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May 26, 2014 12:10 pm

Jewish Groups Concerned Over Far-Right Surge in European Union Parliamentary Elections

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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EU flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels. Photo: Amio Cajander via Wikimedia Commons.

Jewish groups expressed concern on Monday over the surge in support for far-right parties in the European Union’s parliamentary elections, with fears that hate speech will now feature more prominently in European politics.

On Monday, the EU said that of the 751 seats, the center-right European People’s Party won 214, followed by the center-left Socialists and Democrats with 189, while the far-right parties surged to win a combined 36 seats, giving them enough weight to influence debate and decision making in the EU body.

France’s National Front won 25 seats, Hungary’s notorious Jobbik party won four seats, Greece’s Golden Dawn, under criminal investigation and with several party leaders in prison, entered the European Parliament for the first time, with an expected three seats, and the far-right FPÖ in Austria won four seats.

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the American Jewish Committee Transatlantic Institute, said, “These radical parties have been able to grow in their respective home countries for quite some time and are now cementing their presence also at the European level.”

“They must be confronted head-on or the danger will only continue to grow,” Schwammenthal said, adding their “presence in the legislature for the next five years will, at a minimum, provide a soapbox from which to propagate their vile hatred.”

French artist and humanitarian Ron Agam, son of Israeli painter Yaacov Agam, told The Algemeiner on Monday, “The vote for the FN in France is a rupture with the past. Today French voters have endorsed a party that is essentially xenophobic, anti-Semitic and demagogically populist.”

“France’s democracy is in danger and the horizon for Jews is getting bleaker,” Agam said. “Jews in France are now sandwiched between a growing anti-Semitism from radical French Islamic elements and, now, an ever growing extreme right that will ultimately show its real face sooner or later.”

“More than ever, I am very worried for France’s Jewish community,” Agam said.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday also voiced concern over the “alarming” success of extremist, including neo-Nazi, parties in the elections.

“There is no doubt that political extremism is on the rise in Europe, and along with it anti-Semitism is rising as well,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “The success of extremist political parties, both on the far-right and far-left, has never been good for democracy or for Jews and other minorities. The continuing trend in Europe toward support for these parties is cause for heightened concern.”

The ADL’s Global 100 Index of Anti-Semitic Attitudes, released earlier this month, revealed that on average, 27 percent of the EU’s adult population harbors anti-Semitic attitudes.

Foxman linked anti-Semitism in Europe to the deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium over the weekend and another attack that came hours later when two Jewish brothers wearing kippahs were assaulted outside a synagogue in Créteil, Paris.

“The atmosphere for Jews in Europe is deteriorating,” Foxman said. “The murderous attacks in Brussels this past weekend and two years ago in Toulouse, and the rising number of assaults on Jews, such the attack in Paris on Saturday, are stark examples of the very real dangers facing Jews.”

“The alarming electoral successes of the extremists will only contribute to increasing that sense of insecurity,” Foxman added. “If Jewish life in Europe is to continue and thrive, it will require a serious commitment from all European governments and EU institutions to turn the tide. The choice is theirs and the time is now.”

The Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), the main umbrella organization of French Jewry, said in a statement that it is deeply concerned about the results of the elections. The organization called on the French government to “take strong measures against those who spread anti-Semitic and racist speech to strongly condemn their barbaric acts, and intervene in schools to reaffirm values of the Republic.”

“History has taught us that economic crises promote nationalism and isolationism, which are accompanied by the rejection of the other, racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments,” the CRIF said. “Moreover, the bombing of Brussels that killed four people on Saturday, and the anti-Semitic attack against Créteil two young people, showed that hatred rose again, from the stage of speech to physical aggression.”

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  • Mel

    ‘Those who believe in nothing easily fall for anything!’

    That open secret goes unseen by brain-dead reporters of the lamestream media, whose muddleheadedness leaves them so compliant no other ‘respectable’ profession dares risk the liability. However, it is the adherents of their message (with progressive Jews leading the parade) that fall victim to the thousand-year-old propaganda campaign called Islam.

    Thus the political Left (so-called because its ability to form independent thoughts was Left Behind at school) fears the Far Right, leaving them newly-surrounded by shameless, clueless ‘Far-Wrong Idiotlogs’ [sic).

    • Lucy

      I think the jews should be worried about being killed By Muslims. The Muslims have promised to do it. It’s in the Koran.

