Europe shifts far to the right in dramatic parliamentary elections

Israeli official says anti-Israel sentiment in Europe may change in a more right-leaning parliament at a time when Israel's standing on the continent is at an all-time low 

Itamar Eichner, Zeev Avrahami, Tamar Sebok, agencies|
The dramatic elections to the EU parliament on Thursday, according to early results and exit polls, take the continent in a new direction with the far-right parties gaining most seats although not winning a clear majority.
In France, the National Rally party of Marine Le Pen surged to 30% of the vote, while French President Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance party dropped to 15% down from 22% in 2019. The president immediately dissolved the national parliament and called for new elections.
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מארין לה פן ועמנואל מקרון
מארין לה פן ועמנואל מקרון
Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron
(Photo: Francois Lo Presti / AFP, Hannah McKay / AFP)
In Germany the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) shrugged off a string of scandals to take second place with an estimated 16.5% of the vote in Sunday's EU election, making gains in particular among the young, while Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats scored their worst result ever. With 30%.
The election results are a great victory for parties calling for a strong policy on immigration, while the left-leaning parties who ran on climate change and support for Ukraine suffered great losses.
Germany has 96 of the 720 seats in the European parliament and the results there are indication of voters turn to the right.
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 אליס ויידל וטינו כרופאלה
 אליס ויידל וטינו כרופאלה
Alice Wiedel and Tino Chrupalla of the German far-right AfD
(Photo: Filip Singer / EPA)
Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced his resignation after the defeat for his party, the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD), which garnered only 5.9% in the EU parliamentary vote.
In Austria the Freedom Party secured 25.5% of the vote, narrowly ahead of the conservative People's Party (OVP) at 24.7% and the Social Democrats at 23.3%, ORF said.
In Italy Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's arch-conservative Brothers of Italy group won the most votes according to exit polls with an estimated 26% to 30% while the center-left opposition Democratic Party is set to come in second with 21% to 25%.
In Belgium The right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) was the biggest winner of elections with the extreme-right pro-separatist Vlaams Belang in second place.
Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders Party for Freedom (PVV) looks set for seven of the 31 places allocated to the Netherlands in the parliament.
Spain,Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic also appear to have had their far-right parties come out ahead.
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הרברט קיקל
הרברט קיקל
Austrian Freedom Party's Herbert Kickl
(Photo: Alex Halada / AFP)
The move to the right may result in a shift in position toward Israel which has seen the left-leaning governments come out in support of the Palestinians since the war in Gaza began.
Israel's challenge would be in the face of the far-right which may chose to embrace Israel while in Jerusalem their support would be less welcome. Israel will have to consider each of the European far-right parties individually since they are not all made of the same elk. In general, though the results are good news, at a time when Israel's position in Europe is at an all-time low.
"It is most important that the left does not have a majority to promote policies against us," an official said. "The rise of the European right is the result of the growing opposition to immigration policies and the growing power of immigrants in the continent, especially the Arabs," he said adding the next European parliament is expected to be friendlier toward Israel.
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