Fanning the flames of fascism

The far-Right is gaining traction across Europe. After the distressing electoral headway made by Greek neo-Nazis in May, and the recent consolidation of several xenophobic political parties into a full-fledged Europarty, concerned citizens want to know what their European leaders are doing to contain this fascist conflagration. But rather than fighting the fire, Brussels is fanning the flames.

A few months ago, the Jewish Chronicle reported that a youth group called the Union of Lithuanian Nationalist Youth (ULNY) had been inducted onto the Lithuanian Council of Youth Organisations (LCYO), an EU-funded umbrella organisation with over 200,000 members from 64 different groups. As the largest NGO representing the youth of Lithuania, the LCYO often participates in formulating the country’s social policy.

What is alarming about this is that the ULNY bears all the hallmarks of a neo-Nazi outfit. As well as being one of the leading organisers of an annual ultra-nationalist march that this year turned violent, the Lithuanian daily 15min reports that the ULNY believes in “the inculcation of ethnic consciousness” and describes homosexuals as “deviants” and “evil-doers”. According to a senior official from the Tolerant Youth Association, Mindaugas Kluonis, the ULNY also “organises camps where they walk a fine line, balancing on the border of inciting ethnic and racial hatred”. If that were not damning enough, at least one of the ULNY’s leaders is a convicted criminal.

When members of the white supremacist internet forum learned that the ULNY had joined the ranks of the highly influential and EU-sponsored LCYO, they welcomed the development as “good news” for their racist agenda. One commenter was so elated that he even called upon the Baltic god of thunder to “bless the Lithuanian youths”.

Horrified by the prospect of a neo-Nazi organisation receiving financial backing and legitimacy from Brussels, Friends of Israel in UKIP immediately launched a campaign to have the EU sever its ties with the LCYO until the ULNY is jettisoned. Thanks to our efforts, the scandal was brought to the attention of Danish MEP Morten Messerschmidt – a member of the UKIP-led bloc in the European Parliament – who exhorted the European Commission to withdraw its support from the LCYO.

The Commission, however, refused. Moreover, it chose to ignore calls for it to censure the LCYO for embracing a neo-Nazi outfit.

Extremist youth groups are an especially subversive feature of democratic societies. They lure in impressionable young men and women by offering them a sense of belonging, then poison their minds with hatred and fear. And, as the Jesuit maxim goes: “Give me the boy and I’ll give you the man.” Those who have been radicalised during their formative years are the hardest to rehabilitate later in life.

The far-Right must not be allowed to corrupt a generation with the aid of the European Union. If you are an EU citizen, please help Friends of Israel in UKIP put a stop to this injustice by writing to your MEP today.

About the Author
Jacob Campbell is a Fellow at the Humanitarian Intervention Centre and Press Officer for Friends of Israel in UKIP.