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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Mainstream Radicals in European Parliament

by David Twersky in the New York Sun, 15 June
Last week's election to the European Parliament in Strasbourg saw the rebound in France of the opposition Socialist Party. Yet the swing to the Socialists swept away many of the small leftist and extremist parties. The platform of the Euro-Palestine list had declared: "There cannot be a future for the people of the European Union nor peaceful coexistence between the citizens of [different] origins and cultures which make it up, without respect of the right and justice in the world, beginning with the Middle East." Some Jews read this as a threat: Jews are fair game in France and throughout Europe until there is "justice" for Palestinians.

While the Euro-Palestine list was defeated, elements of the "establishment" parties that returned to power share many of the assumptions articulated on the margins of political society. And Israel's two best defenders in the EU Parliament, Francois Zimmeray of France and German Green Ilke Schroeder, were sent packing.