Social – Disclaimer: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in the Aladins Miracle Lamp is archived here under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in reviewing the included information for personal use, non-profit research and educational purposes only. Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. The opinions rendered are the authors and not necessarily those of this website or Aladin
FRANCE – Marine Le Pen Suspends Regional Party Officer For Holocaust Denial
YNET – France’s far-right National Front suspended a regional official on Wednesday after reports he had played down the Holocaust, dealing a setback to Marine Le Pen’s attempts to sanitize her party’s image weeks before a presidential election.
The C8 channel said it had secretly recorded Benoit Loeuillet, a National Front regional councillor in the southern region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, using a hidden camera for a documentary about the party being screened on Wednesday.
“There was no mass murder as has been said,” Loeuillet was quoted as telling the undercover reporter in an advance extract of the documentary, referring to the deaths of six million Jews in the Holocaust.
Loeuillet denied in a statement on Facebook that he had in any way questioned the reality of the Holocaust and said he had asked his lawyer to sue the documentary-makers for libel. He also said he was resigning from the National Front.
National Front Secretary-General Nicolas Bay had earlier said in a statement that, as a result of his reported comments, Loeuillet had been suspended from the National Front and would be called very soon to a disciplinary hearing to be expelled from the party.
The incident is embarrassing for the National Front whose leader, Le Pen, is tipped by polls to win most votes in the first round of the presidential election in six weeks’ time, although she is predicted to lose heavily in the run-off in May.
Since taking over from her father Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011, Marine Le Pen has sought to improve the anti-immigration party’s image, making it more mainstream and distancing it from its founder’s past anti-Semitism.
She had her father expelled in 2015 for renewing earlier declarations playing down the Holocaust.
RECEIVING THE WORD — Russian President Vladimir Putin listens intently as Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar explains Hebrew law to him during a 2013 visit to the new Jewish Museum in the Muscovite capital. Putin personally donated one month of his salary towards construction of the museum, thought to be the largest of its kind in the world.
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law [May 5] making the denial of [alleged National Socialist] crimes and distortion of the Soviet Union’s role in the World War II a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in jail.
The law, described by critics as an attempt to curb freedom of expression to appease conservative Russians, the ex-KGB spy’s main support base, also criminalizes the public desecration of [Soviet] war memorials.
Risky to dispute Soviet WWII role
The Kremlin has used World War II as a pillar to unite a society that Putin has said lost its moral bearings following the 1991 Soviet collapse.
It has become increasingly risky for Russians to dispute an official line that glorifies the wartime achievements of the Soviet leadership and plays down its errors.
The new law would ban “wittingly spreading false information about the activity of the USSR during the years of World War II.”
Russian officials and media have raised the specter of [National Socialist] Germany repeatedly during Moscow’s confrontation with the West over Ukraine, calling the overthrow of a Russian-allied president in February a coup carried out in part by “neo-Nazi” forces.
TV channel taken down
for questioning Leningrad siege
Independent channel Dozhd (TV Rain) was taken off the air earlier this year after asking viewers whether Leningrad, now St Petersburg, should have been given to German troops to save lives during its 872-day siege during World War II.
In a comment posted when the legislation was first introduced, veteran TV host Vladimir Posner said he believed its aim was “to shut the mouths of journalists, historians and writers.”
He said he feared it would “practically ban criticism of Stalin” for “grave mistakes that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of our soldiers.”