AfD provokes outcry in Germany with launch of 'Jewish group'
Germany AfD provokes outcry in Germany with launch of 'Jewish group'
Critics condemn far-right party as racist and antisemitic, and accuse it of hypocrisy
The German far-right party Alternative fÃ¼r Deutschland has provoked an outcry by launching what it called a Jewish group within its ranks that it says will battle against the mass immigration of Muslim men who hold antisemitic views.
The party said a group of 19 had formed âJews in the AfDâ, and that anyone joining had to be a card-carrying member of the party who was either ethnically or religiously Jewish.
The move drew a backlash from Germanyâs Jewish community, which called the AfD a racist and antisemitic party.About 250 people, many from Jewish organisations, held a protest in Frankfurt on Sunday against the new group.
âYou wonât get a kosher stamp from us,â Dalia Grinfeld, who heads the Jewish studentsâ union in Germany, said at the protest.
Leading members of the AfD have been repeatedly criticised for comments appearing to play down the Holocaust, and Jewish organisations including the Central Council of Jews in Germany issued a statement condemning the the party ahead of Sundayâs march.
âThe AfD is a party that provides a home for hatred for Jews as well as the relativising, or even denial of the Holocaust,â it said.Chemnitz riots spark calls for AfD to be put und er surveillance Read more
The AfDâs deputy parliamentary group leader, Beatrix von Storch, hit back in an interview published on Sunday by the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
Taking aim at the Central Council of Jews, she compared it to âofficial churchesâ that she dismissed as âpart of the establishmentâ. The AfD positions itself as a group offering voters an alternative to the countryâs established mainstream parties.
Capitalising on discontent over an influx of asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016, the AfD is the biggest opposition party in Germany with more than 90 seats in parliament.
The deputy parliamentary group leader of Angela Merkelâs CDU party, Stephan Harbarth, called the AfDâs bid to start a Jewish wing hypocritical.
âWhoever calls the Holocaust a speck of bird poo in German history does not fight antisemitism but mocks its victims, and definitely does not stand on the side of the Jews,â he told Sundayâs edition of Bild.Topics
- The far right
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