The days following Hamas' terror attacks in Israel seemed like a rare moment of unity in the European Parliament. Lawmakers from across the political spectrum gathered to condemn the violence and share in moments of silence.
But in the weeks since, that silence has been replaced by the usual clamor of debate and division as Europe's streets fill with protesters and the continent's Jewish and Muslim communities feel increasingly targeted.
As domestic debate grows more heated, Europe's far-right parties are trying to cash in and gain political clout.
"The far right tends to thrive in crisis," explains Marta Lorimer, a fellow in European politics at the London School of Economics and an expert on the far right. "They can always find a way to bring it back to their fundamentals."
But Sarah De Lange, an Amsterdam-based researcher on populism and professor of political science, told DW the far right is also divided.
"There's one group of far-right parties that sees Israel really as an outpost of Western democracy in the Middle East and that, therefore, staunchly supports Israel's right to defend itself and the invasion in Gaza," she said. "But we also see that some populist radical right parties have actually over the course of the past years veered towards more antisemitism."
DW looked into how some of the parties on the fringes of European politics define their stance on the conflict in Gaza.
Germany: Far right tries to cut funding for Palestinians
The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, one branch of which has been designated as "extremist" by German authorities, has been calling for a cut in aid and funding support for Palestinians since the October 7 Hamas attacks. The party submitted parliamentary proposals to halt financial donations to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which were rejected.
Germany's center-left Social Democrats (SPD) party accused the AfD of using Hamas' terror to incite Islamophobia, according to a Bundestag press release from October 18 detailing the failed proposals.
After a now-retracted announcement to suspend funding for Palestinians early in October, the European Union has increased aid funding for Gaza, with the bloc's humanitarian aid chief calling the humanitarian situation in the besieged territory "catastrophic."
France: National Rally aims to sanitize image
For years, Marine Le Pen has been working to push her far-right National Rally party into the mainstream and away from the shadow of her father and party founder Jean-Marie, who was convicted of inciting racial hatred over antisemitic remarks.
Researcher Marta Lorimer says the recent flare-up in domestic tensions and rise in antisemitic incidents has been an opportunity for Le Pen "to continue pursuing this sanitization process."
Le Pen recently attended a major march against antisemitism in Paris, something Lorimer says helped the former presidential hopeful "place herself in the line of respectability" and court French Jewish voters — though, Lorimer says, "with limited levels of success."
Denmark: Far right pushes anti-immigration rhetoric
In Denmark, the far-right Danish People's Party has stepped up its anti-immigrant rhetoric since Hamas' deadly attacks on October 7. Party member Anders Vistisen, also member of the European Parliament, who describes himself as a "Danish value warrior" took to X — formerly Twitter — to allege links between immigration and antisemitism, without citing specific evidence.
"Violent assaults, hatred of Jews, Islamist propaganda and a society in division. This is what Muslim immigration has done to Denmark," he wrote on November 9.
Julie Pascoet, a senior advocacy officer with the European Network Against Racism, told DW such rhetoric is baseless and discriminatory.
"Arguments saying that Muslims and migrants are a problem in Europe are totally unfounded. Muslims and migrants come to Europe for very different reasons. They live in Europe, they contribute to society and to the economy," she said.
Pascoet said the recent tensions across Europe are being exploited by the far right as "an opportunity to support their narrative of Muslims or Arab-descent people to be the problem."
Italy: Far right says Hamas declared war on West
Italy's League party has built its following on promises to cut migration. The group's leader Matteo Salvini has also cultivated close ties with Israel. Salvini prompted criticism in 2022 with an election pledge to move Italy's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. According to the EU's official position, East Jerusalem was illegally annexed by Israel in 1980.
Marco Zanni, the leader of the party in the European Parliament, has kept up this staunch support for Israel. In a statement after the Hamas attacks, Zanni said that the attack meant that Islamist extremists had declared war "on the entire West."
Poland: Far-right party slammed for anti-Israel messaging
Israel's ambassador to Poland recently criticized the far-right Konfederacja party, taking to social media platform X to post photographs of what appear to be banners bearing the party logo and pitting Israel against Polish interests.
"'Stop Usraelization [sic] of the Polish raison d'Etat' — call these 'patriots,' on Polish Independence Day in Warsaw. They fight against 3 'evils': the US, the EU, and Israel ... No words," Yacob Livne wrote on November 12.
The European Commission links such messaging to antisemitism on its website. "Some of the most common antisemitic narratives include claims that ‘Jews' control the government, the media, or banks for malicious purposes," the website reads.
Edited by: J. Wingard