UK politician accused of promoting anti-Semitism in US wins European Parliament elections

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — The party of a politician whom British Jews have accused of promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories emerged as a the largest representing the United Kingdom in the European Parliament.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party clinched 31.7 percent of the British electorate Sunday, leading by more than 13 points over the second-largest Liberal Democrats.

Last month, British Jewry’s Community Security Trust accused Farage of promoting anti-Semitism during a 2009 interview for the American conservative talk-show host Alex Jones. Farage said there that “globalists” are seeking to engineer “a new world order.”

“For Jones’s conspiracy-minded audience, Farage’s references to ‘globalists’ and ‘new world order’ will be taken as familiar code-words for antisemitic conspiracy theories,” a spokesman for the CST said. Farage’s supporters dismissed the criticism as biased against him, noting he never mentioned Jews or any other ethnicity.

Farage’s previous party, UKIP, came out largest also in the 2014 European Parliament elections, with 24 percent of the vote.

Other right-wing populist parties that made gains in the elections include Italy’s right-wing Lega Norde of Prime Minister Mateo Salvini. It jumped from 6 percent in 2014 to 34 percent this month.

But other such parties either stagnated, like Alternative for Germany with 7.1 percent, or lost, like Holland’s Party for Freedom, which did not make it into the European Parliament, the European Union’s legislative body.

Marine Len Pen’s National Rally party, which some French Jews say is institutionally anti-Semitic, lost a little over 1 percent from 2014’s result of 25 percent, but retained its position as the largest French party in the European Parliament.