Tony Greenstein | 14 December 2017 | Post Views:

Is there any
Far-Right or Anti-Semitic Regime or Party that Israel is not friends with?

neo-Nazi Heinz Christian Strache pays a vist to Israel’s holocaust propaganda museum Yad Vashem

In this article on Electronic Intifada Ali Abunimah details the friendly relations between the
Austrian state and Israel.  Austria has
just elected a new Right-wing parliament with the Austrian Peoples Party the gaining
the largest number of seats, 62, with the far-Right Freedom Party third with 51
seats, just behind the social democrats with 52 seats.  It is possible that Herr Strache’s Freedom
Party will  become part of the governing

Strache was invited earlier in the year as a guest of the Likud party in
Israel.  It is a party which is vehemently
anti-Muslim but also ardently pro-Zionist. 
It is hard to think of a serious far-Right party in Europe, apart from
the Greek Golden Dawn and the Hungarian Jobbik who aren’t pro-Zionist.
Tony Greenstein
16 October 2017
Austria’s ambassador in Tel Aviv sees nothing wrong with Arab parties
being excluded from Israel’s government.
As his own country looks set to put neo-Nazis in power in Vienna, this
is yet another remarkable demonstration of the racist
shared by European and Israeli elites.
Just as in Germany, there are clear indications of ties between
Austria’s neo-Nazi far right and Israel’s right wing.

Israel’s new friends – the Austrian Freedom Party (FPO)
Ambassador backs exclusion
Last week Avi Gabbay, the leader of Israel’s ostensibly dovish Labor
Party, declared that
he would not join a coalition along with members of the Joint List, a grouping
of parties made up predominantly of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
“We will not share a government with the Joint List, period,” Gabbay
said. “Let that be clear.”

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List, condemned Gabbay’s racism.
Someone who doesn’t view Arab citizens and their elected representatives as a
legitimate group, doesn’t present a real alternative to the right,”
Odeh said.
At the same time, Gabbay indicated he could team up with Yisrael Beiteinu,
the far-right party led by Israel’s notoriously anti-Arab
defense minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Lieberman believes
Palestinians like Odeh should eventually be stripped of their Israeli citizenship
Gabbay’s racism is unremarkable in the Israeli context. It has long been
a consensus among Zionist parties that the fifth of the country’s citizens who
are Palestinians should have no real role in decision-making.
Austria’s neo-Nazi Freedom Party – a solid supporter of Israel
Gabbay followed
with more belligerent comments on Sunday, declaring that “the Arabs have to be afraid of us” and
that Israel need never
any of its settlements built on occupied Palestinian land in
violation of international law.
But what has also sadly become unsurprising is to see European
diplomats, who frequently pretend to represent an enlightened “human rights”
perspective, rationalizing this racism.
On Friday, Martin Weiss, the Austrian ambassador in Tel Aviv had lunch
with Gabbay, and appeared to offer a warm endorsement of the Israeli Labor
leader on Twitter:
Weiss and Gabbay were joined
for lunch by several other European diplomats.
I asked
on Twitter if the Europeans had raised the issue of Gabbay’s open anti-Arab
racism during the lunch.
Weiss responded, pointing out fairly enough that the lunch had taken
place the day before Gabbay’s remarks refusing to let Arab parties join a
coalition were reported.
Weiss added, “But do you think
members of the Joint List would really want to join a Labor government?”
The Austrian ambassador appeared to be deflecting attention from
Gabbay’s racism by pointing out that citizens who are discriminated against
might not want inclusion in the first place.
I wanted to give Weiss an opportunity to back away from this, so I challenged him
to publicly condemn Gabbay’s racism.

“Thanks but
no thanks,”
the ambassador replied. “Seems to
me that every political party has the right to declare with which other party
they would cooperate – or not.”
This could not be a clearer endorsement of the longstanding racist
exclusion of Palestinian citizens of Israel on the grounds of their ethnicity.
Apartheid politics
It’s worth recalling that the landmark
UN report
on Israeli apartheid, suppressed
last March
by the UN secretary-general on American orders, found that while
Israel’s political system gives nominal rights to the roughly 1.5 million
Palestinian citizens of Israel, these add up to little in practice.
Voting rights lose their
significance in terms of equal rights when a racial group is legally banned
from challenging laws that perpetuate inequality,” the report states. “Israeli
law bans organized Palestinian opposition to Jewish domination, rendering it illegal
and even seditious.”
These formal restrictions on advocating for an end to state-sponsored
racism are supplemented by the informal consensus among party leaders – from
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning
that Arabs were voting “in droves” to Gabbay vowing not to include the Joint
List in a coalition – that government is an exclusively Jewish matter.

Neo-Nazis embrace Israeli right
Ambassador Weiss’ defense of Israeli racism was perhaps a warm-up for
the work he’ll have to do defending his own country’s government in coming
Following Sunday’s Austrian general election, a new right-wing
government led by the youthful foreign minister Sebastian Kurz is set
to take power
It’s widely expected that Kurz’s conservative People’s Party will form a
coalition with the far-right, anti-Muslim Freedom Party, headed
by neo-Nazi
Heinz-Christian Strache.
The Freedom Party’s success comes just weeks after the neo-Nazi
Alternative for Germany – known by its initials AfD – took about 100 seats in
the Bundestag.
just like AfD
, Austria’s Freedom Party has discovered a recent affinity for
Last year, Strache, who used to march with a group imitating the Hitler
Youth, visited
at the invitation of lawmakers from Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party.
Just like other assorted anti-Semites and far-right extremists, Strache
apparently saw Israel providing a laundering service. As media
in Austria put it, the intention of Strache’s visit – complete with
a pilgrimage to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial – was “to make himself kosher
in Israel” in the hope that this would give him respectability elsewhere.
Europe’s new fascists and Israel’s right have also found an alliance in
their common hatred of Muslims.
In June, Strache welcomed
to Vienna Likud lawmaker Yehuda Glick, a
leader in the so-called Temple Movement,
which aims to destroy
Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque
and replace it with a Jewish temple.
A photo
posted on Strache’s Facebook
page shows the pair in a friendly meeting.
European Jewish organizations have condemned Israeli outreach to Europe’s
far right, including the Freedom Party. Last November, the leader of the Vienna
Jewish community published
a letter
calling on Israeli politicians to shun such meetings and “to draw
a very clear red line between us and those who represent hate, neo-Nazism and
Recall that while Germany’s Jewish community expressed horror at AfD’s
recent electoral success, Yehuda Glick defended
the party
There’s no mystery why: AfD leaders have given strong backing to
Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Austria’s Strache is following a similar line, supporting the
settlements and becoming
a champion
of Israel’s claims to Jerusalem that are rejected by the rest of
the world.
Strache handed Glick a letter to be delivered to Netanyahu vowing to do
all he could to push for Austria’s embassy in Tel Aviv to be moved to
With his party set to join the government, Strache will have his chance.
Once again, Israel is showing that its closest allies in Europe are the
worst enemies of Jewish people.
see also

Growing Far-Right Nationalistic Movements Are Dangerously Anti-Muslim — and Pro-Israel

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Tony Greenstein

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