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EU contradiction

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-01-18

European Union

European Union

British Jews have reacted with concern over the the establishment of a far-right group within the European Parliament and says its establishment goes against the principles of the European Union.

The group calling itself "Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty" includes nationalist political parties across Europe including the French National Front and claims to have support from 20 EU legislators which will enable it to gain official recognition by the EU.

Many of its members have questioned the Holocaust and the group's planned chairman Bruno Gollnisch, a member of the French national Front is is currently awaiting trial for Holocaust denial over the use of gas chambers.

"The emergence of the Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty (ITS) party, with its far-right, anti-immigration platform and its more revealing alternative name, ‘Europe of the Fatherlands’ can only be seen in direct contradiction to the fundamental ideals of the European Union, which was founded to overcome the xenophobic, racist and anti-Semitic hatreds that tore Europe apart between 1939 and 1945," said Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald.

On his alleged Holocaust denial, Gollnisch says: "The fact that I'm accused doesn't mean that I am guilty. I think history should be free for discussion."

Another member is Alessandra Mussolini, grand-daughter of former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

Last week, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League raised its voice against the new group.

"Some of Europe's most notorious extremists have come together in a disturbing show of unity among bigots," said ADL leader Abe Foxman.