More than 30 MPs in the European Union Parliament stood in protest Monday to express support for a request to keep representatives from anti-Semitic parties out.
The request, filed by Italian MP Fiamma Nirenstein, seeks to challenge the membership of Greek representative Eleni Zaroulia of the Golden Dawn party, and Hungarian MP Tamas Gaudy-Nagy of the Jobbik party.
“Mrs. Zarouli declared in her parliament last October that the immigrants are ‘subhuman’ and Mr Gaudy-Nagy, during a conference on anti-Semitism held in this prestigious venue last June, spoke about ‘the Holocaust industry’ as a tool in the hands of the Jews to control the world,” Nirenstein told the Parliament. “I don’t think their membership suits the values of the Council of Europe – an organization aimed a promoting the culture of human rights and tolerance.”
The positions both MPs have expressed violate the Statute of the Council of Europe, “which asserts that every member of the CoE must accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedom,” Nirenstein argued.
The opinions voiced by the two MPs are part of a larger phenomenon, she warned. “I think we have opened here a fundamental reflection on a problem connected to the growth in Europe of neo-fascist parties and of a social diffused culture of hate and racism. No democratic parliament should accept them.”
In addition to Golden Dawn’s anti-immigrant incitement, party leaders have claimed that Holocaust gas chambers were a myth. Jobbik has also made headlines for anti-Jewish statements: one of the party’s MPs recently called to compile a list of Jews in government “who present a national security risk to Hungary,” and a former Jobbik MK burned an Israeli flag in December.
The parties have caused serious concern among European Jewish leaders, who have called on the EU to act quickly to stem growing anti-Semitism and far-right extremism.
MP Fiamma Nirenstein recently announced that she will be moving to Israel.