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European Left More Dangerous for Jews than European Right

The greatest threats to Jews (and Israel) in contemporary Europe don't necessarily come from the right anymore.

by
Soeren Kern

Bio

June 12, 2009 - 12:00 am
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Jewish groups in Europe and the United States have reacted with alarm to the gains made by far-right political parties in the recent elections for European Parliament. Right-wing and nationalist parties posted significant victories in Austria, Britain, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, and the Netherlands in four days of voting that ended on June 7.

The Paris-based European Jewish Congress (EJC), an umbrella organization for Jewish communities in Europe, said: “As we assess the results of this week’s elections, one disturbing trend has already crystallized; the gains made by extreme-right groups is a Europe-wide phenomenon. The success of the far-right and nationalistic parties that won seats in the elections on the basis of racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic platforms points to a clear erosion of tolerance and a clarion call to European officials to immediately engage in intercultural dialogue. The success of such rabid groups as The Freedom Party in the Netherlands, the Freedom Party in Austria (FPO), the Danish People’s Party, the British National Party, and Jobbik in Hungary, among others, will sadly only serve to embolden those who espouse the dangerous concepts of extreme nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it was “deeply distressing that the blatantly anti-Semitic parties received so many votes,” and called on European leaders to “ensure that anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry never again gain a foothold in Europe. … It is imperative that European leaders do not remain silent, but speak out and reject the hateful and bigoted worldview of parties of the far-right and their supporters.”

The Geneva-based World Jewish Congress (WJC) said: “Far-right parties and extremists have made gains across Europe amid protest votes and low turnout for the European Parliament (EP) elections. The elections were held in all 27 EU member states from Thursday to Sunday last week. Support for centre-Left parties and governments collapsed across the EU as fringe parties, picked up protest votes.”

Although these and other Jewish groups are not alone in their concerns about rising anti-Semitism in Europe, their fear of the far right often obscures the indisputable fact that some of the greatest threats to Jews (and Israel) in contemporary Europe stem from the left side of the political aisle. Indeed, it is no big secret that all across the European continent, left-wing intellectuals are playing a crucial role in making anti-Semitism seem respectable. Of course, they are (usually) careful to promote their hatred of Jews only indirectly. Instead, modern anti-Semitism is typically disguised as anti-Zionism and an obsession with Palestinian victimhood.

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