U.S. Anti-Immigrant Groups To Meet With Members Of Racist European Party
Update: Members of the Flemish Interest party spoke at various meetings attended by members of anti-immigrant groups and Pat Buchanan, among others. More
New York, NY, February 22, 2007 … Leaders of a far-right European party that espouses stridently racist and xenophobic views are holding a series of meetings this week with anti-immigration groups in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Frank Vanhecke and Filip Dewinter, leaders of the Flemish Interest (Vlaams Belang) of Belgium, are in the Washington D.C. area for meetings with conservative and anti-immigration groups. They are scheduled to give a speech on Friday, February 23 in Arlington to the Robert A. Taft Club, which is linked to The American Cause, founded by Pat Buchanan in 1993, and reportedly are also meeting with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that takes a hard line against immigration.
"It is deeply troubling that representatives of the Belgian Flemish Interest party, whose members espouse racist and xenophobic views, would seek to ally themselves with anti-immigration groups in the United States, and shocking that these American groups would see fit to embrace this party," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Flemish Interest's extremist positions on immigrants and minorities are well known in Europe, and rejected by most Europeans."
Flemish Interest was formed in 2004 after its precursor, the Flemish Bloc, was declared a racist organization in Belgium's highest court. The group is deeply hostile to immigrants and minorities, and its members have a history of espousing racist and anti-Semitic views. Flemish Interest recently has made headlines in Europe as one of the founding members of a new racist and anti-Semitic political group in the European Parliament called "Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty" (ITS).
According to ADL, a number of racist and anti-Semitic Web sites in the U.S. are promoting the speech at the Robert A. Taft Club, and Dewinter and Vanhecke are scheduled to appear as guests on a radio show that often gives a platform to white supremacists and anti-Semites.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.