NIDRA POLLER: The National Front’s Dark Underside

Rejection by Nigel Farage, head of Britain’s UKIP, and Morten Messerschmidt, lead candidate for the Danish People’s Party in the up-coming European elections effectively dashes Marine Le Pen’s hopes of presiding over an influential 7-country Eurexit group at the EU Parliament. The main issue is anti-Semitism.


  1. While granting that National Front leader Marine Le Pen has shown courage and perspicacity on some crucial issues, Nigel Farage says she has failed to rid the party of its endemic anti-Semitism.

In a mail to Dispatch International, MEP Morten Messerschmidt writes that from the beginning he has distanced himself from theNational Front.

“As I read the party and its history, it has deep anti-Semitic roots. Regrettably it seems to attract support. This can only be explained by the fact that the other French parties have failed the French people, who only have the National Front to vote for if they want to express their criticism of the EU,” says Messerschmidt.

“At the election in 2009, Nicolas Sarkozy managed to appeal to EU-skeptical Frenchmen by criticizing the EU’s immigration policy and open borders. But today they have been forced into the arms of Le Pen. That is a bad omen for France and Europe. I will not cooperate with a party like the National Front,” says Morten Messerschmidt.


A review of material readily available in French lends credibility to Farage’s and Messerschmidt’s evaluation.

Midway between the Municipal and the European elections, National Front (Front National, FN) VP Florian Philippot says the FN is France’s number one party and Marine Le Pen will be president in 2017. For all the ballyhoo over the FN’s inexorable ascension, the party won a small handful of municipalities, none of its bigwigs were elected (including Philippot who ran for mayor of Forbach), and the opposition UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) inflicted an unprecedented defeat on the Socialists without any FN alliances.

Philippot, chairman of the European campaign, promises they’ll send 15 to 20 deputies to the EU Parliament where they’ll lead a strong Eurexit coalition and liberate France from the EU and the euro. While other parties will certainly indulge in opportunistic euroskepticism during the campaign, says Philippot, “We have ideas and convictions.” Polls are showing a too close to call race for first and second position, with the Socialists in third place.


Is the National Front a political party or a posture? Founded in 1972, the FN was a fringe group with virtually no experience in government, indelibly colored by the foul mouth of its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen. The election of heir apparent Marine Le Pen as president in January 2011 earned overnight legitimacy for the long decried Front National.

No political broadcast is now complete without an FN voice snidely dismissing the two major parliamentary parties – UMP and PS (the Socialists) – as a Siamese twin that never keeps its promises.

The FN is a double-edged sword. Issues like national identity, security, laïcité (i.e., secularism), or defense against Islamization are labeled “FN.” And the FN, claiming ownership of these issues, draws voters away from the UMP.  This contributed largely to the defeat of UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2012 presidential re-election bid.


While the notoriously provocative father has remained honorary president of the FN, the daughter claims to have banished unsavory ideas and elements that – unfairly in her view – justified its “demonization.” Cleansed of anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, racism and other reprehensible traits associated with the “Far Right Populist” strain of postwar European politics, the National Frontis claimed to be the West’s only line of defense against Islamization, EU tyranny, globalization, cheap Chinese merchandise, rampant capitalism, the banks, the international oligarchy that exploits the hardworking little man … and what other evils?


According to an investigation published in January 2014 by Frédéric Haziza, Vol au-dessus d’un nid de fachos (Flight over a nest of fascists), the National Front gravitates in a “Populist Far Right” constellation that includes the skinhead Serge Ayoub, the intellectual Alain Soral, the ex-comic Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, the PR wizard Frédéric Chatillon, and assorted like-minded personalities. Members and leaders of these groups fall in and out with each other, conveniently allowing them to disavow specific reprehensible acts or associations, but their core principles are largely compatible: Third Reich nostalgia, Holocaust denial, obsessive hatred of Jews/Zionists, rejection of capitalism and parliamentary democracy.

