AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Far-right leaders from across Europe congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the U.S. presidential election, which they celebrated as a historic turning point.
Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician on trial for promising to make sure that the Netherlands has fewer Moroccans, wrote Wednesday on Twitter: “Congratulations, @realDonaldTrump !! A historic victory, a revolution! We, too, will give back our country to Dutchmen!”
Trump, who has alienated large segments of American society during his campaign with rhetoric that many deemed discriminatory to Muslims, Latinos and other groups, was elected Tuesday as the next U.S. president, sweeping to victory in at least 29 states with 288 electoral votes.
In France, the leader of the far-right National Front party, Marine Le Pen, wrote: ”Congratulations to the new president of the United States and to the American people, [set] free!”
Both Wilders, who speaks often of his attachment to and love for Israel and the “Judeo-Christian tradition,” and Le Pen have fought off accusations that their respective parties are encouraging anti-Semitism in addition to the anti-Muslim policies they openly espouse. In both countries, the representative bodies of the Jewish communities have shunned Le Pen and Wilders. However, they enjoy some support among their countries’ Jewish voters, many of whom feel threatened by the rise of jihadism.
The Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party also celebrated Trump’s victory with a special video message by Ilias Kasidiaris, a lawmaker and party spokesperson. In the video, he is seen calling Trump’s victory “a major global change,” that he said “has begun and will continue with the victory of nationalists in Austria, of Marine Le Pen in France, and the Golden Dawn in Greece.”
In Britain, Nigel Farage, the leader of the UKIP nationalist party, who is reviled by many British Jews for what they consider xenophobic policies, wrote on Twitter: “I hand over the mantle to @RealDonaldTrump! Many congratulations. You have fought a brave campaign.”
By contrast, the Board of Deputies of British Jews also congratulated Trump in one of the first reactions by any Jewish community outside the United States.
“After a divisive campaign, I hope that Mr. Trump will move to build bridges and ensure that America’s standing as a beacon of progress, tolerance and free thinking remains strong,” wrote Jonathan Arkush, the board’s president, in a statement.