New CRIF head Yonathan Arfi warns against French polarisation

Yonathan Arfi, 42, is the new head of CRIF, the  umbrella organisation representing Jews in France.  Arfi is alarmed at the polarisation of French politics and has declared his resolve to fight the rising threat of antisemitism, a threat to society at large.  He is from a Sephardi family with roots in Algeria and Morocco and is on the board of the Alliance Israelite Universelle. Ben Cohen reports in the Algemeiner (with thanks: Nancy):

Yonathan Arfi, elected youngest-ever head of CRIF

The newly-elected head of the umbrella organization representing Jews in France has warned that the community faces an “unprecedented political threat” as a result of the success of political factions from the extremes of left and right in the country’s legislative elections earlier this month.

“We see two blocs which for us are a subject of concern: Both the 89 RN [far-right National Rally] deputies, but also the bloc of  LFI [far-left ‘France Rising’] deputies, which for us represent an unprecedented political threat,” Yonathan Arfi, the new president of the umbrella Jewish organization Crif, said in a media interview on Sunday.

“We have never had to deal with extremist blocs which are at this level of political weight in the national assembly,” Arfi said.

Mural in the city of Avignon showing Jewish banker Jacques Attali ‘pulling the strings’ for Prime Minister Macron

Arfi was elected as Crif’s new president on Sunday, comfortably defeating his opponent, Ariel Amar, by 149 votes to 74. The 42-year-old Arfi, who hails from a Sephardic family and has spent his career in real estate and business consulting, officially takes up his post on July 26, replacing Francis Kalifat, who has headed the organization for the past eight years.

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