Historically and currently, these groups maintain close financial and ideological ties with Arab-Muslim powers: Jean-Marie Le Pen was a friend and ally of Saddam Hussein and today’s National Socialists (a more accurate designation, in my opinion, than “populist Far Right”) are tied to the Iranian and Syrian regimes, Hizbollah, and their ilk.

They speak out against immigration and Islamization but hang out with homegrown jihadis, and woo Muslim youth from the suburbs – in French: the banlieues – to their cause.


Frédéric Chatillon is a close advisor of Marine Le Pen. His PR firm, Riwal, handles communications, events, and other FN campaign operations. Riwal makes low-interest loans and sells (obligatory) campaign kits to FN candidates. Through another branch of Riwal, Chatillon handles PR for the Syrian government, generating annual income of some €150,000.

An additional Riwal site (INFOSyrie, counters disinformation about the Syrian regime.

Questioned about her association with Chatillon, Marine Le Pen snapped back, “Frédéric Haziza, is a monomaniac, he sees Nazis everywhere, there’s no Nazi problem, none!” She says Frédéric Chatillon is a friend and a very competent professional. She admits he was on the Far Right when he was in his 20s. Adding, “Who wasn’t? Or the Far Left?”


Florian Philippot says the Socialist Manuel Valls (then Interior Minister) is obsessed with Dieudonné. The FN, he says, doesn’t defend Dieudonné, it defends freedom of speech and condemns the censorship of Dieudonné’s country-wide tour.

Marine Le Pen thinks thinks the so-called Anelka affair is number 1,013 on the list of priorities for French people. Nicolas Anelka, fined by the FIFA and kicked off the Woolwich soccer team after celebrating a goal with an obscene gesture – a so-called quenelle – invented by the anti-Semite Dieudonné, says Valls is influenced by his wife (who is Jewish.)

Chatillon is quoted as saying the quenelle is “amusing, it means ‘up your ass,’ It’s the new anarchism.” On Soral, who walked out of the FN in 2011 because he wasn’t given the place he wanted on the electoral list: “When we talk about Jews, he doesn’t say anything anti-Semitic, he’s like me, against the lobby and against Israel.”


Youthful excess? Chatillon, says Haziza, hangs out in Iranian circles and is an agent for Hezbollah. He met personally with Hezbollah leader sheikh Nasrallah. (This is confirmed by reliable sources.) In 2006 Chatillon brought, among others, Dieudonné, Alain Soral, and Ahmed Moualek (president of “La Banlieue s’exprime” – The Suburbs Speak Out) to meet with his friends in Syria and Lebanon. Subsequently Dieudonné made four trips to Iran, and also hooked up with Khadafi in Libya. Soral, Chatillon, and Jean-Marie Le Pen were photographed with Dieudonné after enjoying the show at his theater.

Philippe Peninque, who handles finances for the National Front, is working on a strategy to attract Muslim youth from the suburbs to the National Front for the 2017 presidential campaign.

Daniel Bensoussan-Bursztein, who has been researching and writing on the National Front for years, traces (hypocritical) efforts by Marine Le Pen to attract Jewish support based on the notion of a common enemy – radical Islam.

Strangely, Marine Le Pen has declared (in an interview with the European Jewish Press) that the victory of Hamas is not necessarily a bad thing, and Dieudonné is not a bad guy; she wanted to dialogue with him, not condemn him. Months later Dieudonné arrived at a National Front meeting as a VIP surrounded by supporters and National Front bodyguards. When a Jewish activist shouted at him: “anti-Semite”, one of the FN bodyguards retorted: “Go back to Israel.”


