German paper warns Europe's right-wing Islamophobes have found willing allies in Likud
Published: 08.01.11, 11:03 / Israel News
Der Spiegel has published an article probing the connection between Norway's ruthless murderer, Anders Breivik, and Israel. The German magazine says the killer's 1,500 page manifesto describes a link between right-wing extremists and members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition.
The manifesto details at length Breivik's support for a battle against Islam in Europe. The Der Spiegel article focuses on the connection "Islamophobic parties" in the continent may have with Israel, especially due to the Likud MK Ayoob Kara's recent meetings with extreme rightists in Europe, which attracted criticism in Israel.
The leader of the Freedom Party of Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache, told the paper in an interview that "one can't be totally sure that… in the end, we might see Islamist theocracies surrounding Israel and in Europe's backyard".
"In other words, in the battle against what right-wing populists see as the creeping Islamization of Europe, Israel is on the front line," the writer interprets.
The article also references a speech by the former Yisrael Beiteinu MK, Eliezer "Cheetah" Cohen, together with the well-known Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, whose anti-Islam rhetoric has attracted huge numbers of both supporters and detractors.
"Right-wing politicians in Europe are more sensitive to the dangers facing Israel," Cohen told the paper. "They are talking the exact same language as Likud and others on the Israeli right. I'm too old for bullshitting – we hope the right wing wins out in Europe."
Wilders has visited Israel several times, consecrating relations between Israeli and European right-wing politicians. The paper mentions settler leader Gershon Mesika, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, as one of the people who attended these meetings.
But many in Israel see European rightists as just a step away from being neo-Nazis. At the time of his meeting with Patrick Brinkmann, whom Der Spiegel calls "a German right-wing populist", many in Israel cried out against MK Kara's cooperation with "a neo-Nazi millionaire".
David Lasar, a member of the Freedom Party, told the paper that despite this, "Israel today has more trust in the right-wing parties in Europe than in the left-wing parties."
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