Far-right leader in Yad Vashem tour


The leader of Austria's far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, visited Israel this week, on the invitation of Likud officials.

Despite Mr Strache's attempts to prove he had severed links to his party's antisemitic past, he was not formally received by the Israeli government and denied a meeting with former president Shimon Peres.

The anti-immigrant Freedom Party is one of a number of far-right parties in Europe currently insisting that they no longer represent hostility towards Jews.

Some on the right in Israel favour relations with these parties on the grounds that they have a common enemy in Muslim radicalism.

Mr Strache, who visited the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem and laid a wreath there, had been invited to Israel by Eli Hazan and Michael Kleiner, Likud members who are not in the Knesset but have influential posts within the party. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem emphasised that the government had no connection to the invitation and that it had recommended that Mr Peres did not meet Mr Strache.

Strache's party insists it is no longer hostile towards Jews

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