New York, NY, May 26, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced concern at the growing success of extremist parties, including neo-Nazi parties, in the European Parliament elections. The "alarming" results came on the heels of the deadly attack at the Brussels Jewish Museum, in which four people were killed by an unidentified gunman in an attack authorities have described as potentially motivated by anti-Semitism.
Neo-Nazi parties received nearly 10 percent of the popular vote in Greece, almost 15 percent in Hungary, and for the first time gained a seat in Germany. Far-right extremist parties placed first in France, where the National Front received nearly 25 percent of the vote, and garnered 20 percent of the vote in Austria, while far-left parties placed first in Greece, with 26 percent, and Italy, with 21 percent.
"There is no doubt that political extremism is on the rise in Europe, and along with it anti-Semitism is rising as well," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The success of extremist political parties, both on the far-right and far-left, has never been good for democracy or for Jews and other minorities. The continuing trend in Europe toward support for these parties is cause for heightened concern."
ADL’s Global 100 Index of Anti-Semitic Attitudes, released earlier this month, showed that, on average, 27 percent of the adult population in the E.U. harbors anti-Semitic attitudes. In Greece the figure is a shocking 69 percent, and in France, 37 percent.
"The atmosphere for Jews in Europe is deteriorating," said Mr. Foxman. "The murderous attacks in Brussels this past weekend and two years ago in Toulouse, and the rising number of assaults on Jews, such the attack in Paris on Saturday, are stark examples of the very real dangers facing Jews."
"The alarming electoral successes of the extremists will only contribute to increasing that sense of insecurity," Mr. Foxman added. "If Jewish life in Europe is to continue and thrive, it will require a serious commitment from all European governments and E.U. institutions to turn the tide. The choice is theirs and the time is now."
The strong sense of insecurity among European Jews was revealed in the disturbing results of polling in Jewish communities throughout the E.U. by the E.U,’s own Fundamental Rights Agency, which highlighted the sense of fear.
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.