Jewish groups concerned about Le Pen-Wilders alliance (update)

The Israel information centre CIDI in the Netherlands says it is concerned at the alliance between Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen, leader of the French nationalist party Front National.

CIDI director Esther Voet told television current affairs show Nieuwsuur Le Pen’s father has been ‘convicted three times for anti-semitism and trivialises the Holocaust’.

‘We’ve all seen the film in which he says the gas chambers were a detail in World War II. So I have few illustions about father Le Pen,’ she says.

Marine Le Pen has distanced herself from her father but he remains honorary chairman and is leading the Front National’s European election campaign. Wilders has always made support for Israel and Jews a central part of his anti-Islam campaign.

Risks

The alliance between the two parties has major consequences for Europe’s Jews, Voet said. ‘There is a risk that a larger group in the European parliament will now call for a ban on, say, ritual slaughter or oppose circumcision. Then you are hitting at the heart of being Jewish.’

According to the Telegraaf, Wilders accepts the fact that Le Pen senior will remain a Front National Europarliamentarian despite his convictions for anti-semitism.

The PVV is thought to get a large part of its financial support from Israel and Jewish groups in the US.

Divisions

According to the Volkskrant, the new alliance between Wilders and Le Pen is causing divisions between Denmark’s nationalistic DF and the Swedish Democrats. The Danish group is threatening to break off its alliance with the Swedes because the SD is considering joining the Wilders-Le Pen group, the paper says.

DF chairman Søren Espersen is willing to work with Wilders but not the Front National because of its ‘deep anti-semetic roots’. He is also not keen on joining up with Austria’s FPO and the Belgian nationalists Vlaams Belang, the Volkskrant said.

Britain’s Ukip has already said it will not join the Le Pen-Wilders initiative.


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