Far-Right Grouping In European Parliament A 'Disturbing Show Of Unity' Among Racists
New York, NY, January 10, 2007 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called the formation of a new far-right grouping of European Parliament members who share avowedly racist and anti-Semitic views, "a disturbing show of unity among bigots."
The "Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty" group, whose leader, Bruno Gollnisch of the National Front in France, is currently on trial for questioning the existence of the gas chambers in the Holocaust, was cobbled together by some of Europe's most notorious bigots to promote a racist and xenophobic agenda and outlook.
"It is outrageous that more than 60 years after the Holocaust, a group of politically active racists and anti-Semites has joined forces and qualified for funding within the European Parliament system," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Some of Europe's most notorious extremists have come together in a disturbing show of unity among bigots. We are concerned that the far-right is engaging in a show of strength at a time when there is a growing climate of intolerance toward foreigners and minorities on the continent."
Mr. Foxman added: "It is imperative that European leaders speak out against the anti-Semitic and racist views of this group. Today's Europe is no place for xenophobia and racism, and the European Parliament should represent and embrace inclusion and opportunity for all, not divisiveness and exclusion."
More than 20 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from far-right parties in six EU member states – including Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU on January 1 – have joined the "Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty" group.
Among them are:
- Bruno Gollnisch, the group's leader and a member of the National Front in France, a staunchly anti-immigrant party led by an avowed anti-Semite and racist, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Gollnisch is awaiting the verdict in his trial for remarks he made questioning the existence of the Nazi gas chambers. (Holocaust denial is illegal in France).
- Alessandra Mussolini, of the Italian neo-fascist Alternativa Sociale ("Social Alternative") party, and the granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, the late fascist dictator and Hitler ally.
- Andreas Moelzer, an independent MEP from Austria and a former aide to Joerg Haider of Austria's racist and xenophobic Freedom Party.
- Dimitar Stoyanov of the Bulgarian Ataka ("Attack") Party, who is well-known for his racist baiting of the Roma gypsy community in Bulgaria.
Other representatives include an independent MEP from the United Kingdom, representatives of the far-right Belgian Vlaams Belaang party and representatives of the Romania Mare ("Greater Romania") party, whose leader, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, is well-known for his anti-Semitic remarks as well as his attacks on the Hungarian and Roma minorities in Romania.
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.