Row in far right-wing youth group over 'fascist', 'anti-Semitic' views
Members of the youth arm of the right-wing party Forum for Democracy (JFvD) have been engaging in "right wing radical thinking", according to a report by the magazine HP/De Tijd. According to a letter submitted to the main FvD board by anonymous members of the JFvD on Apr. 17, other members of the youth wing of the party including its leaders had been expressing "authoritarian, fascist and/or National Socialist ideas," that included "anti-Semitism, homophobia and racist imperialism".
The concerned members go on to allege that their compatriots had "glorified" white nationalist terrorist attacks using WhatsApp groups. “This is not about irony," they state. "It is disgusting and unacceptable." The allegations are backed up by a series of screenshots from a WhatsApp group, dating back to 2017.
"We are deeply concerned about JFvD members who may or may not openly support right-wing radical ideas," the letter reads. "This not only concerns active members, but also members who have certain support or management positions and who are in close contact with the national board of the JFvD."
“The right-wing extremist statements were mainly made in unofficial group apps, but there is an irrefutable link with the FvD," they add.
The board of the JFvD responded to the letter in a statement of their own, asserting that they would not expel the members responsible for expressing the views, and pointing out that the letter was taking issue over comments that were, in some cases, years old.
While the messages did indeed display "very objectionable content" according the board, they point out that some messages date back to 2017 and 2018. "The JFVD board wonders why the letter writers did not (much) ring the bell earlier," the board writes. "Three years is a long time not to express concerns about this."
FvD party leader Thierry Baudet has made no comment on his issue as of yet. However, his colleague Lennart van der Linden told HP/De Tijd that although the right-wing views in question are "disgusting", he does not wish the party to become "thought police for things that people do privately".
Van der Linden said that a JFvD board member had been expelled, and that an investigation is currently underway which will determine the fate of the others who are responsible.
"That could be a warning, a suspension or even an expulsion," he explained.