      One wonders how many reporters have to lose their heads to Islam, or women reporters have to be raped by muslims before the Liberals wake up.

  • P gaetti

    All the attacks and murders on the Jewish in Europe was planed and done by radical Muslisms and not by these far right groups .

  • We believe that there is gross misrepresentation of the UKIP advances in British government by this story and the groups fearing a new political force may be generally leftist in their thinking to begin with. Considering how the Israeli situation has been reportedly going recently, we would think a change for the better would be welcomed. Time will tell.

    • anti ukip

      Ukip are liberal not far right plus they are bare faced lier created by the lib, con, lab

      • Ron

        I don’t comprehend your “bare faced liar” comment, but you are certainly correct in saying UKIP were created by the existing three main parties. I, for one, became completely fed up with parties and their leaders that promised the earth when campaigning for election, and then developed selective memories and teflon shoulders once they were in office. They then arrogantly ignored the very electorate that voted them in, doing their own thing as if we didn;t matter. all three refuse to recognise the threat to freedom & democracy form islam, which teaches the opposite of everything we are and stand for. Now they are desperately talking about finding a way to get their “message” across to those same voters. Well, we’ve got the “message” already. The electorate were promised a referendum on continued membership of the EU several times and those promises were never honoured. We were originally told by Ted Heath that we would be joining a “Common Market”, NOT a political union, and that is what we voted for. So who are the “bare faced liars?” It appears that I was not the only one to be fed up with broken promises!

  • Ron

    As I previously stated in another comment, the resurgence of anti-semitism in Europe is in proportion to the influx of muslim immigrants and their expanding population. Malmo in Sweden, where the Jewish population has nose dived, may well be the first muslim city in Scandinavia. Denmark has at least one “no go ” estate for Danish police of islamic immigrants. In the UK there are problematic islamic communities such as Tower Hamlets in south London where there have been muslim patrols trying to enforce sharia,telling people they can’t drink alcohol and telling girls they must cover their heads. This is a move for territorial control and has led to counter patrols by Britain First, who are handing out bibles and declaring that this is England and that we are all subject to English law. Britain first have also been leafleting mosques telling the imams to start doing something to stop muslim grooming gangs and FGM. The media in the UK and elsewhere in Europe is so dominated by left wing dogma, that any party or group that recognises the threat to our freedom by islam, and it’s goal of imposing it’s “religion” and sharia law on the entire world, is immediately labelled as “far right”. Anyone who speaks out against this threat is viciously attacked & smeared. The focus of these “far right” parties is against the EU itself and their frustration at their loss of sovereignty and the appeasement of islam. UKIP are primarily against the EU. I voted for them, and I am not anti-jewish. I worked in Israel as a non-Jew many years ago and made good friends there. I messaged UKIP that if they had the courage to take on the debate about the threat from islam they would get even more support.

    • anti ukip

      Ukip wont touch islam they scrapped there burka policy plus they stand muslims ukips agenda is to get rid of eu migrant but influxx islamic and african immigration

  • vivarto

    The so called “far right” Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party)is the greatest friend of Israel in Denmark.
    Is the most pro-Israeli party by far shot.
    Neither is there anything “far right about them”. Their economical and social policies are Social-Democratic.
    The IDIOTS call them “far rights” only because they oppose the Muhammedan occupation of Denmark, and BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT ISRAEL!!!!!

  • Is left better? A broad coalition of right, left and center voted against kosher shchita in the Netherlands.
    They are all antisemites.

  • Tim and Sonia Willats

    We agree. The rise of the rightist parties, sp. UKIP, is a knee-jerk reaction to 1)EU legislation and red-tape, which is also subverting positive national identity coupled with 2) The pro-Islam, pro-socialist far left, which is, as commentators so correctly point out, fed by the liberal press.

    Jews build up the countries and economies they live in and contribute greatly to their cultures. This is the message we need to get out.

  • Otto A Grossman

    Attributable to the austerity policies which not only don’t work-but backfire as well

  • Beatrix

    Cantor seems happy. Lately I’ve been looking at the Catholic Chris Christy and wondering if he’s Jewish enough for me. I know. He misspoke on Israel and now is afraid to mention the name, but that will pass. Obama says all the right things, and does everything wrong. Bombs for Iran. Kerry and Indyk to Israel. Turning on Egypt. Nothing but adulation for the cunning Abbas and blame for Israel. Reaching out to Muslims and taking Jews for granted except when he’s running for office and needs Jewish money. I much prefer Adelson to Soros.

