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Geert Wilders and Vlaams Belang?

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At the anti-jihad conference in Jerusalem this past weekend, Dutch MP Geert Wilders told the Haaretz newspaper that he might consider forming an alliance with the Vlaams Belang—which would, in my opinion, be an enormous mistake.

Islamist groups with suspected terror links “displayed an interest” in an anti-jihad conference held in Jerusalem on Sunday, Dutch legislator Geert Wilders told Haaretz yesterday.

In the interview, Wilders also said that he is considering forming an alliance with Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Belang party, which he has hitherto shunned. Belgian Jews have also shunned Vlaams Belang. …

Wilders revealed that if his Party for Freedom - which occupies nine of the Dutch parliament’s 150 seats - runs in European parliamentary elections, he may join Vlaams Belang to form a larger right-wing bloc. Wilders had previously said he would not consider such an alliance.

Belgium’s Jewish leadership has boycotted Vlaams Belang, citing its “strong anti-Semitic characteristics,” and in an interview with Haaretz last year, Wilders cited this in explaining his decision to distance himself from the party.

But now, he said, “there are different sounds coming from Vlaams Belang. Some people say they have changed, even from the Jewish community. That they have changed their tune. Others say they haven’t. I have to look into it and talk to people and study it more. I’m not saying it is impossible.”

However, he added, “we will not ally ourselves with parties like that of France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen.”

If Wilders is concerned about being connected with Jean-Marie Le Pen, he should take careful note of this photograph taken in May 2007 at the funeral of Vlaams Blok founder Karel Dillen, showing Vlaams Blok/Belang leaders Filip DeWinter and Frank Vanhecke, with French National Front leaders Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Gollnisch.

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