Friday, 2 February 2018

Alternative for Germany – Love Israel Hate Jews

The Symbiosis Between Zionism and neo-Nazism
The Times of Israel article below probably sums up the situation in Germany where Alternative for Germany, a neo-Nazi party, has become the third largest party in the Bundestag with nearly 100 seats and 13% of the vote.  ‘Loathed by Jews, Germany’s Far-Right Loves the Jewish State’.  

Perhaps one correction to the headline is in order.  There is nothing ‘Jewish’ about Israel except that being Jewish means you are part of the herrenvolk, the master race, that group of society which has, because of its ethnic-religious characteristics privileges.  In that sense and only in that sense Israel is a Jewish state.

When anti-Semites like Gilad Atzmon say that Israel is the ‘Jews only’ state and that Israel is a continuation of ‘Jewishness’ over the ages they could not be more wrong.  Jewish identity has changed many times over the centuries.  It is no more fixed than Islamic or Christian identity has been.

Zionism, like many fake nationalism, because Zionism is not Jewish nationalism although it is nationalist, a crucial difference, writes the present back into all of history.  So for Zionism Israel is a continuation of 2,000+ years of Jewish history.  Likewise for anti-Semites, what Israel does today is just a continuation of being Jewish over the centuries.

However that great Israeli anti-Zionist, the late Professor Israel Shahak, who was a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Belsen concentration camp, in his book ‘Jewish Religion, Jewish History’ and also a great scholar of  Jewish history wrote that
there has been a great deal of nonsense written in the attempt to provide a social or mystical interpretation of Jewry or Judaism as a whole.  This cannot be done, for the social structure of the Jewish people and the ideological structure of Judaism have changed profoundly through the ages. [Shahak, Jewish Religion Jewish History, p.50]
It is one of life’s ironies that, almost without exception, neo-Nazi and fascist/far-Right parties are in awe of the Israeli state.  Israel is the model of what their type of ethno-nationalist state would be like.  Even as I write this Israel is trying to expel some 35,000+ Black African refugees.  This is a bipartisan issue.  Both the Israeli Labour Party and Netanyahu are in favour of the removal of what are termed ‘infiltrators’ i.e. non-Jews.

Israel constantly seeks to ensure that it is as Jewish as possible.  Unfortunately it has a 20% Palestinian/Arab minority but it is dedicated to ensuring that this minority doesn’t increase.  This is the type of state that Richard Spencer, the neo-Nazi founder of the alt-Right in the United Sates admires.  That is why he is a self-confessed White Zionist.  This is no mere rhetoric.  All of these parties are anti-Muslim.  Muslims are seen as the threat to White hegemony.  Jews have been taken inside the racial tribe.  MJews are, for the time being anyway, accepted as part of White society however, diaspora Jews are not so stupid as the far-Right believes.  In the event these parties were to come to power then Jews would be the archetypal cosmopolitan, liberal elements who they would attack as we saw in Charlottesville where Trump’s baying mob quickly turned to anti-Semitic slogans.

What this demonstrates above all is that the interests of the Israeli settler state and diaspora Jewry are fundamentally opposed.  Israel is a threat to the future of the diaspora.  That is why Israel spends so much money convincing the diaspora otherwise but despite this there are growing fractures between the Israeli state and Jews outside of it.

Historically Zionism wanted to wind up what it called the ‘accursed Galut’ (Galut = exile).  This has not proved possible but Israel spends millions of dollars each year trying to encourage Jewish immigration to Israel even whilst, at the same time it devises ways of excluding Palestinians and indeed Black African Jews.  How this cannot be racist is something best left to Talmudic rhetoricians.
Ironically Zionism first grew as a reaction to anti-Semitism in the late 19th century but it was a unique reaction amongst Jews because it accepted the framework that the anti-Semites had set.  The Zionists accepted that Jews did not belong, even worse they accepted that the anti-Semites were right – the Jews were an anti-social element.  Indeed sometimes Zionists spoke of Jews in ways identical to that of the worst anti-Semites.  For example Israel’s first Justice Minister, Pinhas Rosenbluth described Palestine as ‘an institute for the fumigation of Jewish vermin’.  [Joachim Doron, p.169, Classic Zionism and modern anti-Semitism: parallels and influences’ (1883-1914), Studies in Zionism 8, Autumn 1983]

Today we see the harvest that Zionism has created.  The world’s only Apartheid state, the most racist state in the world, a state admired by neo-Nazis the world over, indeed a model for what is now termed White Zionism.  And some Zionists still resent the comparison between Zionism and Nazism!!
Ali Abunimah Electronic Intifada 2 January 2018

Lawmaker Beatrix von Storch, accused by Cologne police of inciting hatred against Muslims, sees Israel as a model for Germany. (Nicolaus Fest)
A neo-Nazi member of Germany’s parliament who has been charged by police with inciting hatred against Muslims is a big fan of Israel.

