Analysis: Germany’s Far-Right AfD party – Good or bad for Jews and Israel?

The Jewish diaspora leadership is misreading today’s European political map and the changing winds of anti-Semitism.

By: Daniel Krygier, Political Analyst, World Israel News

Since the end of World War 2, Jews have understandably kept a watchful eye on anti-Semitism and extremism emanating from the political right. Historically, many Jews in exile tended to identify with the political left that was often seen as more sympathetic towards religious and ethnic minorities like Jews.

The surging German right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been widely demonized by the European political elite and Jewish diaspora leadership as “racist” and even “Nazi.”

Ron Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, did not mince his words of disapproval following last week’s national election, when the AfD managed an entry into Parliament.

“It is abhorrent that the AfD party, a disgraceful reactionary movement which recalls the worst of Germany’s past and should be outlawed, now has the ability within the German parliament to promote its vile platform,” Lauder stated. Similar sentiments were heard among German Jewish leaders.

However, unlike real Nazis, polls reveal that AfD is overwhelmingly positive towards the Jewish state. Its focus is not on European Jews, but on the negative consequences of Muslim mass immigration to Germany and the EU.

Much of the Jewish diaspora leadership is misreading today’s European political map and the changing winds of anti-Semitism. Unlike the 1930s, when Jews were threatened by right-wing extremism, today Israel and world Jewry are mainly threatened by Jew-hatred emanating from radical Islam and its extremist leftist allies.

Regardless of one’s political preferences, it is simply a distortion of historical and contemporary facts to equal today’s AfD with yesterday’s Nazis. Nazi Germany viciously attacked a peaceful and well-integrated Jewish minority that constituted no threat to German society.

By contrast, the rise of AfD and its other right-wing European counterparts should be seen as a reaction to the unprecedented flood of migrants from Muslim countries and its negative impact on European societies: surge of Islamist terror and Muslim extremism.

Leftist-Islamist anti-Zionism is the epicenter of Jew-hatred in the 21st century and it threatens Israel and Diaspora Jewry alike. While right wing anti-Semitism is rightly discredited and marginalized, the European left and its Islamist allies are increasingly bringing Jew-hatred into the European mainstream under the guise of “anti-racism”.

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been portrayed as a friend of Israel, Germany remains the main foreign financer of extremist NGOs demonizing and slandering the Jewish state. The leftist German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, who demonizes AfD as “Nazis,” has no qualms about meeting with Iran’s leaders, who openly threaten to wipe out the Jewish state. Earlier in 2017, Gabriel hosted Islamist extremist leader Hamidreza Torabi, who heads the Iranian-backed Islamic Academy of Germany that openly rejects Israel’s right to exist. Islamists make no distinction between Diaspora Jewry and the Jewish state and the Europe’s political Left is increasingly following suit.

While AfD and other European anti-immigration right wing parties may not be diaspora Jewry’s cup of tea, the Leftist-Islamist alliance has surged as the main engine of Jew-hatred that neither Israel nor diaspora Jewry should ignore.