The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, has urged European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to, “… end her term with a call to condemn the candidacy of extreme right groups and neo-Nazis for election to the European Parliament on 25 May.”
Samuels noted what he called “two immediate examples: the racist Belgian ‘Debout les Belges!’ (‘Stand-Up Belgians!’) that, last Sunday, tried to convene a so-called ‘European Dissident’s Congress’ in Brussels, which – due to the intervention of human rights NGO’s, such as the Wiesenthal Centre – was banned and dispersed by police” and “even more serious, the openly anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and homophobic Jobbik party, whose former Skinhead, Tamas Sneider, has just been elected Vice-President of the Hungarian Parliament.
“Sneider was, reportedly, involved in Roma beatings and even sued by his own parents. “Moreover, the newly elected Hungarian government is to hand the Chairmanship of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Culture to Dura Duro, wife of Jobbik militant Elod Novak. Asked last week why the couple does not take part in Holocaust commemoration events, he answered ‘we remember only genocides that actually happened’.
“Amazingly, the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) group of conservative factions in the European Parliament has accepted Jobbik membership.”
The Centre urged Ashton to, “Call publicly on all 28 member-states of the European Union to shun groups that incite to hatred and violence, and take whatever measures available to disqualify their EP electoral candidacy,” continuing, “Above all, EP groups must be committed, and especially the EPP, to ostracize such hatemongers and block their access to EU funding they would use to finance campaigns redolent of their Nazi forbears.”
“Madam High Representative, your call would be a fitting gesture to end your term of office. Silence on this matter would be perceived as indifference,” concluded Samuels.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organisations with more than 400 000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).