LOCAL : Rightist Quits After Slurring Jews

From Times Wire Services

French far-right politician Claude Autant-Lara resigned his seat in the European Parliament today, leaving France in a storm over his anti-Jewish diatribe this week.

With angry reactions continuing over his remarks, the acclaimed film director of the 1940s also resigned his membership in the French Academy of Fine Arts at the request of the elite body.

Politicians from left and right have unanimously denounced the 88-year-old member of the ultra-right National Front for a Globe magazine interview in which he dubbed the Nazi Holocaust a pack of lies.

Autant-Lara also noted that former European Parliament President Simone Veil, a Jew and prominent literary critic, had survived a death camp. He said, “When they talk to me about genocide, I say . . . they missed old mother Veil.”

He said in the interview that he approved of the Jews having their own country but added, “Unfortunately, they don’t remain within its confines.”