Beatrix von Storch was suspended from Twitter and Facebook after she slammed police in the city of Cologne for this tweet – one of several put out in various languages – wishing the city’s residents happy new year in Arabic:

In response, von Storch accused the Cologne police of trying to “appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men.”

This was an apparent reference to a spate of alleged sexual assaults that were blamed on men from Muslim-majority countries in the city on New Year’s Eve two years ago, and that then fueled exaggerated or outright fabricated claims against immigrants in other parts of Germany.
Police have filed a criminal complaint against von Storch for hate speech.

Her posts were removed under a new online hate speech law that civil liberties advocates have warned deputizes social media companies to carry out censorship on behalf of the government.

Neo-Nazis embrace Israel

Von Storch is the deputy leader of Alternative for Germany – known by its German initials AfD – the neo-Nazi party that won almost 100 seats in Germany’s general election last September, prompting alarm from the country’s Jewish community.

Like their neo-Nazi counterparts who just joined the government of neighboring Austria, AfD has been cozying up to Israel – a philosemitic stance that aims to rebrand the anti-Semitic far-right as defenders of Jews against a supposed Muslim threat.

Their embrace has been reciprocated by politicians in Israel’s ruling Likud party.

A granddaughter of Hitler’s last finance minister, von Storch told The Jerusalem Report last September that “For historical and cultural reasons, we will always look for good relations and close cooperation with Israel.”

She has been very explicit not only about her party’s support for Israel, but also that hatred of Muslims is one of the values she shares with its Zionist ideology.

“Both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are strongest in the Islamic community, as well as the Left,” she explained. “They reject the fact that the Judeo-Christian foundations of European civilization are instrumental to its success. We recognize the threat they pose to both Israel and Germany’s Jewish community and their safety is a high priority for us.”

Von Storch concluded that “Israel could be a role model for Germany” as a country that “makes efforts to preserve its unique culture and traditions.”

This echoes closely the line of American neo-Nazi demagogue Richard Spencer who speaks of Zionism as a key model for the kind of Aryan homeland he seeks to create under the guise of preserving “European” culture.

Not surprisingly, von Storch’s Jerusalem Report interview was promoted approvingly by Breitbart, a major platform for racism and white supremacy.

Israel as racist model

Von Storch’s identification with Israel is a symptom of the long-standing alliance between the right, and even anti-Semites, on the one hand, and Zionism and Israel, on the other.

This alliance has recently found new life in a common hatred of Muslims.

Israeli leaders have habitually exploited violent attacks in Europe to further stoke Islamophobia and justify their own violence against Palestinians.

Yet while many mainstream commentators in Germany can be expected to express horror at von Storch’s anti-Muslim incitement, few dare speak out in criticism of Israel – including its prominent role in fomenting xenophobia and hatred of Muslims as part of its effort to push Europe further into its far-right camp.

Indeed, Germany’s establishment appears to be less tolerant than ever of advocacy for full, equal civil, political and human rights for Palestinians. In December, the city council in Munich passed a measure smearing the BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee had written to city councillors to explain that the definition of anti-Semitism cited in the resolution is one drawn up by Israel lobbyists to deliberately conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

Yet there do appear to be cracks. Foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel is under intense attack from Israel for stating a simple truth. Israel’s public security minister Gilad Erdan, who is also in charge of combatting the BDS movement, accused Gabriel of engaging in speech that “demonizes and delegitimizes the Jewish state.”

Gabriel reportedly told a group of Muslim representatives in December that when he visited the occupied West Bank city of Hebron a few years ago, what he witnessed reminded him of apartheid.

