T he right wing will have to wait another day.

Despite early polls that indicated Geert Wilders might take first place in last week’s parliamentary elections in Holland, his Freedom Party (PVV) finished second, taking 20 seats in the 150-seat house.

But it was far from the defeat that mainstream European politicians claimed.

The Freedom Party gained five seats from 2012 and undoubtedly tilted the rhetoric in the election to the right. Wilders campaigned on an unapologetically anti-immigrant and anti-European Union message, and forced the winner, incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, to slouch in his direction.

The clearest indication of Rutte’s rightward turn came a week before the vote, when the prime minster prevented Turkey’s foreign minister from entering Holland’s borders. The foreign minister had planned to hold a rally on Dutch soil to appeal to the estimated 400,000 Turkish citizens who live there to vote yes on a Turkish referendum next month that would grant expanded powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After Rutte refused, Turkish Dutch citizens rioted and Erdogan called the Dutch people “Nazi remnants” of “fascists.” That harsh claim, coming from the authoritarian and Muslim Erdogan, further bolstered Rutte, who sheared support from the Freedom Party with his tough response, calling Erdogan “totally off the mark” and “increasingly hysterical.”

For Holland’s estimated 30,000 Jews, emotions are mixed. Wilders maintains a base of support in the Jewish community among those who have seen Muslims bring anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence to Holland. On the other hand, Wilders has supported a ban on Jewish ritual slaughter and his anti-Muslim rhetoric hearkens to rhetoric of the past.

The threats to Jews in Holland don’t only come from the right. DENK, a splinter from the liberal Social-Democrats, includes a very strong pro-Palestinian plank. And Groen Links, the left-wing Green party led by Jesse Klaver, now the strongest party on the left, allies with those countries and movements that are critical of the US and the West.

At the end of April, French voters will be the next Europeans to decide if they want a nationalist, right-wing politician as their new leader. Polls in France show that Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, maintains a slight lead over her centrist opponent, Emmanuel Macron.

Like Wilders, Le Pen campaigns on an anti-immigrant, anti-EU message. Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, once led the National Front and is an unabashed anti-Semite.

Le Pen, however, has better prospects than a second place finish. Her strongest opponent is independent Emmanuel Macron, a prot?g? of Socialist French President Francoise Hollande. Macron, 39, a former investment banker, is considered a symbol of big money and “special interests” — especially by anti-Semites on the left and right. If elected, Macron would become the youngest president in French history. Most election-watchers expect a runoff election in early May after a first vote fails to declare a winner. (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 653)