Jews around world alarmed by far-right breakthrough in Germany

Source: Reuters

BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) – 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 parliamentary election and urged other parties not to form alliances with it.

But a leading member of the AfD, which won 12.6 percent 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 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 anti-Semitism was increasing across the globe.

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