The far right in Austria : Jobbik and FPOE strengthening collaboration

Jobbik and FPOE strengthening collaboration

By Karl Pfeifer

A small notice last Thursday in the weekly of the extreme right wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) about strengthening the collaboration between the Hungarian national-socialist Jobbik party and FPÖ was not picked up by the Austrian Media. I happened to be the first to publish a short report on January 27 in the Vienna weekly Falter.

Serious papers maintained that the FPÖ will reject racism and Anti-Semitism and would refuse to collaborate with the NPD in Germany, the National Front in France or Jobbik in Hungary. They were wrong.

Jobbik is openly and explicitly anti-Semitic while the FPÖ strives for social acceptance. Jobbik hallucinates about Jews wanting to occupy Hungary. Unlike the Nazis Jobbik does not maintain that biology prevents Jews from changing their behaviour; they even have a few ‘good’ Jews in their ranks, which serve as fig-leafs against the accusation of Anti-Semitism. Yet Jobbik is explicitly racist, to the point that its program proposes between other measures also the “segregation” of young Roma.

In Hungarian society there exists a subterranean world where pathological fantasies disguised as ideas are churned out by (half-)educated fanatics for the benefit of the ignorant and superstitious. It looks as if – a few months before the elections due in April – such an underworld is ready to emerge from its depths and suddenly capture and dominate many usually sane and responsible people, who promptly give up any notion of sanity and responsibility in return. The danger is very real, as Jobbik and FPÖ are turning conservative and social democratic parties to the right – which is proven by the Austrian crackdown against immigrants and refugees, who seem to have replaced the Jews as scapegoat.

13 Responses to “The far right in Austria : Jobbik and FPOE strengthening collaboration”

  1. European extremists strengthening ties « Nothing British Says:

    [...] web-site Engage writes: “Serious papers maintained that the FPÖ will reject racism and Anti-Semitism and would [...]

  2. luny Says:

    Funny that Rush Limaugh’s tirades about Jewish Bankers were not mentioned here, since he has a hell of a lot more following and influence than Jobbik.

    Oh, yeah, like Michal Kaminski and Silvio Berlusconi, the _right_ kind of antisemite
    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=167227

    • zkharya Says:

      Limaugh ‘hallucinates about Jews wanting to occupy’ America? Likewise Berlusconi Italy?

      Karl holds no brief for Kaminski (whose antisemitism is of the lower order).

      Karl is concerned about the antisemitism most threatening to the most number of Jews.

      Like Luny’s towards the second or largest Jewish community in the world, and easily the most obviously Jewish.

  3. Roamerw1970 Says:

    Lies, lies and more lies. Jobbik wants to prosecute criminals. It is irrelevant if these criminals are Jewish or not. You guys make it look like as if Jobbik was against the Jews. Nothing can be further from the truth. Jobbik is against criminals. Do you think criminals should be protected because they are Jewish or gypsy?
    You should be sued for libel and slander calling Jobbik a national socialist party. Hopefully someone will do that.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      How about some evidence, Roamer1970, please, instead of innuendo and assertion. Karl (like Searchlight – see the February 2010 issue for a damning article on Jobbik, not be Karl) provides evidence and rational argument.

      Which is more than you do. If you’re so certain of the assertion that this libel and slander, perhaps you should tell Jobbik. But remember, they’ll have to sue in the UK, and bad as the libel law is here, it’s not _that_ bad.

  4. fred Says:

    Karl: I’m curious what you think of Gianfranco Fini. Has he really changed, or are his politics underneath closer to FPO’s?

    Sarid on Fini in 2003:

    Sanitizing Italian Fascism Sullies Fight Against Antisemitism
    http://www.forward.com/articles/7183/

  5. fred Says:

    I just noticed, there’s an article on this very subject today in Ha’aretz:

    Fini’s about-face
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1147211.html

  6. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @Roamer 1970@ Jobbik has not invented the term “gypsiecriminality” but is using it. This is decidedly racist. For most crimes in Hungary are perpetrated by Hungarians and so Jobbik should also speak about “Hungariancriminality” if they wish to bring criminals to a court.
    But in reality this term “gypsiecriminality” is just good for racist incitement. In Kiskunlacháza a young girl was murdered. There was a big meeting with the “Hungarian guard” participating and the mayor speaking and using the occasion to incite against gypsies. Gypsie suspects went to the police and volunteed to pass a gen test. It was negative and the police arrested a suspected perpetrator a Hungarian. But the mayor is not demanding pardon and incitement agsinst gypsies is still rampant.

    @Fred@: I am writing about Hungary. I am not a specialist on Italy. Why the hell are you asking me about Fini.
    Anyway is according to your opinion a fascist no able to change his opinion?

  7. fred Says:

    Karl — you wrote about Hungary, but you brought in German, Austrian & French rightists/anti-semites as well. You didn’t challenge Zkharya when he commented that you “holds no brief for Kaminski” (Poland). Is it really so far afield for me to ask what you think about Fini?