Loathed by Jews, Germany’s far-right AfD loves the Jewish state

Candidates for nationalist Alternative for Germany, derided as anti-Semitic, overwhelmingly profess to hold pro-Israel positions, poll shows

24 September 2017, 11:58 pm 18

Members of the nationalist German AfD, 'Alternative for Germany', celebrate during the election party in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2017, after the polling stations for the German parliament elections had been closed. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Jews hate the Alternative for Germany, but the Alternative for Germany loves Jews — or at least the Jewish state, according to a new poll.

The Jewish community largely condemned Sunday’s election victory of the far-right party, known in Germany as AfD, which garnered some 13 percent of the vote in Sunday’s national poll, making it the country’s third largest faction in parliament.
Most German Jews repudiate the AfD as anti-Semitic, pointing to its anti-immigration and anti-Muslim platform and arguing that whoever targets Muslims and other minorities will sooner or later seek to harm the Jews’ religious freedoms.
“It is abhorrent that the AfD party, a disgraceful reactionary movement which recalls the worst of Germany’s past and should be outlawed, now has the ability within the German parliament to promote its vile platform,” said World Jewish Congress president Ron Lauder.
“This result is a nightmare come true,” declared Charlotte Knobloch, chairwoman of Munich’s Jewish community and former president of Central Council of Jews in Germany.
“With the AfD, exclusion, inwardness, aggression, contempt for humanity, conspiracy theories, volkisch nationalism, neo-Nazism, violating the constitution, Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, racism, anti-religiousness, hostility toward the media and Europe, revisionism and historical relativism move into the Bundestag and its national and international bodies,” she said.
Past statements from senior AfD officials suggested a desire to change Germany’s admission of guilt for the Holocaust and admiration for Wehrmacht soldiers during World War II. Despite intense efforts, party officials were never quite able to get rid of the impression that it had become a platform for anti-Semites, racists and other xenophobes.

But, like many far-right parties in Europe and elsewhere, the AfD presents itself as staunchly supportive of Israel.
According to a wide-ranging poll commissioned by a group promoting German-Israeli relations, most AfD politicians profess to care deeply about Israel’s security, support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, reject unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state, and generally support a stronger relationship between Jerusalem and Berlin.
Nearly 90% of the 35 AfD members who were surveyed totally or somewhat support Chancellor Angela Merkel’s dictum that “Israel’s security is Germany’s raison d’etre.” Two said they oppose the statement and two had no opinion.
A quarter of those polled had been to Israel.
A supporter of the nationalist AfD party holds a placard, reading, ‘Protect the constitution from Merkel,’ as German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at an election campaign rally of her Christian CDU party in Bitterfeld, Germany, on August 29, 2017. (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)
Over half of the AfD respondents said they “totally” agree with the statement that support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to be anti-Semitic; no other major party had such a strong opposition to BDS.

Seventy-seven percent those polled agreed with the statement that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism; 23% disagreed.
“Criticizing the State of Israel and on Zionist behavior is not anti-Semitism,” one polled AfD politician said when asked to comment on his response.
Some 88% said Israel’s 70th birthday next year was a reason for Germans to celebrate, while fewer than 4% disagreed with that statement. (For comparison, at the Social Democrats of Martin Schulz — which came in second in the national elections, ahead of the AfD — 11% felt that Israel’s anniversary was no reason to celebrate.)
“German-Israeli relations are special, not only because of history, but also because Israel is the only really functioning democracy in the region,” one polled AfD member said. “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and both politically and from a Christian perspective, a brotherly country,” opined another.
A large majority of polled AfD candidates (86%) also support German arms exports to Israel.
“As long as the Germany provides Islamic regimes such as Turkey or Saudi Arabia with arms, there is no reason why Israel, as a pro-Western, democratic state should be excluded from arms deals,” said Beatrix von Storch, the party’s deputy spokesperson.
A vandalized Alternative for Germany party campaign poster is seen in Berlin on September 21, 2017. (AFP Photo/John Macdougall)
Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday evening remained mum on AfD’s strong showing in the German elections, though the PMO tweeted congratulations to Merkel, calling her a “true friend of Israel.”

