“- Europe needs to guard itself against its past”
Brussels 18 January 2007 – The formation of a new extreme right-wing political group in the European parliament, called “Identity, tradition and sovereignty” has raised concerns among human rights groups all over the world. The European Coalition for Israel shares this concern. In a statement on Thursday founding director Tomas Sandell expressed his wish that mainstream political groups in the European Parliament speak out against the anti-Semitic and racist views of this new far-right faction.
- It is a parody on history that a group which is clearly anti-Semitic is calling for “ Christian identity”. There is no Christian identity in Europe without the Judeo-Christian heritage. Without the contribution of the Jewish people there would be no Europe, as we know it, today, Sandell said in a statement.
He added: "It is alarming that 60 years after the Holocaust a group of Jew haters and racists are being welcomed in to the European Parliament. This is a wrong message in a time when anti-Semitism is again growing in Europe and violence against foreigners and minorities are on the rise."
Among the 20 members, which are making up the new group, several are well known racists and Holocaust deniers. The new party chair, French MEP Bruno Gollnisch, is currently charged with Holocaust denial in his home country. Holocaust denial is a crime in France. Other members, such as Bulgarian MEP Dimitar Stoyanov, has called for “turning gypsies into soap” and have accused Jews of “playing with economic crisis in countries like Bulgaria and getting rich out of it”.
In the European Parliament the socialist group has already urged a political embargo against the far-right group. Other party groups are expressing similar views.
The European Coalition for Israel is planning to file a formal complaint with the European Parliament on the occasion of the upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be marked in Brussels on 29 January. This year the Holocaust Remembrance Day will also be commemorated in hundreds of churches and civic groups across Europe over the weekend 27-28 January, as part of a unique pan-European campaign called “learnfromhistory.eu”
The European Coalition for Israel agrees with the European Commission that one of the most effective way to combat anti-Semitism and xenophobia is by educating the citizens and raising awareness of these worrying signs of the time.
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