What did Robert Badinter accuse the rebels and Jean-Luc Mélenchon of?

What did Robert Badinter accuse the rebels and Jean Luc Melenchon

Representatives of France Insoumise attended the national tribute paid to Robert Badinter against the wishes of the family. Why was the left party not welcome?

Upon the announcement of the death of Robert Badinter, on Friday February 9, the political forces had a word for the former Minister of Justice. But not all of them were welcome at the national tribute paid to the architect of the abolition of the death penalty on Place Vendôme, in Paris, this Wednesday, February 14. The family of the former Minister of Justice opposed the arrival of representatives of the National Rally, ideas contrary to those shared and defended by Robert Badinter, and the participation of members of France Insoumise. If the extreme right respected the wishes of the family, the rebels did not comply.

The fight between Robert Badinter and the far right is obvious: in his time the minister opposed Jean-Marie Le Pen on all his fights against the death penalty, for the decriminalization of homosexuality or even the humanization of prisons. An opposition which continued with Marine Le Pen who, until 2017, said she was in favor of the return of the death penalty in France. But the bad relations between the Minister of Justice of François Mitterrand and the rebels of Jean-Luc Mélenchon are more recent and less obvious. They are based on one thing: Robert Badinter, as well as his wife, the philosopher Elisabeth Badinter, criticize Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party for having betrayed secularism by defending communitarianism.

“Communitarianism is the death of the Republic”.

La France insoumise is therefore a face of the left which did not support Robert Badinter. In the mid-2010s, the Badinter couple already made a criticism against the left: that of having stopped defending the values ​​of secularism and of having consequently encouraged the rise of communitarianism. However, “communitarianism is the death of the Republic. […] If we were to have communities negotiating their membership or participation, it would be over. It would be another type of Republic, I don’t want it” explained Robert Badinter in an interview with Darius Rochebin on LCI in September 2020.

But the cut clarified his thoughts well before and targeted another evil of the left linked to communitarianism. “The worst thing about this communitarian left is having accepted the concept of ‘Islamophobia’, which has ruined the principle of secularism, because speaking out against religious signs became a crime” estimated Elisabeth Badinter on the microphone of France Inter in 2016. If this criticism was aimed at the left, today it seems to be aimed more at France Insoumise and Jean-Luc Mélenchon who have been displaying their fight against Islamophobia since 2019. The left-wing intellectual and feminist added in her analysis that the recognition of Islamophobia had pushed “more and more people on the left” to remain silent “for fear of being denounced because secularism [est] has become synonymous with Islamophobia”. According to her, the left has let this happen “paratified by the idea of ​​being accused of stigmatizing a population of immigrant origin” and since then secularism “has been abandoned to Marine Le Pen”.

An insufficient fight against the “Le Pen danger”

More recently, during the 2022 presidential campaign, Robert Badinter criticized the radical left party and its leader, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for not having sufficiently faced the “Le Pen danger”. Specifically, the former minister had criticized the rebellious candidate beaten in the first round of the presidential election for not having openly called to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round to block the far right.