    Since you ask, yes I think a fascist could change his opinion. Franco’s successor in the Falange, Adolfo Suarez, proved to be sincere about democratizing Spain, despite doubts many had about him.

    I also thought of Fini because you mentioned Jobbik’s use of Jewish “fig leafs.” Likewise Haider had Peter Sichrovsky. The NF in the UK also has a Jewish deputy & tries to use support of Israel to rehabilitate its image .http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/apr/10/thefarright.race Vlaams Blok in Belgium made similar efforts in courting Jewish voters in 2004 http://www.opendemocracy.net/faith-europe_islam/article_1910.jsp

    Likewise Sarid argued Fini was using Israel merely to sanitize his party’s image. The Ha’aretz piece I posted, written seven years later, presents Fini in a better light. Whatever Fini himself thinks, his party itself may be another matter; this is from a Stephan Roth institute report on Italy from ’98:

    http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw98-9/italy.htm
    “The visit to Auschwitz was considered a positive move by representatives of the Italian Jewish community, although insufficient because his conceptual reforms have yet to penetrate the party structure, particularly its veteran and youth wings. ”

    “However, despite Fini’s attempts to reform the party
    image and secure it political legitimacy, its neo-fascist past still forms a significant part of its political identity, due to the fact that part of its membership, including its youth groups, is still bound to the memory of the Italian Social Republic (Salo Republic, 1943-45) and the fascist regime, which for
    them has again become a founding myth. While Fini issues statements condemning the Salo Republic,
    condemning the Salo Republic, other party members, particularly followers of the ‘social right’ (see ASW 1997/ 8), express contradictory sentiments. ”

    from 2004:
    http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2004/italy.htm
    “Since its foundation in 1995, Fini has succeeded in glossing over AN’s origins in the neo-fascist Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), portraying it as a democratic conservative party which rejects antisemitism and racism, supports Israel and is devoid of nostalgia for the fascist era (Repubblica Sociale Italiana – RSI, 1943–45). Nevertheless, some party members continue to demonstrate their fascist inclinations (see ASW 2003/4 http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2003-4/italy.htm).”

  8. fred Says:

    This is from a Q & A with Ha’aretz’ foreign editor Adar Primor, who takes a particular interest in Europe, I think from 2004:

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/QA.jhtml?qaNo=55
    I’m an Italian reasercher in Criminal Law, in Pavia University. What is your opinion on the possibility of Gianfranco Fini visiting Israel? Fini is the leader of an extreme right-wing Italian party that did not deny its fascist identity until a few years ago. Personally, I think that Israel shouldn’t accept the support of his party, or allow an official visit.
    Jacopo Tondelli
    Pavia, Italy

    Adar Primor:
    Our rabbis in the Talmud say that where penitent sinners stand, the sin-free righteous cannot stand. This principle served as the basis for South Africa’s success after apartheid. The question is to what extent Fini and his party, the National Alliance, can be truly be seen as penitent. This is something that the Italian people will have to determine, not us. I’d like to point out, though, that in Fini’s interview with Haaretz last year, he stated that “the Italians bear responsibility for what has happened since the racist laws of 1938 were passed.” He said that “as an Italian” he takes responsibility “in the name of the Italians.” He added that if he visits Israel he will take historical responsibility for crimes of fascism and will ask forgiveness from the Jewish people. Most of the commentators in your country welcomed his comments, related to them as the shattering of a taboo and even compared them to the Chirac’s acceptance of responsibility for the crimes of the Vichy regime in a historic speech in 1996. Personally, I think that Fini is a sane and moderating force in the Italian government. This was illustrated recently during the crisis over Berlusconi’s “kapo” remark in the European parliament. This is possibly another reason to allow him to complete the process he has begun of severing himself and his party from its problematic past.

  9. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    @fred@ my subject matter is Hungary. I mentioned the contact between Jobbik and FPÖ.
    Now Jobbik is not only antisemitic at home, but also attacks Israel without any justification. It is halluzinating about Hungary subject of Israeli occupation.
    Jobbiks Hungarian Guard banned by Budapest upper court will also this year participate in the neonazi riffraff gathering in Budapest “Day of honour” in memory of the SS and it’s Hungarian flunkeys breaking out 65 years ago from the soviet siege.

  10. fred Says:

    Karl, thanks for your work, it is much appreciated. I respect you for not wanting to speculate on something outside your area of expertise.

    Why Hungary, I wonder? Of all the postwar fascist resurgences in Europe, Jobbik seems among the most extreme & successful.

  11. Karl Pfeifer Says:

    Fred,
    there is more than one reason why ´Hungary. Jobbik’s activist are students or university graduates. Out of 176 of their candidates for the election on April 15 are students or teachers of history.
    I will give a lecture on subject matter on March 24 at the association of Austrian Socialist Academician. I will answer there the question you asked accurding to my best knowledge.


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