    I don’t think the right will turn on us, here or in Europe. I think they’ll appreciate us, unlike the very out of date left that takes us for granted. Can you even imagine Jews ever being Communists? Ugh.

  • carol

    Agreed with most above. Hungary is definitely a problem, but Jews have misaligned themselves with the left, who have encouraged Islamic immigration and Islam has as its goal to kill every last Jew. The leftists are in bed with Islam. It makes more sense to align with the right in many cases in Europe, so in many ways I am encouraged.

    It’s frightening that Jewish groups are concerned about the “far-right” surge, often that means conservative.

    Geert Wilders is very pro-Jewish and pro-Israel, so are a number of the other “far-right” groups. Jewish leaders that are concerned about this are probably the same idiots that think Obama’s just peachy.

    • Michael Garfinkel

      Carol – Amen!

    • Jacob81

      The problem is that you cannot cure hatred against the Jews from the extreme Islamists with hatred against all Muslims from the European Parliaments. Hatred is never the solution. If the Muslim population starts to be massively put under pressure and not accepted as Europeans, many of them will be frustrated and thus their frustration will be put on other minorities, i.e. Jews, homosexuals etc. And that is therefore the Jews indeed should be scared about the development in European politics. The far-right parties will not solve the problem. They will make everything worse.

    • Michael

      Stop comparing apples and pears. The Algeminer article mentions the extremists of both sides. If you really think the far right is not a problem for Jews in Europe, just because of your hatted of Obama, you are gravely naive and mistaken! I have little time for Obama but it doesn’t blind me to the real threat that all extremists, particularly neo-Nazis pose!

    • maria

      Yes, Jobbik is a Nazi Party,Golden Dawn is a nazi party and the Italian Grillo party are nazis, but Geert Wilders is pro Jewish, Sverigedemokrater is the only Swedish political party that is pro Israel, Danish People Party is pro Jewish and pro -Israel.
      UKIP is not at all far right and unfortunately they are against immigrants from Europé but accept the muslim terrorists from all over the World. They are more a a left winged pro muslim party which is very bad.
      Marine Le Pen is a problem because her father was an antisemite and in spite of her corect anti muslim speeches, we can´t trust her. She mjust show more support for the French Jews.
      However, EU is terribly antisemitic now, anti-Israeli
      see what the Ashton woman does and all the left winged

    • joydbrower

      Couldn’t agree more!! Leftists and “J-Street” Jews – including the relatively weak and annoying Abe Foxman – cry “Anti-Semitism!” whenever a right-wing politician can state a cogent argument for nationalist feelings that absolutely DETEST islam more than anything else. Marine La Pen, e.g., is NOT as radical as was her father (or so many sources have written); but their ire is drawn more toward the invading muslim immigrants from N. Africa than their native Jewish population (albeit the atmosphere has been polluted by gov’t multicultural policies as much as any native anti-Semitism, the result of which is the dramatically increased emigration from France by thousands of Jews).

      So, until the public at large – including each country’s Jews – realize that the main antisemitic thrust is from radical muslims practicing jihad and trying to institute Sharia, etc. In fact, I think most of the actual physical violence toward French Jews has come specifically from immigrant muslim arabs – NOT the native “grumblers.”

    • Margarete Healy

      Right on!

  • aall55

    Between a rock and a hard place : it is hard to believe that the Far Right is a better alternative for Jews today as they are physically attacked by the Muslims practically on a daily basis .

    In the long term , in France ,the sentiment of anti semitism from Jean Marie Lepen will re surface and the “friendly to the Jews ” front his daughter Marine has been putting on, will fall off , facilitated by a generalized anti semite Europe who does not hide itself today .

    • Sunshine

      Marine tried her best, in full honesty. The Jews crushed her.

    • Sunshine

      Who are attacking the Jews in Europe? Think a bit… It’s always the same story. Not the far right but the far left (in speech) and the Islamic immigrants (in actions). WAKE UP!

      • aall55

        Jean Marie Lepen is the godfather of Dieudonne’s daughter , both far left and far right are accomplices.

        Marine has a mask on , the apple cannot fall that far from the tree.

