Israel and Europe’s Turn to the Right

Good or bad for the Jewish state?

Hugh Fitzgerald | June 24, 2024

As Europeans have increasingly turned to the right, with the electoral victories of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, of Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia in Italy, of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella’s National Rally in France, and of Alice Weidel’s Alternative für Deutschland in Germany, Israel should unembarrassedly make common cause with these leaders and parties, all of which have expressed stout support for Israel. The increased popularity of these parties is due mainly to their firm stance against continued Muslim migration into their countries, a stance that has caused them to be labelled, quite unfairly, as “far-right.”

An increasing number of Europeans have at last understood that the large-scale presence of Muslims in their countries now threatens to undermine the civilization of Judeo-Christian Europe, and has already resulted in a situation that is far more unpleasant, expensive, and physically dangerous for Europe’s non-Muslims, than would be the case without that large-scale Muslim presence. And the rise of right-wing populism reflects the widespread alarm over the power waged by European political and media elites, who largely oppose restrictions on Muslim immigration. The EU is run by people who are not loyal to the ideal of the nation-state. They are international bureaucrats, able through the supra-national European Union, to impose minimum immigration quotas on its member states. This has led to much unhappiness in those states, some of which — like Hungary— are simply refusing to comply.

More on the rise of the anti-Islam and pro-Israel right can be found here: “Editor’s Notes: Embracing Israel’s new allies on the European right, despite troubling past,” by Zvika Klein, Jerusalem Post, June 14, 2024:

“Keep strong, my Israeli friends, in fighting Hamas. The UN, USA, and Europe don’t understand you are fighting an existential war. Against the dark forces of hate and destruction called Hamas. I’ll always support you.” This quote, which would probably resonate positively amongst most Israelis and Jews, was said by a far-right [sic] political leader [Geert Wilders] who may become the Netherlands’s next Prime Minister.

Wilders has said he does not want to be prime minister. He will, however, remain the most powerful politician in the Netherlands, the leader of the most important party, the Party For Freedom (PVV), that leads a four-party coalition. Wilders is more powerful than the newly-designated Prime Minister, Dick Schoof.

Meet 60-year-old Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who founded and has led the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) since 2006, holding a parliamentary seat since 1998. Known for his right-wing populism, anti-immigration stance, opposition to Islam, and Euroscepticism, Wilders has been a controversial figure, particularly after withdrawing his party’s support from the Rutte cabinet in 2012 over budget disagreements. Raised Roman Catholic, his political views were significantly shaped by his travels to Israel and the Arab world, and he has been under constant armed protection since 2004 due to his outspoken views.

According to reports, Wilders met with far-right leaders in Brussels earlier this week [in mid-June] to discuss European Parliament cooperation. At the same time, the formation of the new Dutch cabinet, including members from several political parties, is estimated to be able to establish a new and historic right-wing coalition….

Members of each of the parties in the four-party ruling coalition in the Netherlands have been appointed to the new cabinet; Wilders’ PVV party has the most members in the new cabinet; the new Prime Minister, Dick Schoof, is a member of the PVV Party and considered to be close to Wilders.

Wilders has long been a controversial figure in European politics. Known for his staunch anti-Islamic rhetoric and nationalist views, Wilders and his PVV party have been viewed with suspicion and concern by many, including within Israel. However, the political reality in the Netherlands has changed. Wilders’ PVV made significant gains in the recent elections, forming a coalition government with other right-wing parties. This shift emphasizes the need for Israel to reassess its stance toward engaging with right-wing European leaders….

Traditional Israeli fears about Europe’s “far-right” groups being hotbeds of antisemitism are way out of date. The “far-right” parties, as they have been mislabeled by the media, no longer consist of antisemites as they would have decades ago, but rather, are led by supporters of the Jewish state, who rightly see Israel as a bulwark of the West against the main threat to our civilization, which now comes from the votaries of militant Islam. The threat to Europeans is from within: the tens of millions of Muslims now in their midst, living on the generous benefits provided by European welfare states, but unable and unwilling to integrate into a polity created by non-Muslims, the “most vile of created beings.”

For another example, the Sweden Democrats, led by Jimmie Åkesson, have expressed strong support for Israel, especially in light of the recent conflicts. On October 15, 2023, Åkesson emphasized that “Sweden must stand with Israel against terrorism and international bias.”

The Sweden Democrats, as usual labelled by the media as “right-wing,” are nothing of the kind. They have merited that description only because Âkesson is opposed to any further Muslim immigration to Sweden.

Israelis must not be fooled by the mislabeling of these anti-Muslim parties in Europe as “far-right.” That has become the epithet of choice used by politicians and parties that favor Muslim immigration into Europe, employed to blacken the image of their political opponents, such as Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen. Israelis should realize that those so-called “far right” parties are really just conservative parties whose main concern is halting Muslim immigration. These parties, and their leaders, are also described misleadingly as “anti-immigrant.” They are not. They are opposed only to Muslim immigrants. That is a big difference, and it must be made clear to Western publics.

Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella of the National Rally in France, Giorgia Meloni of Fratelli d’Italia and Matteo Salvini of the Lega in Italy, Geert Wilders of the People’s Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, Alice Weidel of the Alternative für Deutschland party in Germany, and Santiago Abascal of the VOX party in Spain all understand that Israel is on the front line of the war between Islam and the West, between Islam and all the rest. The war being waged on Israel by its Muslim Arab enemies is a classic jihad, using war and terrorism as its instrument.

The Muslim invasion of Europe constitutes a variant that Muslims have employed in the past: the demographic jihad, that centuries ago managed to turn the Middle East and North Africa into Muslim lands, parts of the umma. Victory by Muslims in either jihad — the war against Israel waged by Muslim fighters and terrorists, and the demographic jihad by Muslim immigrants who threaten to transform Europe — would be disastrous for the survival of the West. Israel must overcome any residual suspicion it may have of groups described as “far-right” and make common cause, without delay, with those in Europe who offer the Jewish state their full-throated support, stand with Jews against the mainly Muslim antisemites who attack them inside Europe, and are helping Jews, and themselves, to have a future in Europe by working to call a halt to, and possibly even to reverse, Muslim immigration.

June 24, 2024 | 5 Comments »

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. These two comments are very deceptive and I object to their deceit. The world is barrelling to a nuclear war. I only am familiar with the Spanish and French and know that the right there prepared to lead nuclear war possibly against Russia. I oppose that. Others here support that.

  2. An important corrective from Hugh Fitzgerald to the Israeli stereotype o fthe “extreme right” being the enemies of the Jews, the “left” more sympathtic to Israel and Jews. This might have been true, or at least partially true, in 1948, but but now it is very far from the truth. The European right has changed, but unfortuneatly most Israeli Jews’ perceptions of European politics have not changed.

  3. Excellent article. It’s true that some of the older “white supremacist” type parties were and are antisemitic, but the new nationalist parties are not. They support Israel and will make loyal allies if elected. I appeal to any British or European readers to check out any such candidates. In Britain we are having an election in two weeks’ time. Personally, we have a fine Reform Party candidate in our own constituency, and as someone with dual citizenship, entitled to vote in the UK and in the US, I intend to vote for the Reform Party over here, and for Trump in the US. All of us who care about Israel and are true Zionists (presumably everyone reading this newsletter) must do the same, as the rest of the world is becoming daily less friendly to the only Jewish State.