‘Populist wave in US, Europe is great for Israel’

Founder of Belgian People’s Party tells Arutz Sheva wave of populism sweeping across West is a boon for Israel.

By Yoni Kempinski, INN

While the left has decried the rising tide of populism across the United States and Europe, claiming it is tied to racism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism, the leader of one of the new wave of populist parties says the political revolutions reshaping the West are not connected to racism – and are a boon for Israel.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva at the 2nd Jerusalem Leaders Summit, Mischaël Modrikamen, founder of the Belgian People’s Party, discussed the nature of the populist wave and its implications for the Jewish state.

“[There is] a clear distinction between the right-wing, neo-Nazi, fascist movements – and they are – if you look at the [Greek party] Golden Dawn, or the [Hungarian] Jobbik [party]… they are fascist, racist, and anti-Semitic,” said Modrikamen.

“But then you have all these movements that are combatting the mainstream media and the mainstream parties that are made up of your citizens that are tending to the right but do not consider themselves right-wing or extremist and so on, that are rising in Europe… and they are, for many reasons, sympathetic to Israel. Because they see an example… Israel as a kind of example – if I may quote a religious word – a kind of ‘light unto the nations’.”

“What Israel is doing – up on its feet, fighting radical Islam, controlling its border, and being strong on its values and history and so on… is a kind of example, Israel.”

With the success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the US, the Brexit vote in the UK, and polling suggesting populist candidates like Geert Wilders in the Netherlands winning upcoming elections, Modrikamen says Israel has reason to be optimist about the broader trend in European and American politics.

“The election of Trump, itself, of course will have influence on Europe, because the narrative is changing. But the same forces that got Trump elected in the States are also… working in Europe. Look, for example, at the elections soon in Netherlands, where [Geert] Wilders… will [likely] win the next election, will be the first party, and will be a candidate to be the Prime Minister.”

“These are the kinds of forces that are at work. That’s certainly good for Israel. And I think that Israel does not realize [that]… You’ll find, for example, the official policy of the [Israeli] Ministry of Foreign Affairs – they are very cautious about these populist movements. They don’t know if they should have contact with them or not. [But] they are today the most sympathetic allies to Israel, for many reasons.”

December 21, 2016 | 5 Comments »

Leave a Reply

5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. Perhaps someone didn’t do the homework!
    Hotovely followed instruction from Foreign Affairs office.
    Perhaps the left mass media is trying to inject “LA ZIZANIE”!

  2. Israeli officials won’t meet reps of far-Right Swedish party

    A Wednesday meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and a pro-Israel conservative delegation…..

    Becky Norton Dunlop, a fellow at Washington’s Heritage Foundation think tank and a senior member of the Trump transition team, said that the entire delegation came to Israel to take part in the seminar because “they are pro-Israel and want to show support for Israel.”

    While the Sweden Democrats “may have a history,” she said, “that history is some time ago. It is not the situation with the current leadership of the party.”

    The party’s current leader Jimmie Akesson has purged it – now the third largest party of Sweden – of some of its more radical elements.

    “Kristina is pro-Israel, so we as a delegation said that we want to meet as a delegation, and if they don’t want to meet, fine, we will meet with other people,” Dunlop said of Wednesday’s non-meeting with Hotovely.

    “Here we are trying to build support for Israel; we think that is important, and that Israel needs to be looking for allies. I am not sure what the Foreign Ministry’s bureaucracy goes through to check these things out, but Kristina is a strong pro-Israel ally in the EU and in Sweden.”

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said that when the Foreign Ministry learned that Kristina Winberg, a member of the European Parliament from the Sweden Democrats Party – a far-right anti-immigrant party – was in the delegation, it advised Hotovely not to meet her.


    Something strange here… I wonder if the leftist foreign ministry misinformed Shaked to create an incident? It makes no sense that a nazi would come in a pro israel delegation. Is Israel shooting itself in the foot? Do any Israelis here know what happened, it is very strange?

  3. Should use “neo-populism” (resurgence of nation state) to distinguish from the contemptuous and patronizing elite use of the term populist!

  4. the left and its fake news is trying to paint all nationalist and anti muslim immigration movements as anti semitic and nazi.. its a lie…. a lie that will be damaging to Jews due to Jewish support of muslim immigration and anti nationalism because muslim immigration is seen as an existential danger NOT a political talking point

  5. Backing far-right Swede, Trump proxy boycotts top Israeli official

    Delegation cancels meeting with Tzipi Hotovely after Foreign Ministry nixed participation of Kristina Winberg due to her party’s ‘neo-Nazi tendencies’

    this is strange…. winsberg of the right wing nationalist was banned by foreign ministry.. so naturally the whole delegation didnt go. Wallstrom the left winger is being boycotted by Israel but why the right wing populists who are against immigration and muslims? I saw nothing in the article as to anything Winberg did, only wallstrom her opposite. I hope this is not another episode like the bannon canard. Did she do anything against the jews or Israel or is there a left winger muddying up the whole thing here?