Israeli politicians have slammed Benjamin Netanyahu for hosting European right-wing governments in Israel next month, just hours after the Israeli government warned the far-right threat was now the most serious facing Jews worldwide.
Netanyahu will host the summit of the central European V4 group comprising Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, but Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party, said he was courting nationalism.
“The summit that Netanyahu is organising in February includes a prime minister who passed legislation that disgraces the memory of the Holocaust victims and a prime minister who publishes antisemitic content,” said Lapid.
Last year Poland’s government passed its controversial Holocaust Bill, which criminalised reference to Polish complicity in Nazi war-crimes, only later “correcting” it to civil penalties, after an international outcry.
Likewise the party of Hungary’s anti-immigrant PM Viktor Orban was accused of using antisemitic tropes to attack Jewish philanthropist and critic George Soros, in a nationwide poster campaign warning that Soros wanted to “take over” the country.
Israeli commentators this week lambasted Netanyahu for emphasising antisemitism in the political far-left such as in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, but ignoring the antisemitism of the “extreme nationalist right”.
The latter was highlighted in a report compiled by Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs and released on Sunday, after a year in which 11 Jewish worshippers were killed by a far-right suspect in Pittsburgh, and college student Blaze Bernstein was murdered by a neo-Nazi in California.
It appears to tally with a report recently published by the German government, which found that 87.5 percent of antisemitic incidents in the country were perpetrated by those with far-right ideologies.
Netanyahu said antisemitism from the far-right “is not a new phenomenon” in Europe, but that the connection between “far-left antisemites disguised as anti-Zionists, and Islamic extremists, as has happened recently in Britain and Ireland, is a disgrace”.