Jewish lobby in far-right German party denounced for anti-Muslim views

webRNS-Jews-AfD1-101518Source: Religion News Service

By Tom Heneghan

PARIS (RNS) — A small group of German Jews has launched a lobby group within the far-right Alternative for Germany party, prompting a swift rejection from the country’s established Jewish organizations and accusations that the move was an anti-Muslim ploy.

The founding of the 24-member “Jews in the AfD” group on Oct. 7 seems like a contradiction given the party’s staunch nationalist views that include playing down Germany’s Nazi past, including the Holocaust, and the close ties some members have to anti-Semitic movements.

But it highlights one of the party’s main policies — opposition to accepting mostly Muslim immigrants in Germany — through its accusation that the newcomers are deeply anti-Jewish. A wave of about a million new immigrants in 2015, many of them from Islamic countries, has been decisive in boosting support for the AfD.

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