LE MONDE: The new pro-Israeli clothes of Europe’s far right

By Gilles Paris, published on May 31, 2024, at 5:14 pm (Paris) on Le Monde


While Israel does not officially maintain relations with many European far-right parties, many of them have become unconditional supporters of the country.

It’s an observation that says as much about the evolution of a significant proportion of the member states of the European Union as it does about what Israel is becoming. The far right is establishing itself as the most unconditional supporter of the country, an evolution not called into question by the carnage perpetrated in Gaza following the Hamas massacres of Israeli civilians.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom signed a coalition agreement with three other parties on May 15. Wilders succeeded in inserting into this agreement an “examination” of moving the Dutch embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a complete break with the European position that Jerusalem’s status must be decided by negotiation.

Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain’s far-right Vox party, voiced his opposition to his country’s recognition of the Palestinian state on May 28, when he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – vehemently opposed to recognition – in Jerusalem. On the same day, Marion Maréchal, lead candidate of the French far-right Reconquête! party in the European elections, said that recognizing such a state now would be tantamount to creating “an Islamist state, with all the dangers that this could represent for Israel and for the West in general.”

A bygone era

For a long time, political movements whose roots could be traced back to the dark hours of the Second World War and the Holocaust kept Israel at a distance. The assessment of the European Parliament’s ninth term by the European Coalition for Israel – an influential group founded in 2004 – demonstrated just how far this was a bygone era. The 20 parties whose votes were most favorable to Israel all belonged to the far right and eurosceptics, mainly European Conservatives and Reformists.


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