Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Neo-Nazi's rising in Europe...red flag of bigotry has many faces

The World Jewish Congress said Tuesday it is greatly concerned about the emergence of what it called neo-Nazi parties in Europe, singling out Greece’s Golden Dawn, Hungary’s Jobbik, and Germany’s National Democratic Party.

A study presented at the congress’s assembly here in the Hungarian capital highlighted the links among the growing strength of such extremist groups, the European economic crisis and latent Nazi-type tendencies in Europe. (from "World Jewish Congress warns of rise of neo-Nazi parties in Europe" by Pablo Gorondi Associated Press, in Toronto Star, May 7 2013 , below)
The European history of targetting a specific race, of decimating  a specific race and of generating an archetype of one of, if not the, most virulent examples of racism in human history, against the Jews in WW II, cannot be either forgotten or glossed over. Currently, as European countries experience an onrush of albeit non-Jewish immigrants, that history is likely to rear its ugly head once again.
And from an outsider's perspective, it is not difficult to see how the deep and profound contempt for Jews and the state of Israel among radical Muslims and the neo-Nazi movement could coalesce, once again, into an even more virulent, if unlikely set of political "bed-mates".
In order to secure power, any single group will get into bed with another group, if in doing so their larger objectives are served, even if in the short run, they are appearing to compromise their identity and integrity.
There have been other examples of racial superiority, based on a concept of "racial purity" that links easily and quickly to a public stance of economic protectionism, especially if and when "outsiders" are taking jobs from "insiders"....In short, when the economies of any countries are suffering and as a result individual people are fighting to retain their jobs and income, while "outsiders" are moving in and taking jobs that would otherwise go to indigenous inhabitants, all of the voices of fear, and alienation and bigotry and hate begin to find their way to the surface of the public debates.
There is no established link, so far, between the neo-Nazi groups and the radical Islamic groups, some of which are willing to resort to terrorism to achieve their objectives, it is not a stretch too far to imagine that somewhere, in some coffee shop there are individuals plotting and conversing and motivating others to accomplish a common front.
Anti-semitism is one of the barometers for the existance of radical racism....and clearly both radical Islamists and neo-Nazi's have a common identifying thread of hatred of Jews.
Consequently, the anti-semitic movement(s) are a litmus test for the degree of racial bigotry in any society, as it has been for decades, if not centuries.
And when the World Jewish Congress "goes public" about their concerns over the neo-Nazi movement in three Eurpoean countries, already having won seats in the governments, it is time for all of us to listen, and to be watchful and vigilant in opposing such bigotry...when times are tough, it is time for the strongest to rise up against those forces that are determined to erode or even eradicate those political and cultural values that have characterized western democracies for more than a century, although we all recognize that there are still many battles for equality, respect and dignity to be waged and won before full equality and respect are achieved.
While this story reads as a eurocentric story, it does directly or indirectly involve the global community.

World Jewish Congress warns of rise of neo-Nazi parties in Europe


WJC points to resurgence of extremist groups inside the party political system in Greece, Hungary and Germany.
By Pablo Gorondi Associated Press, in Toronto Star, May 7 2013

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY—The World Jewish Congress said Tuesday it is greatly concerned about the emergence of what it called neo-Nazi parties in Europe, singling out Greece’s Golden Dawn, Hungary’s Jobbik, and Germany’s National Democratic Party.
A study presented at the congress’s assembly here in the Hungarian capital highlighted the links among the growing strength of such extremist groups, the European economic crisis and latent Nazi-type tendencies in Europe.
“Although neo-Nazi style movements and ideologies are present in other parts of the world, it is unsurprising that an ideology that was born in Europe should be most likely to show a resurgence in Europe inside the party political system,” the study said.
The study recommended that mainstream parties effectively quarantine neo-Nazi groups by refusing to appear with them in public or meet with them in private. The “economic crisis, which has nurtured the neo-Nazi cause, may endure or worsen,” the document said. “We must be prepared for all eventualities.”
In a resolution adopted by the congress at the end of its three-day meeting, the group led by U.S. businessman Ronald Lauder urged countries whose constitutions allow it to urgently consider banning neo-Nazi parties or organizations “posing a threat to the safety and well-being” of minorities.
One concern of the group is Golden Dawn, Greece’s third most-popular party. The party, which was once marginal, rejects the neo-Nazi label, but it is fond of Nazi literature and symbols. It has been accused of being behind a spurt of violence against immigrants living in Greece.
Hungary’s Jobbik, which styles itself as a nationalist movement and also rejects the neo-Nazi tag, is the second-largest opposition group in parliament, having won 16.7 per cent of the vote in 2010. Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party has deputies in two of Germany’s 16 regional assemblies but no representation at the federal level.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s speech at the start of the congress’s meeting on Sunday was criticized by the Jewish organization for failing to specifically mention the threat posed by Jobbik.
On Tuesday, however, Lauder said he was told about a recent interview Orban gave to the Yedioth Ahronoth Israeli newspaper in which the prime minister called Jobbik “an increasing danger” to Hungarian democracy.
“This was a strong statement about Jobbik,” Lauder said, apologizing for not knowing sooner about the interview published last week. “I would like that to be put in the record that the prime minister really did take a stand against Jobbik, and I appreciate that.”
For its part, Jobbik said the congress’s meeting in Budapest “grossly meddled with Hungary’s domestic politics” and said the Hungarian government had “grovelled subserviently” without being able to please the Jewish organization.
“They came here and unperturbedly offended, directed and humiliated our country,” said Jobbik lawmaker and spokesman Adam Mirkoczki, rejecting suggestions from some members of the Jewish organization that his party should be banned. “Hungary has had enough of the serial foreign provocations.”

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