  • Beatrix

    The right wing parties are on the rise because of the Muslims. Jews are just collateral damage. Europe does not want to become Islamic and the right is aware of and fighting that danger. (Some pundits say France is already heading in that direction). The right doesn’t like the Jews, but as Eric says, it’s the left that is a danger to us.

    • Julian Clovelley

      Now lets see if I’ve understood you Beatrix.

      When it finally got dragged screaming into the war, after Stalin’s original treacherous non-aggression pact sellout, it was Soviet forces – the forces of a Socialist country – that swept across Eastern Europe and liberated that area, including on 27th January 1945, the camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Soviet Union lost a figure of between 25 and 40 million dead, of which nearly nine million were military losses. These are the people whose memory you would seem to insult?

      Socialists and Social Democrats formed the only genuine resistance to the rise of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler. They took to the streets in London to bring down the Fascist Blackshirts of Oswald Mosely, defending the Jews of London’s East End, and forcing Conservative forces in Government and the British establishment to act against the rise of a Nazi fifth column. These again are Left Wing people you seem to insult?

      It was Socialists, followed by Social Democrats, who were thrown into concentration camps first in Nazi Europe – long before Jews and Gypsies. Elected Left Parliamentarians were imprisoned in Germany, and their political parties dismantled. Whilst the Right Wing Vatican signed Concordats with the devil, Socialists continue to warn, and to fight against Fascism now in Government – Fascism assisted in its ascendancy by the political Right. In Britain Fascism even penetrated into the aristocracy, and created a degree of sympathy for Hitler even within members of the Royal Family – If you have any doubt look at the photos of Edward and Wallace smiling amongst Nazi Officers, and when meeting Hitler

      Socialists formed the backbone of many resistance movements. Many Jews fought alongside them and died alongside them. In fact the Left’ssympathy towards Jewish people and towards the establishment of the State of Israel, continued until long after Israel’s foundation. Institutions such as the Kibbutz were greatly admired. To some, Israel was the darling of the Left. Was the Left wrong in those days?

      People have short memories. I see Jewish communities goaded into supporting the same kinds of Right Wing forces that betrayed them in the nineteen twenties and thirties. I see, in the treatment of President Obama, that they have forgotten that President Franklin D Roosevelt, who finally managed to bring American Forces into the war, and the liberation of Europe, was a Democrat. Is this loyalty and gratitude thay I see displayed?

      What has happened to you all? – Why have you become so keen to destroy the sympathy the Left had, and that many in the Left retain? I ask you again – are a set of settlements on occupied land that inevitably will have to be handed over some day truly worth offending the UN, International Law, human rights organisations, charities and the Left? What do you really have to justify this error other than a myth of origins that only one side believes, and the excuse that the Israeli Government absolutely must retain the political support of Judaic Fundamentalists and therefore rules with its hands tied?

      Socialism is a credo that does not recognise boundaries. the suffering of a Palestinian child counts equally with that of an Israeli child. A muslim attacked for his or her belief or origin counts as much as a Jew attacked – or any other minority attacked for their identity.

      What the Left wants to see above all else is a negotiated settlement – impediments to that – be it the Hamas Charter, suicide bombings, archaic myths, or the West Bank Settlements, and stringent military Occupation now over forty years, all these are abhorred by the Left.

      But if everything – partially through stupidity within the Jewish community – were to go “pear shaped” again – rest assured it is more likely that you will find members of the political Left aiding you than of the Right. Read history and you will see how the dynamics play out in practice.

      • Beatrix

        Hi Julian:

        Times have changed. Russia did great fighting the Nazis once they stopped trying to be their allies. In gratitude, Roosevelt handed over East Europe to Stalin subjecting those people to decades of repression, cruelty and backwardness.

        Most settlements will remain in Israel. Land used by splinter groups will be handed over to Palestinians if they ever make peace. Common sense says the land belongs to Israel. Maybe the law will catch up.

        Just as common sense says that Jews should be moving away from the left. I left the Democrats and became Independent a long time ago. I don’t see the European right as the enemy. In fact, they give Jews renewed hope: Stop running. Stay and fight. You have allies.

        In America, I’d vote for Christy. I’d never vote for Rand. The Republicans need to be more open and less paranoid. After Obama, there’s a lot of people who’d like to vote for them.

      • Lucy

        The communists used the Jews for a while in Russia. Once in power they turned on the jews and it was even worse for them than it was under the Czar.

