German federal elections

Jewish organizations warn against the AfD

Kann künftig vom Verfassungsschutz als Verdachtsfall beobachtet werden: die AfD Foto: dpa

The Central Council of Jews in Germany and numerous other Jewish organizations have issued a joint appeal against the election of the »Alternative for Germany« (AfD) party in the upcoming federal election. »On September 26, 2021, elect an undoubtedly democratic party and help to ban the AfD from the German Bundestag«, said the appeal published on September 9th.

»The AfD is by no means an alternative in the federal election!«

In a good two weeks from now voters will decide whether the AfD can again do mischief in the »Bundestag, the heart of our democracy. A party in which anti-Semites and right-wing extremists have found a home,  party that Germany’s intelligence service is watching narrowly for good reason, a party that’s a hotbed for anti-Semitism, racism and misanthropy.« The appeal was supported by 60 Jewish associations.

European Union Furthermore, it says: »We are convinced that the AfD is a radical and anti-religious party. Party politicians are qualifying the Shoah. They regard minorities as inferior and divide our society. The AfD is against the European Union and thus against the European peace project. The AfD is by no means an alternative in the federal election!«

The co-signatories include the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the European Jewish Congress (EJC), the Claims Conference, the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference Germany (ORD), Makkabi Germany, the ZWST (Germany’s Central Welfare Organization for Jews), the Union of Progressive Jews, the Abraham Geiger College, the Rabbinical Seminar Berlin, the Jewish University in Heidelberg and the various regional associations of the Jewish communities in Germany.

Aspects from the AfD’s election manifesto are expressly emphasized in the text. There, the party is not concerned about »the needs of the Jews in the country« but trying to be stigmatizing Muslims as a threat to Jewish life.

anti-Muslim »In the AfD’s program, Jews serve solely to express the party’s anti-Muslim resentment,« says the declaration. The AfD only advances Jews »to bring their racist and anti-Muslim slogans to the people. But we do not want to and will not be part of their window dressing.«

Alluding to a statement by the AfD parliamentary group leader Alexander Gauland, it goes on to say that »the time of the National Socialist tyranny with millions of Jews, Sinti and Roma, homosexuals and those politically persecuted was just a ›bird scat‹ for the AfD parliamentary group leader. The attitude expressed therein belittles the horrors of history in an unbearable way.«

In addition, AfD politicians showed themselves in »Querdenken« marches side by side with hooligans and right-wing extremists. »We, the undersigned Jewish associations and organizations, and the Jews in Germany are as diverse as this country. We have different backgrounds, biographies, and native languages. We represent different attitudes and political positions. We are shaped by different realities of life. What we all have in common, however, is our conviction that the AfD is a danger to our country.«

There had been a similar appeal even before the last federal election – at that time, numerous Jewish associations had also pleaded against voting for the AfD. However, the party not only made it into the Bundestag, but also immediately became the strongest opposition faction. In the current polls, the far right is at 11 percent, but would only become the fifth largest force in the new parliament.

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