Is the European Far Right Shedding Its Anti-Semitism?

Sept. 18 2015

Most of Europe’s far-right political parties—the Freedom Party of Austria, the National Front in France, and so forth—have histories of anti-Semitism, sometimes quite vicious. But recently they have been distancing themselves from anti-Semitism (and neo-Nazism), driving the worst offenders from their parties and expressing support for Israel. Charles Hawley believes that this represents more an attempt to gain respectability than a change of heart:

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing [the leaders of these parties] is that of clearly separating themselves from the swamp of racism further out on the right-wing continuum. Among classic neo-Nazi parties—such as the National Democratic party of Germany or Golden Dawn in Greece—one can still find the kind of racial anti-Semitism, virulent xenophobia, and extremist nationalism that fueled Adolf Hitler’s murderous ideology. . . . Right-wing populist parties, by contrast, can be found in the narrow strip of anti-Muslim, irredentist, and xenophobic ground in-between the neo-Nazi extreme right and mainstream center-right parties, themselves no great friends of immigration. . . .

Public-opinion polls hint at a possible explanation for the far right’s attempt to moderate its image. Even as anti-Semitism in Europe appears to be on the rise and anti-Zionism has once again become de rigueur, the Continent’s 20th-century history dictates that overt bile directed at Europe’s Jewish population does not go over well with the vast majority of voters. And increasingly, right-wing populist parties have a lot to lose. The Swedish Democrats in August became the country’s largest political party, with support spiking to a record high of 25.2 percent, according to a YouGov poll. France’s National Front has likewise seen a surge in support recently, as frustration with President François Hollande remains high and the ongoing influx of refugees dominates headlines.

Read more at American Interest

More about: Anti-Semitism, Austria, Europe and Israel, Marine Le Pen, neo-Nazis, Politics & Current Affairs


President Biden Should Learn the Lessons of Past U.S. Attempts to Solve the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Sept. 21 2023

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Joe Biden addressed a host of international issues, mentioning, inter alia, the “positive and practical impacts” resulting from “Israel’s greater normalization and economic connection with its neighbors.” He then added that the U.S. will “continue to work tirelessly to support a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians—two states for two peoples.” Zach Kessel experiences some déjà vu:

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and review how past U.S.-brokered talks between Jerusalem and [Palestinian leaders] have gone down, starting with 1991’s Madrid Conference, organized by then-President George H.W. Bush. . . . Though the talks, which continued through the next year, didn’t get anywhere concrete, many U.S. officials and observers across the world were heartened by the fact that Madrid was the first time representatives of both sides had met face to face. And then Palestinian militants carried out the first suicide bombing in the history of the conflict.

Then, in 1993, Bill Clinton tried his hand with the Oslo Accords:

In the period of time directly after the Oslo Accords . . . suicide bombings on buses and in crowded public spaces became par for the course. Clinton invited then-Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat and then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to Camp David in 2000, hoping finally to put the conflict to rest. Arafat, who quite clearly aimed to extract as many concessions as possible from the Israelis without ever intending to agree to any deal—without even putting a counteroffer on the table—scuttled any possibility of peace. Of course, that’s not the most consequential event for the conflict that occurred in 2000. Soon after the Camp David Summit fell apart, the second intifada began.

Since Clinton, each U.S. president has entered office hoping to put together the puzzle that is an outcome acceptable to both sides, and each has failed. . . . Every time a deal has seemed to have legs, something happens—usually terrorist violence—and potential bargains are scrapped. What, then, makes Biden think this time will be any different?

Read more at National Review

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Joe Biden, Palestinian terror, Peace Process