European Jewish Congress
Euroactiv: Jews around world alarmed by far-right breakthrough in Germany
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Euroactiv: Jews around world alarmed by far-right breakthrough in Germany

Jewish groups in Europe and the United States expressed alarm at the success of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in Sunday’s (24 September) parliamentary election and urged other parties not to form alliances with it.

But a leading member of the AfD, which won 12.6% of the vote in the federal election to become the third largest party in Germany’s lower house of parliament, said Jews had nothing to fear from his party’s success.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party entering the German parliament for the first time eclipsed the historically bad results of the country’s Grand Coalition members. But what is behind the AfD’s rise to becoming Germany’s third-strongest party? EURACTIV Germany reports.

After last year’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory, the political landscape was supposed …

The far-right has not been represented in parliament since the 1950s, a reflection of Germany’s efforts to distance itself from the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust.

Ronald Lauder, president of the New York-based World Jewish Congress, called Chancellor Angela Merkel a “true friend of Israel and the Jewish people” and decried the AfD’s gains at a time when antisemitism was increasing across the globe.

“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 said.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked also expressed concern about the AfD’s success: “I hope that the German people learn carefully the history of Germany and remember the Holocaust and all the… reasons that led to this tragedy.”

The AfD, which has surged in the two years since Merkel opened Germany’s borders to more than 1 million migrants mainly fleeing Middle East wars, says immigration jeopardises Germany’s culture but denies it is racist or antisemitic.

Germany’s right-wing populist AfD (Alternative for Germany) plans to adopt an anti-Islamic manifesto at a weekend party congress, emboldened by the rise of European anti-migrant groups like Austria’s Freedom Party.

“There’s nothing in our party or in our program that could or should in any way concern Jewish people who live here in Germany,” Alexander Gauland, the AfD’s top candidate, told reporters on Monday.

Gauland also cited Germany’s strong diplomatic support for Israel, suggesting that it should also be ready to send troops if necessary to help defend the country as it faces off against the Palestinians and hostile neighbouring states.

Volker Beck, a member of the Greens, said Gauland’s comments suggested that he was questioning Germany’s support for Israel – a fundamental principle of its post-war foreign policy.

“The message to his antisemitic fans is clear: There’s no need for the NPD because the AfD is your political home,” Beck said, in a reference to the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), which Germany’s Constitutional Court has said resembled Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party.

Intolerance’

Gauland provoked outrage during the election campaign when he said Germans should be proud of what their soldiers achieved in two world wars.

The European Jewish Congress urged other German political parties to stick to pre-election vows and not to consider any coalition talks with the AfD.

“Some of the positions it has espoused during the election campaign display alarming levels of intolerance not seen in Germany for many decades and which are, of course, of great concerns to German and European Jews.” 

Click here to read the full article in Euroactiv

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
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Politico:
Austria’s conservatives and right-wing populists surged to victory in Sunday’s parliamentary election, according to early projections, heralding a tectonic shift in the country’s politics after more than a decade under a centrist coalition.
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