FES-Pal-Think Roundtable: “The Rise of Right-Wing Populist Parties in Europe and its Consequences on the Middle East”

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On Wednesday 17 May 2017 Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in cooperation with its local partner Pal-Think for Strategic Studies organized a round table discussion on “The Rise of Right-Wing Populist Parties in Europe and its Consequences on the Middle East” with guest speaker Dr. Werner Puschra, Director of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Israel. Invited were academics, representatives of civil society organizations as well as researchers and journalists. To open the discussion, Dr. Beyhan Sentürk gave a welcome address on behalf of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Palestine.

In his presentation, Dr. Puschra described the different ideologies and the background of right-wing and populist parties in Europe. He differentiated between two types of right-wing parties in Europe, the Populist right on the one hand, which largely confirms to mainstream political concepts such as democracy On the other hand, the extreme right that leans towards robust and direct individual and state actions to solve the supposed problem of migration and integration.  . After that, Dr. Puschra presented the positions of the right-wing parties in the Netherlands, France and Germany towards Israel and the Middle East especially with regard to the issue of immigration as well as the fluctuation of relations between Israel and right-wing European parties. He noted the improvement of the relationship between Israel and the Netherlands after Avigdor Lieberman, “Israel Baitona”, officially welcomed the head of the Dutch Freedom Party, Gert Wilders, in Israel.

There was a lively debate between the guests and Dr. Puschra, particularly on the reasons for the quick rise of right-wing parties in Europe during recent years.