France has a new president, the youngest man to be elected since Napoleon Bonaparte.
With polls closed across the country, approximately 65 percent of the vote went to centrist Emmanuel Macron of the ‘En Marche’ party on Sunday, leaving his rival, Marine Le Pen, behind with an estimated 34.5 percent, according to France 24 and other French news outlets.
The polls closed at 8 pm local time, and under French law, neither candidate nor their supporters were allowed to speak with media until that time.
For the first time in more than a century, 39-year-old Macron is the youngest man to become president of France and its 47 million voters.
Both candidates were outside the political mainstream, but Macron will keep liberals happy and keep France safely within the European Union.
Macron’s rise to the top was not without difficulty, however. This past Friday night, Macron’s campaign office in Normandy was vandalized with anti-Semitic grafitti, according to a report by the L’eveil Normand newspaper.
Epithets were written in red market on the entrance to the office. Among the foul slurs were:
“Sioniste” – French for “Zionist”
“The 20 most shocking extracts of the Talmud” – but no details of what they were;
“Israel = Mossad de Rothschild” – a reference to the Jewish banking family, and to Macron’s work as an investment banker at Banque Rotschild.
The attack followed statements in the media by Macron saying that he backs a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The new French president-elect also said he did not intend to unilaterally recognize any ‘State of Palestine’ if elected – as he now has been – because it would harm relations between France and Israel.
Reported by: Hana Levi Julian – Jewish Press