Rightists make gains in European Parliament vote


(JTA) — Right-wing parties made gains in Hungary and several other countries in European Parliament elections.

The radical nationalist, anti-Israel, far-right party Jobbik won nearly 15 percent of the vote in Hungary’s weekend elections. Jobbik, or the Movement for a Better Hungary, came in third and will have three of Hungary’s 22 seats in the European Parliament. The right-wing Fidesz party, with more than 56 percent of the vote, captured 14 seats while the ruling Socialists, in a crushing defeat, took just four.

Jobbik, whose slogan is "Hungary belongs to the Hungarians," describes itself as a "radically patriotic Christian party" and is openly anti-Roma. In 2007 it created a uniformed "Hungarian Guard" that has been compared to pre-World War II fascist paramilitary groups.

In the run-up to the election, Jobbik representative Krisztina Morvai, who headed the movement’s election list, sparked outrage with an obscene, anti-Semitic post on an online forum. Morvai, a staunch pro-Palestinian activist, has accused Israeli leaders of war crimes.

Far-rightists in Romania, Holland, Hungary, France and Britain won enough votes to gain seats.

In France, the Anti-Zionist Party won a minimal number of votes in Sunday’s elections. The National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism “salutes French voters who led the Anti-Zionist Party astray,” it said in a statement Monday.

The Anti-Zionist Party, run by the French comic known as Dieudonne, earned only 1.3 percent of votes in the Paris region where the party ran its campaign, concentrating its efforts on poorer suburbs around Paris where hundreds of thousands of Muslims live.

Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala has been convicted of anti-Semitism and is currently being charged for hate speech after referring to “the powerful Zionist, yid lobby” in a recent video.

National Front Party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was re-elected to the Parliament with 8.4 percent of votes from the southeast region of France. His far right political party won 6.3 percent of votes across France, allowing it to hold onto only three of seven seats in the Parliament.

Le Pen caused an outcry when he reiterated his view that the Nazi gas chambers were a "detail" in World War II history at an EU Parliament meeting in March.  He is the oldest member of the Parliament, which he has served since 1984.

In Germany, the far right parties did poorly overall, with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union party leading in the elections with 37.9 percent.

Forty-three percent of the 375 million eligible voters in 27 countries cast ballots in the election for the 732-member Parliament. Elections have been held every five years for the past 30 years.

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