marine Le Pen will take away your dual nationality. She will stop your family and friends from being able to easily visit. She will create an environment in which you are a second-rate French citizen by virtue of you not being a pureblood, and she has used your country as a prop during her visit for as big of a publicity stunt as she could muster with her veil and with the characterization of Lebanese Christians as oppressed and persecuted.

Make the right choice. That choice is not on the far side of right.

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Marine Le Pen Is Coming To Lebanon… Before She Forces French-Lebanese To Drop One Of Their Nationalities

marine-le-pen-in-lebanon

Rejoice, all of Lebanon’s right-wing! The head of the French “Front National” Marine Le Pen is coming over for a visit on February 19th and 20th, with scheduled meetings with President Aoun as well as Prime Minister Hariri, as reported by L’Orient Le Jour.

The purpose of the visit is to “show solidarity with Christians of the Middle East.” Because it’s common sense to do so in the best country for Christians in the Middle East, where the president is a “Michel,” not where, you know, Christians are actually dying because of war, but I digress.

Marine Le Pen’s visit comes around two weeks after Emmanuel Macron (bless him! <3) also visited the country. Both come in the same context of being more exposed to Middle Eastern politics in formulating more credible policies (that please their supporters, of course) before the French presidential elections become heated in the coming months with debates and first round votes.

It’s worth noting that Lebanon has one of the biggest French diasporas outside of Europe and French-Lebanese tend to vote for more right-wing parties (obviously) with Sarkozy getting around 68% of the vote here in 2012.

Marine Le Pen, on the other hand, is not Sarkozy. While many on L’Orient-Le Jour’s Facebook page are orgasmic with the upcoming visit and are pledging their support for her, exhibits being:

Marine Le Pen is a Islamophobic, French-supremacist demagogue, a friend of Donald Trump, Breitbart favorite for the elections, front-runner for the first round of the vote with a horrifying lead among Millennials. She wants to reduce immigration to the strict minimum (yes, French-Lebanese that affects your people too). She wants to increase police numbers and give them more power in France. Like other far-right politicians, her emblems are summarized with the notion of country first.

As part of her “French First” policies, Marine Le Pen wants to force dual French citizenship holders of non-European countries to choose between their two nationalities and relinquish the other, in case she is voted for president. Her comments, which were more specific to French Jews and later extrapolated to other groups (link), are worrying and horrifying.

So yes, dear French-Lebanese who are excited about her visit or who want to vote for her, you go ahead and do that. If she wins (she will not, but who knows how crazy 2017 wants to be), you will be forced to either stop not being French or Lebanese.

I sincerely hope you choose to forsake the latter citizenship because we truly need way less narrow-minded bigots here who are only concerned with what affects them personally, with complete and utter disregard to everyone else in the process. If you want to shoot yourself in the foot, make sure it’s your own foot and not everyone else’s with you as many Arab-Americans are now realizing, in hindsight, about their decision to vote for Trump.

And dear Marine Le Pen, I hope you enjoy your visit very much! Maybe it’ll show you that those-who-shall-not-be-named (Muslims) can coexist with the rightful heirs of the world (Christians) if, you know, you let them.

Lebanon at the Heart of a French Political Scandal

Gérald Dahan, a French imitator and comedian, faked being Louis Alliot, the #2 man of Le Pen’s right-wing Front National, and called UMP candidate to the legislative elections and former minister Nadine Morano, who’s of Italian origins.

Asking Morano about Le Pen, she replies that she thinks Le Pen has lots of talent and that there are many aspects of her policies upon which she agrees.

It’s worth noting that Morano was struggling in the polls of her corresponding district and was obviously in need to schmooze the many voters of the National Front.

Seconds later, a seemingly busy Morano hurries to end the conversation and does so by pitching a final idea which she believes should be enough to bring the fake-Alliot to her side. She declares her support for Marine Le Pen’s proposal not to let foreigners vote in France. Her argument?

J’ai pas envie que ça devienne le Liban chez moi.”

I don’t want it becoming Lebanon here.

Listen to the conversation:

Many French-Lebanese expressed outrage at the analogy she turned our country into. But I have to wonder, doesn’t she have a point?

I’m assuming she means the following: I don’t want France becoming a country where every other nation gets a say.

Isn’t that the case in Lebanon? Don’t we always nag about our decision not being in our hands?

I guess it’s different when some “outsider” tells it to our faces.

On the other hand, it’s not like things are much better in Morano’s native Italy.

The bottom line is: Lebanon is everywhere, in scandals and things that would make you proud to be Lebanese.