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Ahead of elections, German Jews alarmed about rising right-wing party: "We have to unite against it"The extreme right-wing party 'An Alternative for Germany' will enter parliament for the first time since the Second World War after today's election results are announced. Members of the Jewish community are concerned: "We have to unite against it (the party) in order for it to become a passing phenomenon."
Tens of millions of Germans will be voting today (Sunday) for their representatives in parliament. In the Jewish community there is growing concern over the rise of the extreme right-wing party "Alternative for Germany" (AFD), which is expected to join parliament for the first time since World War II. In a conversation with Germany's Channel 2 News envoy, community members warn that the agenda of the extremist party, which is currently directed mainly towards Muslim immigrants, will undoubtedly soon be turned against the Jews.
Commentators in Germany believe that the party, which polls expect to be the third largest in the parliament, could win a higher percentage of support than anticipated since potential supporters would likely have been embarrassed to admit who they were voting for. In that case, the far right in Germany will gain an unprecedented amount of representation since World War II. Should they receive a significant enough share of the House of Representatives, they may even end up leading the opposition.
Rabbi Shmuel Segal, a Chabad emissary in Berlin, expressed his concerns about the strengthening of the extreme right and the party's election to the House of Representatives and said that he hoped that "all the sane forces in Germany will unite against it (the party) in order for it to become a passing phenomenon." At the same time, 35 rabbis of Jewish communities around Germany have called on their constituents to make every effort to go out and vote in order to increase the percentage of voters and weaken the extremist parties.
Yehuda, an Israeli living in Berlin, told Channel 2 News that he can not understand the Jews who support the party. "There are people in the Jewish community who think that the fact that AFD is going against Muslims will help the Jews, but history teaches us that the Jews are also at risk and we must not let this happen."
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