"The job is very exposed".
Interview by Bernadette Sauvaget, published in Libération June 29, 2016
The man is discreet, little known to the general public. But not for long. Francis Kalifat took, Wednesday, June 29, 2016, his duties at the head of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (Crif).
"To fight against anti-Semitism in all its forms"
Elected president on May 29 without competitor in front of him, Francis Kalifat is in the wake of his predecessor, Roger Cukierman, very uncompromising.
"The priority will be to fight against anti-Semitism, in all its forms, whether on the Internet or through the antisemitic discourses of Soral and Dieudonné", said Francis Kalifat, immédiately after his election.
"Tackling the anti-Semitic dimension of BDS"
Francis Kalifat also promised to "address the dimension of anti-Semitism hidden behind anti-Zionism and particularly conveyed through the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, ed]."
First treasurer of Crif, Francis Kalifat became vice president of the institution in 2013. Facing him, the candidates were not scrambling at the gate. The left tried, without success, to push some personalities.
"A very demanding job"
"The position of president of CRIF is very exposed", said Kalifat. Very restrictive because of the terrorist threat.
"Francis Kalifat is more diplomatic than me", said Roger Cukierman to Libération. "He's a referee, a man who knows how to synthesise and create consensus".
"The Crif is less monolithic than it looks from the outside"
Internally, challenges abound. The insitution is challenged on both his left and his right. "The Crif is less monolithic than it looks from the outside" said the sociologist Martine Cohen.
"Two new vice presidents clearly from the left"
Supporting mainly the line of Roger Cukierman, the institution has recently selected two vice presidents clearly from the left, Gerard Unger and Yonathan Arfi ... Read more