May 18, 2012
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has urgently called for governments to tackle "anti-semitism and far-right extremism" following a rise in fascism since the eurozone crisis.
EJC president Moshe Kantor said the rise in support for the Greek far-right Golden Dawn party, whose leader is a Holocaust-denier, should send "shock-waves throughout Europe.
"Before calling on European leaders to act against hate on the street, they must clear their own houses and that means banning and ostracising any politicians and political parties that preach hate and violence," Mr Kantor said in Prague ahead of a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas on Wednesday.
"While we highly value freedom of speech, we all recognise that there must be restrictions and the visceral hatred propagated by Golden Dawn is surely outside the boundaries of appropriate political discourse."
But while Mr Kantor expressed fears over anti-semitic violence, he showed no such concern over the rampant Islamophobia of most of the European far right and even named "radical Muslim communities" as a key threat to Jews on the continent.
Critics also raised fears that restrictions on freedom of expression could be used against the left as well as the right.
The Czech government has a track record of attempting to ban the country's Communist Youth on the grounds that its call for public ownership was unconstitutional and "extremist."