    • maria

      Yes, Europé is nearly invaded by the muslims. And don´t forget all the latest murder attacks on Jews in France, Belgium and Malmö were committed by the muslims.

      • The shame of what happened in Brussels should not be lost in the nonsense here! It was not ‘the muslim’s who shot these poor Jewish individuals, but a malignant individual who happened to be a Muslim! hitler, Himmler, heydrich and eichmann were all Catholics. That does not make all Catholics nazti’s!!

  • Islamic-driven Jew-hatred is the biggest threat to European Jewry. The European Jewish Community needs practical help to ensure a successful Aliyah for its people. History has taught us that incitement against Jews results in violence, and the only place to go is Israel.

    • Kerry Berger

      Aliyah is NOT the answer. Enforcing existing laws or reinforcing with new laws in those countries is what is needed to curb the growth of antisemitism. Aliyah is the cowards way out!!!

      • Sunshine

        I live in Québec. Between private groups, our main worry now is the exodus of French muslims for Québec. You are right all the way. Jews must remain in France and Marine will protect them. Her party is anti-immigration, anti-Islamic, anti-Euro. Nothing more.

  • Bob

    Eric you are 100% correct!

  • Eric R.

    These “Jewish leaders” are morons that have ideological blinders on. Yes, Jobbik is a threat, and to some extent, the FN too (but not the UKIP – Farage is pro-Israel). But the real growth in Jew-hatred in Europe has long been due to the left, and not just the radical left, but the mainstream left – which after all, has the power to spread its Israel-bashing, Jew-hating lies due to the left’s control of media, the arts, the Universities, the EU bureaucracy and the NGOs. Sweden has become a neo-Nazi state due to Jew-hatred by its mainstream Socialists; the country has no far-right to speak of. Same with Norway, and sadly now Denmark as well.

    FN will be no worse, and probably less bad, in this regard, than all those Communists, Socialists, Greens and Trotskyists who dominate the EU and European media and culture.

    • Sunshine

      I agree with some of what you write.

      These ‘lefties’ are the result of muslim infiltration through muslim student associations and misc muslim groups that are in full dawa (smiling eyes, pretty smile, no Mohamed beard, western clothing).

      Now, the Front National is NOT anti-Semitic. If anything, Marine Le Pen wanted to visit Israel but Jewish groups stopped it.

      Everything comes back full responsibility to the dishonest media who are the true anti-Semitics. Jews are in trouble everywhere, very sadly. However, they bear a great part of the responsibility by playing along the lefties.

      They align themselves with their worst enemies. Terribly tragic.

      • Beatrix

        Muslims don’t infiltrate the left, they propagandize the left and the left accepts it.

      • Beatrix

        Eric, I agree with you completely. Sunshine, I agree with you partly. Great pen name!

    • Beatrix

      I agree with everything you write. Geert Wilders (Holland) is far right and very pro-Israel. And La Pen says that, unlike her father, she is pro Jewish, too.

      • joydbrower

        We are political (and maybe religious!) “soul mates,” Beatrix! You’ve expressed succinctly so many points I was trying, but with limited success, to express. The bottom line is that the world Jewish community needs to wake up and smell the REAL political coffee! The political left has, over time, been quite a detriment not only to the Jews, but to all freedom-loving and religious-believing people in EVERY country! But the CAIRS of this world have easily detected fertile ground for easily manipulating and propagandizing their Sharia among the political left in every country.

        In the end, however, who will be left standing? I think islam is powerful in its generational patience; and unless the West and its democratic ideals are determined to fight this evil force, islam will prevail – and civilization may enter another Dark Age, sweeping Jews, Christians and everyone else away from its conquering path.

    • maria

      Yes,agree, but is Farage really pro Israel?Why does he allow more muslims to come to Britain?
      Yes and you ae right about the Scandinavian parties.
      “Sverigedemokrater” are not far right, they are the only party who supports Israel in Sweden and the same goes for Danish People Party

      • Johan

        Maria, you’re are perfectly right. In the Sweden Democrat central board sit for the moment two Jews, Kent Ekeroth (who among many things lost his intern ship at the Swedish embassy in Israel because he was a Sweden Democrat) was awarded the World Zionist Organization Herzl Award for exceptional contributions for Israel and Zionism. The other is Paula Bieler, editor of the main Sweden Democrat news paper, who is a great friend of Israel and currently running for the European Parliament elections.