Rabbi Eliezer Melamed
Rabbi Eliezer MelamedPR photo

Influential nationalist rabbi, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, says the European Right is no longer anti-Semitic.

Rabbi Melamed wrote in his widely-read weekly column in Besheva Magazine Friday that Israel need not fear creating strong bonds with the European Right, including the Austrian Freedom Party, which is a member of the Austrian governing coalition.

Rabbi Melamed – who heads the Har Bracha Yeshiva in Samaria – explained that for many years, Israel's Foreign Ministry was wary of the European right wing parties, because they harbored Nazi supporters and Holocaust deniers.

"But in recent years, the extreme right wing movements have been undergoing a process of change," he added. "Leaders have emerged who want nothing to do with the racist Nazi heritage, and who openly support the state of Israel."

These leaders "have distilled the movements' nationalist positions, and now they express a proper position, which demands maintaining the European people's national, religious and cultural identity," the rabbi insisted.

Rabbi Melamed went on to say that "[j]ust as it is forbidden to steal the property of a private individual, as the communists did in the countries that they took over, so it is forbidden to steal from people their national and religious identity, as the communists' successors – the extreme liberals on the Left, like the British Labor party – seek to do."

Rabbi Melamed recounted that several leaders of the European Right, including Freedom Party head Heinz-Christian Strache, visited Israel several years ago. Strache visited Har Bracha and gave a speech that was "fervently Zionist" and which extolled the achievements of the Jewish state, describing it as a bulwark in defending Europe from Arab terror.