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Danish far-right party cites ‘Israel bashing’ as reason to leave UN body

June 21, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Denmark’s second largest political party, which has been likened by a former minister to the KKK, has taken US President Donald Trump’s lead and called for his country to leave the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The right wing Danish People’s Party expressed support for the US stance and urged Denmark to follow suit. “There are no human rights in that council. It’s a complete farce that is in the pocket of the most fundamentalist Arab states”, Danish People’s Party deputy leader Søren Espersen said, according to Danish sources.

Espersen shares the US view and believes that the council has carried out “Israel-bashing”, and he is convinced that it will even benefit human rights if the council is completely terminated. He also took a pop at Arab countries saying that the “fundamentalist Arab states can show that they are in the human rights council so their people are being cheated”. Espersen thinks it will be better if the council is closed “as soon as possible”.

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While the US decision to leave UNHRC has been largely condemned it has been applauded by Israel as well as a number of right wing parties in Europe. The nativist Danish People’s Party became the second largest party in Denmark in the 2015 general election, winning 21 per cent of the vote. Its rise has been fuelled by a campaign that paints refugees and migrants as a threat to European civilisation.

Henning Dyremose, a former minister with the Danish Conservative party defended his comments comparing the Danish Peoples Party with the KKK.  Dyremose described his own experience with the KKK during his youth in the USA and was quoted as saying: “Some people were to a great extent socialists with regard to economic politics. They were [part of] the poor working class. But at the same time, they were hateful like mad towards black people.”

Brushing aside calls for him to be dismissed for comparing the KKK with the Danish Peoples Party, Dyremose added: “And that is a little like what I see in the Danish People’s Party: They have actually become socialists in their economic policies, but are hateful with regard in particular to the foreigners that are Muslims.”

Trump has garnered considerable support from the far-right on both sides of the Atlantic. He was once forced to distance himself publicly from radical white supremacist groups who displayed their loyalty to him while making the Nazi salute. The same white supremacist group, denounced by many as fascists, have also likened their movement to Zionism.