Congratulations to Angela #Merkel , a true friend of Israel, on her re-election as Chancellor of Germany.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) September 24, 2017
Jerusalem has a complicated relationship with populist European far-right parties, which thrive on anti-Muslim sentiment, but enthusiastically embrace the Jewish state.
MK Nachman Shai, an opposition lawmaker who chairs the Israel-Germany Parliamentary Friendship Group, said Germany’s democratic elections must be respected, but at the same time called them “a great warning sign” for Israel and the Jewish people.
“The rise of the extreme right in Germany is indicative of dangerous moods that are growing stronger,” he said. “Xenophobia, racism and extremism have conquered a significant portion of the German public and prove that the democratic stratum is fragile and vulnerable.”
Two thirds of AfD candidates do not believe that settlements are the main obstacle to peace
Three quarters of polled AfD politicians do not want Germany to recognize the State of Palestine before a peace deal with Israel is signed, while 11% tend to favor a unilateral recognition. (To compare, 77% of Greens and 28% of Social Democrats tend to support unilateral recognition.)
Every single AfD candidate polled said Germany should use its financial aid to the Palestinians to pressure them into ceasing its incitement to and glorification of terrorism.
Two-thirds of AfD candidates do not believe that West Bank settlements are the main obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace; 19% do think so. Also, two-thirds said they “totally” disagree with the European Union’s decision to label Israeli products made in the settlements — no one expressed support for the idea (21% tended to disagree with the policy and 12% had no opinion)
Sixty-nine percent “absolutely” agreed with the statement that a comprehensive peace treaty needs to include the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Only 3% “absolutely” disagreed.
Beatrix Von Storch of Alternative for Germany. (CC BY-SA, Wikimedia)
“The recognition of Israel’s right to exist the precondition to every peaceful solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This emphatically includes the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state,” von Storch said. “Like any other nation, Israel has the natural right to protect its citizens, secure its borders and safeguards its cultural identity.”

When it comes to Holocaust education, however, the AfD scorecard doesn’t look so great. While 100% of respondents from the center-left, the center-right parties, and the Greens, said they “totally” agreed that it was important to teach the young generation about the Shoah, at the AfD, 38% “tend to” agree and 6% “tend to” disagree.

The rise of Germany's far-right: Its impact on Europe and Israel

Jerusalem Post, September 25, 2017 13:42

AfD deputy chair Beatrix von Storch tells 'The Jerusalem Report' that Israel could be a role model for Germany.

Member of the European Parliament Beatrix von Storch speaks at a press conference of the Germany's far-right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party in Berlin. (photo credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)

The September 24 German election can be seen as part of the series of European elections serving as litmus tests for European sentiment on core issues: the future of the European Union, immigration, the rise of Islam and the character of Europe. 
Much of the attention throughout the German campaign centered on the rise of the far-right party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD). Established just five years ago as a Euroskeptic party, it has since evolved to garner messages that are similar to other European far-right parties: anti-immigration, anti-Islam, anti-EU and German nationalism.
While AfD has so far been successful in having its representatives elected to 13 of 16 state parliaments, it is now set to enter the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament – the first time since the aftermath of World War II that a far-right party is represented in the parliament. Furthermore, it was the surprise of the election by becoming the third largest party, winning over 13 percent of the seats, according to preliminary results.

“We reject the move toward a centralized federal United States of Europe. We favor the return to a community based on sovereign nations of shared economic interests,” Beatrix von Storch, AfD’s deputy chairwoman and one of the public faces of the party, tells The Jerusalem Report.

When asked if she sees a possibility of the European Union disintegrating, von Storch is clear: “If the present path of centralization and harmonization continues, the result will be disintegration.”

Such a move away from “federal Europe” inevitably comes with greater emphasis on German nationalism; there are those in Germany who feel their nationalism has been exaggeratedly suppressed in the aftermath of World War II.

AfD prominently highlighted German nationalism in its campaign such as banners at its rallies stating, “Our land, our homeland” and advertising with the caption, “Get your country back.”

Although some are uneasy with such slogans, which evoke memories of similar catchphrases in Germany’s past, von Storch does not see a problem with elevating German nationalism. “We stand for patriotism that promotes peace and good-neighborliness,” she says.

Dr. Marcel Lewandowsky, a political scientist at Helmut Schmidt University who researches populist parties and election campaigning in Germany, explains, “The mainstream in Germany has been very sensitive when it comes to German nationalism. Every nationalist party that has popped up over the years was stigmatized and interpreted in the context of German history. But in the last 10 years, the Christian Democrats [the center-right party], under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has shifted to the political center. That created a gap in Germany’s party system.”

