image Photo: Reuters

Israeli leaders hail Macron victory

Congratulations from Jerusalem were posted on Twitter after French President Emmanuel Macron beat far-right challenger Marine Le Pen by a solid margin in his bid for re-election.

By Erin Viner

The leader of the centrist La République En Marche! won with 58.54% of the votes.

Le Pen told supporters of her National Rally (RN) that she is already preparing for the two-stage June parliamentary ballot on the 12th and 19th when she hopes to make major wins.  The 53-year-old politician has tried to distance her faction, formerly named the National Front founded by her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was condemned for hate speech including Holocaust denial. She won leadership of the party in 2011 and changed its name in 2018.

Lauding Macron’s triumph, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wrote, “Under your leadership, I have no doubt that the ties between Israel and France will continue to grow stronger.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid released a message in English and French reading, “Congratulations to my good friend Emmanuel Macron on being reelected as President of France. President Macron is an important leader of the global center and a true friend of Israel. We’ll continue to work together to strengthen cooperation between our countries.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll noted that Macron’s re-election forecasts “a welcome strengthening of the close ties between the nations of Israel and France.”

Additional statements from Israeli leaders on all sides of the political spectrum included Defense Minister Benny Gantz’ (centrist Blue and White) lauding of Macron as “a bold leader in the international community,” while Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (rightwing Yamina) expressed her “warmest congratulations” and hope that the “beautiful relationship” between Paris and Jerusalem will continue to grow.

“This is a good night for France, for Europe and for the world,” wrote Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (leftwing Meretz), adding, “Warm wishes to the President of France Emmanuel Macron for winning a second term as president. I have great appreciation for his work, and I am certainly happy about the trouncing he gave Marine Le Pen.”

French-born Knesset Member (MK) Yomtob Kalfon (Yamina) also congratulated Macron in French and Hebrew, saying he hoped “this term will stand out for the even better” bilateral relations. “Vive la France!” wroted MK Emilie Moatti (leftwing Labor), a public supporter of Macron who formerly resided in France for several years.