German Jewish leaders express fear over rise of extreme right

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), a nationalist and anti-immigration party which blatantly incites hatred against minorities,  has Jewish leaders in Germany worried.

Jewish leaders in Germany reacted with apprehension to the ascent of a far-right wing party in the latest local elections.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), a nationalist and anti-immigration party, performed strongly in a state election Sunday in the region where German Chancellor Angela Merkel has her political base, overtaking her conservatives to take second place amid discontent with her migrant policies.

The AfD won 20.8 percent of votes in the election for the state legislature in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Merkel’s Christian Democrats polled 19 percent, their worst result yet in the state.

The extreme-right NPD party, which Jewish leaders are seeking to ban, lost its representation in the state legislature.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, expressed concern about the right-wing’s strong showing.

“Clearly, many voters are not aware or play down the fact that the AfD does not clearly distance itself from right-wing extremists, be it in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania or anywhere else in the country,” he said.

Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria and World Jewish Congress (WJC) commissioner for Holocaust memory, said “that an extreme-right party which blatantly incites hatred against minorities in a disgusting way can rise unhindered in our country is a nightmare come true.”

“The AfD is an openly far-right party. It is pathetic when a party that has xenophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, historical revisionism and conspiracy theories at the heart of its argument, can become such a strong social and political influence,” she added.

Knobloch, an 82-year Holocaust survivor warned that the AfD was a threat to Germany’s democratic foundations, as it can collaborate with other far-right parties and gain further power and influence.

By: World Israel News Staff