Norwegian terror suspect Breivik leaves court 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Aftenposten via Scan)
Norwegian mass murder Anders Breivik’s killing of 76 people coupled with his
anti-Islamic writings have prompted the European media to inject reported Likud
Party contacts with conservative and extremeright parties into the debate about
July 22’s Oslo massacre.
RELATED:'Norway attack suspect had anti-Muslim, pro-Israel views'
In a series of interviews with The Jerusalem
Post, European and Israeli experts see a largely illusory attempt to manufacture
an alliance between extremist-right European parties and Israel’s
Column One: Breivik and totalitarian democrats
Moreover, some analysts view this as an oversimplified
attempt to conflate pro-Israel conservative parties with reactionary ultra-right-wing parties in Europe, while ignoring the real motivation of some fanatic
right-wing parties to use the Jewish state as a means to gain democratic
respectability in Europe.
The German magazine Der Spiegel
titled a recent
article “The Likud connection: Europe’s right-wing populists find allies in
Israel,” which highlighted relations between MK Ayoub Kara (Likud) and the
extremist right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).
Kara faced a wave of
criticism in the Israeli press, among Israeli diplomats, and from Austria’s
Jewish community over his decision to meet with FPÖ leaders.
Rubin, an Israeli Middle East expert and director of the Global Research in
International Affairs Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, said the
depiction of connections between the Netanyahu government and the FPÖ is “very
“The only real link that can be shown is one or two members
of parliament [the Knesset] acting alone. Israel has boycotted the Austrian FPÖ
– a point the article deliberately ignored – and there are no Israeli officials
who have met with these parties in any direct way. The real story, then,
is the exact opposite: how limited Israel’s contacts are with parties that
proclaim they are pro-Israel,” Rubin said.
He continued that “a few
months ago the Israeli Embassy in London took the unprecedented step of
condemning the English Defense League. I’m not passing judgment on these
different parties, but clearly there are hardly any ties between Israel and any
of them, and that means both Israel’s government and major political forces in
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, an Israeli who has written several
books on Norwegian- Israeli relations, said Europe is “in a totally confused
In contrast to the Spiegel report, Gerstenfeld does not see a
unified politically right-wing movement in Europe. Besides the liberal and
conservative Right, there are three types of right-of-center political
organizations, he said. The Progress Party in Norway and Geert Wilders Party for
Freedom are pro-Israel and stay away from anything that “smells of
Italy’s Northern League falls into a second category on the
European Right. It is primarily a separatist movement.
component includes Belgium’s Vlaams Blok party, the neo-fascist Italian Social
Movement, the British National Party, France’s National Front, and Austria’s
FPÖ, which, according to Gerstenfeld, meet the standard of radical right-wing
Gerstenfeld said the FPÖ, for example, along with other
radical-rightist parties “are people on the European Right who think they can
whitewash themselves with ties to Israel.
“Israel is in the forefront of
the enormous totalitarian threat to all humanity coming to out of the world of
Islam, which also threatens Muslim moderates, Europe and anything
Western. Former prime minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar also sees it
this way and wrote an article saying that if Israel goes down, the entire West
goes down,” said Gerstenfeld.
Karl Pfeifer, an Austrian- Jewish
Journalist, shares Gerstenfeld’s analysis that the FPÖ and its party leader
Heinz-Christian Strache are “trying to gain legitimacy and use Israel” as an
avenue to secure recognition as a democratic party. He said David Lasar, a
Jewish member of the FPÖ, is a “third-class politician on the local level” who
follows in the tradition of Peter Sichrovsky, a Jewish-Austrian former FPÖ
politician. Lasar serves on the Vienna city council.
an Austrian neo-fascist politician who died in 2008, recruited Sichrovsky to the
FPÖ. Some said that Haider sought a token Jewish figure to deflect
attention away from the party’s anti- Jewish members and leadership.
need for a kind of political kosher stamp of approval is a tactic frequently
employed by extreme left-wing and radical right-wing groups across Europe to
shift attention away from party platforms that stoke anti-Jewish and anti-Israel