In late 2010, the ‘European Freedom Alliance’, a group of four European politicians from populist radical right parties: Heinz-Christian Strache, Chairman of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ); Filip Dewinter, a senior leader in Belgium’s Vlaams Belang (VB); René Stadtkewitz, founder of Germany’s Die Freiheit; and Kent Ekeroth, the International Secretary for the Sweden Democrats (SD), travelled to Israel and the West Bank. Their trip culminated in the signing of the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’, a document conveying their staunch support for Israel and its right to defend itself against ‘Islamic aggression’. The author analyses key interviews and the Declaration to demonstrate how the event is indicative of a reformed and realigned populist radical Right. Open anti-Semitism, he argues, has been replaced by calls to prevent Islam’s supposed contamination of the nation’s cultural heritage and new positions are being adopted on post-national cooperation and European identity. Also, wider transformations in Western European politics have resulted in the populist radical Right increasingly framing the electorate’s insecurities as evidence of the cultural erosion of the nation state. Through comparing the experiences of Israelis with those of non-Muslims living in Europe, the Alliance argues for the need to toughen Europe’s defence against a common enemy.
This article discusses the properties of ‘quality television’ as constructed within the field of television production. It does so by analyzing the discourse of television creators and critics in two countries, Israel and Flanders, taking a theoretical approach based in part on Bourdieusian theory. Most academic work about ‘quality television’ concentrates on Anglo-American television drama series. In this paper we offer a different perspective by focusing on two small but prosperous television markets outside of the Anglo-American world. Our findings suggest that the quality discourse in both countries contains autonomous-artistic alongside heteronomous-capitalist ideological elements, apparently under the influence of the Anglo-American discourse of quality. Our findings also suggest that both ideological elements contribute to the cultural legitimation of the television drama series in both countries, though the capitalist discourse plays a more evident role among creators than among critics. Finally, we also discuss the differences between the Flemish and the Israeli discourses of ‘quality television.’