The void on Germany’s Right is not the only contributor to the rise of AfD. Prof. Catherine de Vries of the University of Essex focuses on the rise of Euroscepticism and the success of extremist parties in Europe. She views the rise of AfD in the context of a broader European anti-establishment wave.

“There is a crisis of representation on a national level throughout Europe,” she says. “It is not just about the EU. Voters are crying foul against the elite, against their governments, against their ministers.”

Capitalizing on the combination of the political void and the anti-establishment attitudes, von Storch believes her party delivers an appealing answer.

“Many things drive our voters. Central to all of them are the policies of Merkel’s government such as the expansion of the EU, failure of the euro, and Merkel’s failed immigration policy,” she says.

Some, however, are questioning who exactly are those voters attracted to AfD and what are their backgrounds.

“There is a moderate faction within AfD, but there is also a strong nationalist faction, especially in parts of eastern Germany. Indeed, AfD also attracts real neo-Nazis, but they are not the majority in the party,” says Lewandowsky.

It is the presence of such elements within the party that has drawn accusations that it is antisemitic.

Lewandowsky addresses the validity of these accusations. “There is some secondary antisemitism. You find amongst AfD sympathizers those who hold the view that Germany should get rid of the past, get rid of the culture of guilt. That by itself implies a relativization of the Holocaust.”

Von Storch, a member of a European royal family, is the granddaughter of Adolf Hitler’s last finance minister, Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk. When asked what role Germany’s past should play in its current politics, she puts it this way, “We have learned from our history that we must defend the principles of democracy, freedom and the rule of law.”

Von Storch does not feel her party’s rise should be of concern to others in Europe.

“Our neighbors are not afraid of AfD. They fear the repercussions of Merkel’s open-door refugee policy and resent its contribution toward an EU refugee redistribution scheme.”

The success of AfD raises questions not merely about the role of the EU, but also about the crux of the European narrative.

For most people, it is clear what it means to be German or French ‒ having a distinct language, culture and heritage. But it remains unclear what exactly it means to be European. What is the pan-European narrative?

There are those who would suggest that the European narrative is the lack of narrative ‒ a reactionary correction to previous European wars that were caused as a result of narratives, nationalism, religion and ideologies.

But such regression of narrative arguably allows for the emergence of a competing narrative in Europe: The strong and distinct narrative of Islam, which includes faith, customs, dress, behavior patterns and language.

That not only generates a debate about the role of Islam in Europe, but also generates a fear.

“Replacement is the core of the fear of AfD voters,” asserts Lewandowsky. “You add replacement to terrorism and you get AfD message that Islam produces terrorism, Islam does not match our culture and Islam is spreading in Europe."

This fear of replacement was featured prominently in AfD advertisements. One shows a pregnant white woman and reads, “New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves.”

But the reality remains that, with declining birthrates, Germans and other western Europeans do not make many babies ‒ the European Muslims do. Not only is there an incoming narrative to replace the previous European narrative, the logic goes, but there is also a demographic path for such replacement to materialize.

That fear of replacement is further augmented by the fear of terrorism, and that too has been a central feature in AfD’s campaign. An ad showing blood-traced tire tracks listed recent terrorist attacks that have occurred in Europe. It states, “The tracks left by the world chancellor through Europe” ‒ a reference to Merkel.

The rejection of Islam in Germany is not unique to AfD. Even Merkel herself has repeatedly objected to the notion of having separate Islamic and other new cultures in Europe. In 2010, she stated that the multicultural approach has utterly failed and that immigrants need to do more to integrate.

In 2015, she said multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and, therefore, remains a life lie.” Other European leaders echoed the same message, essentially demanding that Muslims and other immigrants fully assimilate into the prevailing European culture.

AfD takes the demand for assimilation to higher levels. One of its campaign ads shows a photo of two women in bathing suits and reads, “Burkas? We prefer bikinis.” Another, showing a pig, reads, “Islam? It does not fit in our cuisine.”

But, closing the door on the possibility of any form of autonomous Muslim life in Europe creates a problem. What do you do with those Muslims who do not wish to wear a bikini and who do not wish to eat pigs because it is against their faith.

“Islam, as a political ideology, and shari’a law are not compatible with the principles of a free society. Muslims must separate their religion from its political implementation such as calling for shari’a law,” von Storch states clearly.

