Friday, 17 July 2009

Geert Wilders and the "Far Right"

Here is a decent article defending Geert Wilders from the common media charge (and insult) of being on the "far Right". As the author notes:

There are, indeed, some nationalist European politicians and parties that deserve these labels. Jean-Marie Le Pen in France and Jorg Haider in Austria come to mind. On the other hand, as Soeren Kern, writing in the Brussels Journal, shows, Wilders and his party are plainly not "far right" or "fascist." Neither, for example, is the Danish People's Party.

In Europe, the far right and the fascists are anti-semitic. But Wilders' Party for Freedom and the Danish People's Party are vehemently pro-Israel (Wilders spent part of his youth in Israel and visits it regularly). As such, they stand largely alone in Europe where anti-semitism has become respectable on the left and where the major parties range from hostile to lukewarm when it comes to Israel.

The author expresses some misunderstanding about Wilders' position on banning the Qur'an (he has never been in favour of censorship; his point was that since current Dutch law bans hate speech, and the Qur'an is itself hate speech, it would therefore only be consistent to ban it), but otherwise, it's a solid defense.

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