In the run-up to the 2012 presidential elections, Marine Le Pen made frequent statements in favor of Israel while heavily emphasizing the anti-Islamization arguments: Muslim street prayers, halal canteen meals, women in hijab, proliferation of mosque construction, insecurity…

Bensoussan-Bursztein, however, says Jews are making a big mistake if they think the FN is on their side. It is more acceptable today to profess anti-Islamization than to be openly anti-Semitic, he says, but it’s window-dressing. Marie Le Pen’s de-demonization strategy is not a change of policy, values, or affinities; it is a change of image. Whatever small progress Marine Le Pen had made if, in fact, she truly intended to rid the party of its worst elements, is lost, says Bensoussan-Bursztein. Now she’s going in the other direction.

In any event, he says, the anti-Islamization discourse doesn’t prevent friendship with National Front activists like the Islamist Nouari Khiari, who delighted in the 2002 defeat of Socialist Lionel Jospin, “friend of the Jews and Israel.” Farid Smahi, who slammed the door on the party in 2011, accusing it of being “one of those nationalistic right-wing parties financed by Israel to practice anti-Islamism,” was recently convinced to rejoin the party.


Was the anti-Islamization discourse a club to beat Sarkozy’s UMP? National Front leaders clearly expressed their intention to destroy and replace the conservative opposition. Today, when Socialist Prime President François Hollande’s approval rating has sunk to 12 percent, the National Front is courting disgruntled Leftists, the unemployed, small businessmen, tradesmen, the little guys who think they’re getting a raw deal, impoverished pensioners, and nationalists who want to leave the EU.

Marine Le Pen denies that there is any hint of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia behind the National Front’s “French-first” employment policy: “Naturalized immigrants are French, they will benefit just like any others.” Some will think she is skirting the issue. Others will remember the party’s strategy of wooing the so-called banlieue youth, young disgruntled Muslims from the suburbs.

The National Front’s strange connections sketched out here can be verified from multiple sources. They suggest, at the very least, a confusion of values and interests in the heart of a party that claims to be the sole rampart against the destruction of French sovereignty and, by extension, the natural leader of the defense of Europe. Where is the bridge between these claims, brandished by dozens of unsavory fringe groups left in the wake of World War 2, and anti-jihad movements spawned in the ruins of the World Trade Center?

Who is who

Serge Ayoub

Started out as a rough & tough skinhead. Claims today to be defending French identity. Denies he knew Esteban Morillo, accused of killing Cléméent Méric, but Haziza claims to have a recent photo of the two of them together.

Photo album

Daniel Bensoussan-Bursztein

Investigative journalist and associate editor of Cahiers Bernard Lazare (Belgium).


Frédéric Chatillon

President of the extreme right organization Groupe Union Défense, GUD (see below), in 1995. Frédéric Haziza’s lawyer produced testimony from a repentant former member of the GUD who says Chatillon had a pathological hatred of Jews and never broke with his old neo-Nazi friends.

Photo album

Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala

Former comic, now known for obsessive anti-Semitism. He invented and trademarked the quenelle, a repressed Nazi salute. He has a huge multi-ethnic pan-religious, low to high class following. Repeatedly convicted of hate speech, he never paid his fines. Unwelcome in the media, he proliferates on the Net.

GUD: Groupe Union Défense

Post May 1968, anti-leftist, nationalist revolutionary youth movement that exists, with many variations under the same name, with one current leaning toward political action and another favoring combat.

Photo album

Frédéric Haziza

Political journalist on the Parliamentary TV channel (LCP), Radio J, and Le Canard Enchaîné. His refusal to invite Alain Soral to an LCP program led to an unending anti-Semitic hate campaign, with serious threats of violence aimed at his wife and son as well. He decided to investigate the sources of this hatred and reported his findings in the book Vol au-dessus d’un nid de Fachos.


Alain Soral

Accomplished intellectual, proud to proclaim himself “National Socialist.” Shunned by media and academia, he created a very professional site that serves as his own Academy, Egalité et Reconciliation The motto is Gauche du travail et Droite de valeurs [on the Left with labor on the Right for values]. A portrait of Hugo Chavez adorns the home page. Soral has a large following.




Nidra Poller

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