Jewish group slams WIlders

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The Jewish community's lobbying group, CIDI, is critical of PVV-leader Geert Wilders, saying that he is doing what he insisted he never would, to be in the same boat as right wing extremist groups in the run-up to the European Parliamentary elections later this month. 

CIDI says that Wilders is "disavowing his principles" by soliciting cooperation with European-level right wing extremist and openly anti-semitic parties such as the French Front National and the FPÖ in Austria, the Telegraaf reports.

"It is disturbing that Wilders switched sides so readily", CIDI-director Esther Voet says. The FPÖ was set up by ex-officers in the SS, and still lives in the sepia past, Voet believes. "In Austria the situation is really very differed than in Germany. Jews have nothing good to expect from the FPÖ", she says.

Interesting to note in Wilders' arguably surprising allegiance with these extremist groups is that he is reported to have raised substantial funds for pro-Israel lobbies. He has good contacts with Jewish lobby groups in the United States and has made dozens of trips to Israel, the NOS states.

The French Front National rose up in anti-Semitism at the hands of patriarch Jean-Marie Le Pen, a course that his daughter Marine Le Pen seems to have taken over, or according to Voet, never officially adjusted. Father Le Pen is still honorary frontman of the Front National, and is still on the European list. He could therefore end up in the benches with the PVV.

Ex-PVV politicians Wim Kortenoeven and Louis Bontes confirmed to the Telegraaf that Wilders has indeed changed his stance. Bontes claims that the fraction was not even allowed to appear in photographs with members of the Front National. "Then the PVV would be discredited."

In a reaction, Geert Wilders says he is "not scared" to be placed in the same corner with right wing extremists. He does not have further comments on the matter. The Telegraaf states that Wilders is scouring Europe for support to form a block in the European Parliament, and is finding it with populistic rightist parties.

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