Lewandowsky says AfD links its anti-Islam views with its anti-EU platform, going further than just blaming Merkel for the rise of Islam.

“AfD members view the EU as a traitor to Europe’s Christian heritage because they let in the Muslims. The view is that the Islamization of Europe was caused by the EU,” he says.

The discussion about the character of Europe emanating from the German election and rise of its far-right could trigger debates on more strategic issues. Some in Europe are frustrated with the rise of the populist vote in recent elections and have developed a counterreaction accusing that “the people do not know what is good for them.” Could this signal the early stages of a debate on the actual merit of European liberal democracies?

“That is a super-important question that is not easy to get into empirically,” says de Vries. “In the 1960s, if you were a member of a labor union, you would automatically vote for a particular party. Parties could send their messages through unions and through churches. That has changed. Voters are now critical consumers.”

Could such critical consumers in other parts of Europe be affected by the German election? For example, in South Tyrol, a German-speaking region that has been controlled by Italy since World War I.

Some Tyrollean residents claim that, unlike Catalonia to their west, they are less at liberty to pursue national aspirations because of the taboo of German nationalism. Furthermore, a strong EU allows them to feel European, deferring the questions of their sentiments toward Italy and their Tyrollean national identity.

But, if the German election legitimatizes German nationalism and further elevates calls for weakening of the European connection, could this change?

De Vries claims AfD getting into parliament could be a game-changer, giving it a bigger platform and budget to carry its message through Europe.

“As long as populist parties are in parliament and do not end up in government, they can be successful. As long as they can stay on the sidelines and scream, they will be raising expectations for governments and will make governing more difficult.”

Would such screaming further energize the populist movement in Europe? De Vries is looking beyond the German vote.

“Some looked at the French election and victory of [mainstream candidate Emmanuel] Macron, and said the populist wave is over. That is naïve. The voters for populist parties have real concerns ‒ about immigration, about terrorism. Those sentiments are not going away and they are not being picked up by the mainstream parties either.”

One of the more interesting sentiments held by far-right parties is their attitude toward Israel.

Von Storch draws a line from Germany’s past to her party’s current support for Israel. “For historical and cultural reasons, we will always look for good relations and close cooperation with Israel.”

As a member of the European Parliament, von Storch was one of the founding members, in 2016, of “Friends of Judea and Samaria in the European Parliament,” which is composed mostly of members from far-right parties.

That was shortly after the EU issued a first of its kind decree mandating the labeling of products made by Jewish-owned businesses in Judea and Samaria – perhaps in doing so, attempting to draw a contrast between friends on the far-right and adversaries in the European establishment.

Some question the purity of support of AfD and the far-right for Israel, arguing it might be a way to excuse antisemitic elements in its midst. Lewandowsky says it is hard to tell.

“It is too soon to figure out the source of their Israel support,” he says. “There are no studies done about it. It is new. It is possible that it is driven both by AfD’s anti-Muslim stand and as a way to refute charges of antisemitism. But there is no doubt that there is also genuine support for Israel in AfD, especially amongst the moderates.”

Interestingly, observers also claim it is too soon to determine the source of the anti-Israel escalation that has occurred in Europe over the past 20 years. Some argue it is a function of developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; others claim it is a result of catering to Europe’s growing Muslim population; and still others attribute the escalation to European discomfort with the astonishing success of the Jewish state.

While Israel was not an issue in the German election, it does seem that on the Right and Left, among the European establishment and anti-establishment, the Europe-Israel relationship is evolving and is affected by the domestic European issues debated throughout the elections.

Support for Israel, says von Storch, is an ideological one, connecting it to other key messages of her party.

“Both antisemitism and anti-Zionism are strongest in the Islamic community, as well as the Left. They reject the fact that the Judeo-Christian foundations of European civilization are instrumental to its success. We recognize the threat they pose to both Israel and Germany’s Jewish community and their safety is a high priority for us.”

Keeping in mind that Israel’s foundation is rooted in solid ideology ‒ Zionism ‒ a comparison can be made. Von Storch takes note of that in the context of Germany’s relation with its Muslim community.

“Israel could be a role model for Germany,” she says. “Israel is a democracy that has a free and pluralistic society. Israel also makes efforts to preserve its unique culture and traditions. The same should be possible for Germany and any other nation.”

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