Anti Fascism,  Israel

British fascists praise Israeli fascist

This is a guest post by Yeze

The British National Party have recently praised Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai for his position on immigration, drawing critical comment from the Jewish Chronicle. This should not shock anyone: it is no surprise that British fascists have picked up on the actions and rhetoric of a prominent Israeli fascist.

Eli Yishai has championed the cause of two fascist organisations: Yad L’Achim and Honenu.

Yishai has little love for Russian Jews, gay Jews, Reform Jews, Messianic Jews or non-Orthodox converts to Judaism.

He thinks migrant workers will bring diseases to Israel and threaten the Zionist enterprise – a position which has drawn criticism from across Israeli society. His decision to expel the children of illegal migrant workers has been opposed by Isaac Herzog, Nitzan Horowitz and Shimon Peres, and eventually delayed by Binyamin Netanyahu.

Due to these views and others, he was described in Haaretz by Gideon Levy as:

‘the ultimate Israeli xenophobe, Jean-Marie Le Pen with a beard, Jorg Heider in a skullcap, a mizrahi Kahane.’

Given Yishai’s similarity with European fascists, is it any wonder that European fascists would praise him?

This week, the Jewish Chronicle reported that Rabbi Yitzchok Shochet would use his Shabbat sermon to denounce MK Yishai’s racism. Shochet told reporters:

“When an interior minister verbalises extreme xenophobic sentiments, that then feed the BNP in this country to substantiate their abhorrent racist arguments, then that in itself demonstrates ever so forcefully how what happens there has direct bearing here.”

It is important to note that, just as Nick Griffin doesn’t speak for Britons, neither does Eli Yishai speak for Israelis (although he really should resign from his post as a government minister if he continues in this way, as argued previously on this site).

Both Britain and Israel are diverse, multicultural democratic countries with freedom of religion legally protected.

Nick Griffin and Eli Yishai both push a politics of despair, where their vision of what their country should be clashes with how the nation is in reality. Their extreme nationalism runs against the natural flow of their nations, and alienates all but the most bigoted.