A French Presidential Candidate Endorses Hizbullah

December 2, 2021

Yvan Benedetti, the extremist nationalist leader of the French movement "Les Nationalistes" who announced that he will run in the 2022 French presidential election, has recently shared several posts endorsing the Hizbullah military wing on his affiliated Telegram channels. The EU designates Hizbullah's military wing as a terrorist organization.

Yvan Benedetti is former president of "L'Œuvre Française," a French antisemitic, extremist nationalist and neo-Petainist movement. (Marshal Petain was chief of State of the pro-Nazi Vichy-France during WW II). L'Œuvre Française was dissolved by the government in 2013. In June 2019, Yvan Benedetti was condemned to a suspended 8 months jail sentence for "recreating a disbanded league," as L'Œuvre francaise had kept on operating for several months following the banning of the organization. Benedetti is close to French antisemitic conspiracy thinker Alain Soral.

Yvan Benedetti forwarded the posts endorsing Hizbullah directly from the French pro-Hizbullah Telegram channel, Axe de la resistance (Resistance Axis). On November 25, 2021, Benedetti forwarded to his private Telegram account a series of photographs which depict Hizbullah fighters cleaning a statue of the Virgin Mary in a church, saluting a statue of the Virgin Mary, and otherwise exhibiting respect for Christianity, while also holding a Hizbullah flag against the backdrop of Christian crosses and domes. At least some of these photos were shot in the Syrian town of Maaloula which was controlled for some time by Jihadist organizations, including Jabhat al-Nusra. The regime, with the help of Hezbollah, "liberated" the city in April 2014.

The pro-Hizbollah Axe de la resistance post quotes a line from the Gospel of Luke (9:24) as follows: "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." In an accompanying post, Axe de la Resistance comments that the photographs portray Hizbullah "martyrs" who fell to protect the churches of Eastern Christians.

The flag emojis of Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen were added to the post and form the "resistance axis" supported by Benedetti.[1]

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On November 30, Benedetti's affiliated Telegram channel, Jeune Nation (Young Nation), shared another pro-Hizbullah post, which castigates Australia for designating Hizbullah a terrorist organization. The post reads, "Obeying the orders of the Zionist State [Israel], Australia lists Hizbullah as a terrorist organization." The post provides a link to an article published on the Jeune Nation website. [2]

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The article featured on the Jeune Nation site criticizes Australia while openly mentioning Lebanon-based Hizbullah Al-Manar TV as its source of information: "Al Manar TV tells us that the Australian government has finally bowed to Israeli orders as it listed all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, extending to the entire Lebanese resistance group [i.e Hezollah] this listing [as a terrorist organization]; until now only its armed units were listed as terrorist."[3]

Meanwhile, the pro-Hizbullah Axe de la Resistance shared a video of Yvan Benedetti on its Telegram channel in which he states that he will run in the 2022 French presidential election. Benedetti's post, endorsed by the Axe de la Resistance, reads, "In the face of the denial candidates, the sham and diversion candidates, there was a need for a true candidate proposing an alternative to the [current republican] system. This is the meaning of my commitment in this presidential campaign. I will be the voice of the nationalists!" Benedetti provided a ProtonMail contact address.[4]

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[1] Yvan Benedetti on Telegram, November 25, 2021.
[2] Jeune Nation on Telegram, November 30, 2021.
[3] "L’Australie aux ordres de l’État sioniste classe le Hezbollah comme 'organisation terroriste'", Jeune Nation, November 30, 2021
[4] Axe de la Resistance on Telegram, November 29, 2021.

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