Published on 3 October 2019

Crif - French freemasons withdraw text attacking Crif

France’s principal masonic organisation has withdrawn a text which accused Crif, the country’s Jewish umbrella organisation and EJC affiliate, of causing antisemitism.

Published on August 27 in the European jewish Congress website

The move by the Grand Orient de France follows a text submitted for support at the organisation’s general assembly by a member of a Paris lodge, Maximilien the Incorruptible, calling on officials of the national organisation to cease participating at events organized by Crif because of Crif's support for Israel’s “extreme right religious extreme policies.”

Such policies of Crif “would lead to an increase in antisemitism”, the document went on.

The motion was approved by the 53,000 member lodge and submitted for approval by the regional body of the masonic group.

However, the organisation’s grand master, Jean Philippe Hubsch issued a statement where he stated that the Grand Orient de France were “neither antisemites, racists nor xenophobes.”

Reacting to the motion’s withdrawal, Crif President Francis Kalifat said he had gone “from anger, to shock, to incomprehension”.

“How can an institution like the Freemasons allow itself to submit a motion bordering on diffamatory towards Crif and borderline antisemitic by its language?” Kalifat said.

Kalifat said he had immediately contacted Hubsch, “who was as shocked as I was”.

The source of the motion was apparently a member of the Paris lodge who supported the policies of a far-left political grouping led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, himself known for attacks on CRIF.

Kalifat declared the affair now closed.