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Jean-Marie Le Pen, honorary president of France’s National Front (FN), has plunged the party into hot water over new allegations of anti-Semitism only weeks after a stunning poll victory won in part by playing down some old far-right stands. Le Pen drew criticism from Jewish groups and even some prominent members of his own party at the weekend for a quip about a French Jewish singer that appeared to include an implied reference to concentration camp ovens used in the Holocaust. Still combative at 85, Le Pen said only “political enemies or imbeciles” would interpret his comments as anti-Semitic, but the party withdrew from its website the weekly video interview in which Le Pen lashed out at the FN’s critics.

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