The French left is broken by Mélenchon's softness towards Hamas
The French left parties, which managed to participate together in the parliamentary elections last year, are on the verge of breaking up due to their deep political and moral disagreements in the analysis of the new war in Gaza. The equidistance and ambiguity of La France Insoumise (LFI), led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and its insistent refusal to classify as terrorism the massive attack against Israeli civilians launched by Hamas last Saturday, have outraged many socialists, environmentalists and even to some moderate LFI members.
The New Popular Ecologist and Social Union (Nupes) was always a diverse political artifact that was difficult to manage. Its cohesion and continuity were already in doubt before the new eruption of the Israeli-Palestinian volcano. But a statement from LFI was the last straw. “The armed offensive of the Palestinian forces led by Hamas intervenes in a context of intensification of the Palestinian occupation policy,” the note said. LFI avoided the word terrorism and urged both sides to negotiate for a peace that “must begin with the end of colonization.”
One of the most critical figures: the mayor of Paris, the socialist Anne Hidalgo
Deputy Danièle Obono added fuel to the fire and evoked the right of Palestinians “to fight for their freedom.” Mélenchon himself attacked the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (Crif), accusing it of “forcing everyone to align with the position of the far-right Israeli government.”
Aware of the great discomfort of his left-wing partners, LFI deputy François Ruffin, who defends less radical positions and who is believed to be able to replace Mélenchon when he retires, gave an interview to The world to correct the shot. Ruffin called Hamas a “fanatical, terrorist organization,” and called on his co-religionists “to use strong words for horrible acts, otherwise our word is discredited” and “does not measure up to the seriousness of the events.” .
One of the figures most critical of Mélenchon was the mayor of Paris, the socialist Anne Hidalgo, who was not surprised by the LFI leader's latest reaction and recalled his unacceptable statements in the past about the war in Ukraine or about the repression of the Uyghurs in China. According to Hidalgo, the future of a united left is mortgaged by “this unbearable patriarchal figure of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.”
For years now, Mélenchon has been labeled by his critics, especially on the right, as encouraging “Islamo-leftism” in order to win votes among French people of Muslim faith and immigrant origin. The philosopher and academic Alain Finkielkraut stated in The Figaro that “LFI is nothing other than France subjected to radical Islam.”
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