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Israeli President praises Merkel for `strong stand’ against far-right

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has commended German Chancellor Angela Merkel for opposing the Alternative for Germany (AfD) (far-right party) which has prompted concern within Germany’s Jewish community.

“We welcome and appreciate Chancellor Merkel’s strong stand against the AfD and in the struggle against the neo-fascist trend that is raising its head throughout the world,’’ Rivlin said in a conversation with U.S. Jewish leaders.

Some members of the AfD had been accused of anti-Semitism.

The party won 94 seats in the Bundestag on Sunday.

“These anti-Semitic and racist voices have no place, either in Germany or anywhere else,’’ Rivlin said.

In Israel, where memories of the rise of Germany’s Nazi regime in the 1930s are never far away, the AfD’s election results sparked fear among opposition politicians.

Some right-wing Israelis are sympathetic with the AfD’s anti-immigrant stance.

In a telephone conversation with Merkel this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mention the AfD but condemned anti-Semitism “from the right and left and among Islamic elements.’’



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