This text is based on extracts from an article published in n°76 of Bulletin Palestine, the quarterly publication of the Belgian-Palestinian Association.
In its search for allies on the Old Continent, Israel’s colonial power has established a clear rapprochement with the European far right, whose hatred of Islam it shares.
» Show white patte blanche and all will be forgiven! » That, in essence, is the message the Israeli government is seeking to convey to European elected representatives. As a result, far-right leaders are making frequent trips to Tel Aviv at the invitation of local politicians. And never mind that many of them come from parties with a long history of Judeophobia… For several years now, nationalist forces on the Old Continent have been showing a growing interest in Israel.
The majority of European far-right movements have rallied around the common idea that he represents the vanguard of the West against its enemies: Islam.
This new situation has not escaped the attention of Israeli power circles. « We hope that the right wing triumphs in Europe, » explained retired General Eliezer Cohen of Avidgor Lieberman’s ultra-nationalist Israel Beiteinou party, then Minister of Defense, in October 2010.
For the far-right, this new-found love for Israel stems from a reorientation of its thinking software. « What underpins the far right is the mobilization of an ‘eternal people’, a Nous, against an enemy both internal (immigrants, religious or national minorities) and external (conquering Judaism, scheming Zionism, overpowering imperialism), » analyzes René Monzat, researcher at the Fondation Copernic.
« Under these conditions, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are not immutable realities, but are mobilized according to context. »
Hostility to Jews had long been a structuring factor in the ideology of far-right parties in nations such as France, Germany, Austria and Flanders, but it gradually lost its importance.
The Muslim immigrant will gradually crystallize this figure of the Other against whom the idyllic vision of the « Eternal People » is built, particularly after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
From being a scapegoat, the figure of the Jew is now opportunistically associated with the fate of an allegedly threatened West.
Philosopher Ivan Segré describes this phenomenon — which goes far beyond the far-right spectrum — as a « philosemitic reaction », i.e. « under the disguise of a fight against anti-Semitism, an ideological aggression against the sons of immigrants, mainly Arabs or blacks, and intellectuals, mainly progressives ».
In a bid to bolster its image of respectability and lend weight to its crusade against Islam, the far right aspiring to govern will seek Israeli anointment.
Some will stage a break with their Judeophobic or anti-Israel heritage. Other groups, such as the PVV, which were born out of anti-Muslim racism without going through the anti-Semitic stage, will immediately link their destiny to that of Israel, by aligning themselves with the hard line of its government.
At the same time, Israel was able to capitalize on the prevailing ideology of the « clash of civilizations », particularly during the second Intifada. In this way, it legitimizes its policy of repressing the Palestinian national movement by making it part of the global fight against Islamic terrorism.
This new discourse based on an alleged Judeo-Christian civilization threatened by green obscurantism also serves a fundamental Zionist objective: the emigration of European Jews to Israel.
At a time when the battle for demographic supremacy in occupied Palestine seems more important than ever, as the prospect of a two-state solution recedes, reinforcing the psychosis against Islam is seen as the best way to encourage aliyah.
Mr. Netanyahu takes advantage of every Islamist terrorist attack on the Old Continent to encourage Jews to leave.
A member of the national board of the French Jewish Union for Peace (UJFP), Maxime Benatouil fears the consequences of this new climate in a country like France, which is home to the majority of Jews on the Old Continent. « By pointing to the supposed anti-Semitism of Muslims, we pretend to forget that the Shoah was born in the heart of Europe. This allows far-right groups the luxury of not cleaning up their ranks, while at the same time gaining respectability.
Against this backdrop, FN president Marine Le Pen is at pains to present herself as « the best shield for French Jews […] against the only real enemy, Islamic fundamentalism ».
In this context, Europe’s far right is the « mirror image of Israel’s political culture, which is anti-democratic, racist, populist, virulently Islamophobic and intolerant », says Natacha Roth of Israeli magazine +972.
The increasingly frequent participation in power of right-wing populists sympathetic to its cause represents a godsend for Israel, particularly in a European Union (EU) it considers outrageously pro-Palestinian.
All this demonstrates once again how the defense of Jews in Europe does not coincide with the interests of the Zionist colonial establishment.