English versionFrench version

NEWS - News of B'nai B'rith

Capture decran 2014-06-17 a 12.24.40
The results of the latest elections to the European Parliament indicate a clear shift to the extreme right.

Why is this shift much more visible in the elections to the European Parliament than in national elections? First of all because of much lower general voting rates, and secondly because of the EU elections system. In Germany for example, the neo-Nazi NDP has never gained seats in the Bundestag because of a 5% qualifying threshold in the case of the votes cast nationally, and the fact that while the NDP is strong in certain regions in Germany (especially in what used to be East Germany) it has never received a majority in any of the constituencies that would give them Bundestag. However, in the recent European Parliament elections one member was elected from the NDP.

In France too, because of the electoral system, in the 2012 election to the National Assembly Marine Le Pen's National Front won only two seats, even though it received 13.6% of the vote. In the elections to the European Parliament the NF won 24 seats, having received approximately the same number of votes.

Though only around 7% of the seats of the new European Parliament are held by extreme right, anti-non-European-immigration, Euro-sceptic parties, this is a significant rise from the previous elections in 2009, and the general trend is undeniable.

Do we as Jews have cause for concern?

In recent years there has certainly been a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, though there are countries where the situation is worse than in others.

It was perhaps only to be expected that the proximity of the European elections to the murderous attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels should result in the two being linked.

We must certainly do everything in our power to get the member states of the EU to fight against all manifestations of anti-Semitism, whatever their origin, we should try to view the results of the elections to the European Parliament as a danger to liberal, social democracy and to the Jews.

Inspired by Jerusalem Post article HERE