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Libertas vs. anti-Semitism, sort of.

by Colman Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:08:43 AM EST

The party of the opportunist Atlanticist right had a weird day yesterday:

Libertas was accused of massive anti-Semitism by the Simon Wiesenthal centre. They deny it angrily (Caroline Simons);
“In 2004, the Simon Wiesenthal centre smeared the President of our country. They implied that by association, she was giving support to fascists. They are beneath contempt."
then commit to;

ally itself with the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in a joint commitment to defend against and actively fight racism and anti-Semitism within the European Parliament and other European Institutions.

Does that make them beneath contempt? (IrishElection.com)

I can't find the quote from Wiesenthal centre, but I presume it's to do with some of the more overtly racist elements within Libertas in Central Europe. Caroline Simons is their MEP candidate for the Dublin region (not much hope), who was involved in calling for restrictions on workers from new member states.

I can't imagine that Declan Ganley's friends in the US were too pleased at being seen to support anti-Semitism.

Sam thinks Simons's posters make here look like she should be in Babylon 5's evil Psi Corps.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:10:46 AM EST
According to a statement to RTÉ, the earlier statement was a mistake. Can't get the paid minions these days, dontcha know?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:12:45 AM EST
Which president of which country? Ireland?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:36:20 AM EST
Libertas is a pan-european party consisting of a group in Ireland and bought-up ex-parties in eastern europe. So that would be probably be Ireland...

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 06:30:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When (and why?) did the Simon Wiesenthal Centre blast the Irish president?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 07:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 07:50:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On a quick Google. It's also possible she said something nice about Palestinians at some stage.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 07:53:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Caroline Simons is the Libertas candidate in Dublin, not Leinster (which has also been renamed Ireland East following the inclusion of Longford and Westmeath in the Ireland North West Constituency). She is registering at 2% in the opinion polls so has to be pretty desperate to attract attention - as evidenced also for her attack on Proinsias de Rossa as being too old to be re-elected..

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:38:04 AM EST
Whoops. Fixed.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 05:42:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't find the quote from Wiesenthal centre

Ask and ye shall receive:

Paris, 1 June 2009

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, urged the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) "to launch an investigation into the financing and promotion campaigns of MEPs who will be elected this week to the new European Parliament and who espouse antisemitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma, homophobic or other discriminatory platforms. Such enquiry should also focus on the Libertas pan-European bloc's reported affiliation with those MEPs.

The letter to FRA Chairperson, Anastasia Crickley, noted that, "Last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre launched a campaign to educate its constituency across Europe in regard to the positions of the candidates and parties, calling for a high voter turnout in order to contain those promoting hate and discrimination."

Samuels added that "the Centre's Notice No. 3, its last before the vote, points to extremist parties and individuals reportedly affiliated to the Libertas bloc, founded in 2006 by the Irish-based magnate, Declan Ganley, in order to combat the Lisbon Treaty on European integration."

The Centre continued, "Libertas is running some 600 candidates in over 20 of the elections in the 27 member-states. Some of those standing are known antisemites, homophobes and anti-migrant racists. These include:

  • Ryszard Bender and Anna Sobecka of the Polish League of Families. Both are supporters of the widely criticized antisemitic Radio Maryja, where Bender was recorded as stating that Auschwitz was 'not a death camp but a labour camp where Jews and Gypsies were killed by hard labour - not so hard, not always killed.'

  • Georgios Georgiou, of the Greek LAOS party which was described by the United States State Department as antisemitic, racist and xenophobic. Uschi Winkelsett, head of the German extreme right Republikaner party, claimed to have received congratulations from Libertas upon her election. There are also press reports of Libertas' outreach to the Austrian BZO party of the late Hitler admirer, Jörg Haider."

"Libertas is running candidates either under its own name, or as affiliated parties or individuals, according to press reports, in: the Czech Republic (29 candidates), Estonia (6), France (147), Germany (11), Greece (22), Ireland (Ganley himself leads the list), Latvia (8), Malta (1), Netherlands (24), Poland (128), Portugal (22), Slovakia (13), Spain (50), United Kingdom (56)."

The letter acknowledged that "funding for Libertas' campaign against the Lisbon Treaty referendum in Ireland is currently under investigation by the Irish Standards in Public Office commission (SIPO), for 'compliance with the laws on elections and referenda'."

Samuels emphasized concern at "the possible cartelization of the European elections with massive public relations resources, coopting or endorsing groups or individuals known to incite to hatred."

The Centre recalled that, "in 1933, a potent mix of economic crisis, racism and a leadership vacuum brought Europe - and subsequently the world - to the abyss."

"Europeans have painfully learned that democracy cannot be defined only by the holding of popular elections, if those elected are bent upon the violation of fundamental rights."

"Our Centre is advising our members to use their vote wisely within this context," concluded Samuels.

"SWC Urges EU Fundamental Rights Agency to Investigate Libertas Pan-European Bloc's Alleged Promotion of Racist Candidates"
by EWI on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 02:33:07 PM EST

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