Umbrella group praises voters for “rejecting populism and extremism.”
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) on Thursday praised Dutch voters “for rejecting populism and extremism” after Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right party beat Geert Wilders far-right one.
“Prime Minister Rutte expressed before the elections that a populist ‘domino effect’ was taking place across the globe,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said. “However, we hope that this electoral victory will begin the reverse, a ‘domino effect’ of mainstream parties pushing back against extremism and populism.”
“With the French and German elections taking place in the coming months, hopefully this result will be an encouraging sign to the mainstream parties in their election campaigns against populists and extremists.” Dr. Kantor continued. “We look forward to joining together with the Prime Minister in the battle against racism, extremism and antisemitism.”
The Conference of European Rabbis too hailed the results. Conference president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said: “Yesterday was a good day for Europe, the news from the Netherlands was encouraging. We will continue to pray for the future of the European Union, its ideals, liberties and values.”
Wilders’ anti-European Union, anti-Islam Party for Freedom gained seats in Wednesday’s election but was clearly beaten by Rutte’s People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, and has no chance of entering a coalition government as rival parties have shunned it.
A win for Wilders would have been seen as a strong boost for France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, whose National Front wants to curb immigration and take France out of the EU, in the French election on April 23 and May 7.