Juden in der AfD (Jews in the AfD – JAfD), a new Jewish group affiliated with the Alternative for Germany party (AfD), is planning a launch event on October 7 in the city of Offenbach, near Frankfurt in the State of Hesse, disregarding condemnations from politicians and Jewish organizations, Deutsche Welle reported Tuesday.
Deputy Spokesman of the Russian Germans in the AfD and JAfD founding member Dimitri Schulz told Tagesschau.de: “The AfD is the only party in the Federal Republic that […] addresses the issue of Muslim hatred of the Jews without belittling it.”
About 20 “founding members” are expected to attend the launch, but Joachim Kuhs, head of the AfD’s Christian organization, who will speak at the event, told Deutsche Welle “it doesn’t matter how many people turn up. […] These are people who have the courage to start it, and they are getting quite a lot of flak, and we support them and welcome it that they are organizing that.”
Regarding the condemnation from Jewish leaders, Kuhs said: “I’m really shocked, honestly. That doesn’t apply at all to what we are. The AfD is not an anti-Semitic party; we do not tolerate any anti-Semitism in the party. If that arises, if we notice it, then these people are thrown out.”
But this contradict a 2017 scandal, when the AfD leadership decided that regional leader Björn Höcke will be allowed to remain in the party, after calling the Berlin Holocaust memorial “a monument of shame,” demanding “nothing other than a 180-degree reversal on the politics of remembrance.”
“We Germans, that is to say, our people, are the only people in the world who have planted a monument of shame in the heart of their capital,” Höcke said.
Kuhs explained away the dubious statement, saying Höcke “didn’t say that the memorial is a disgrace for Germany, but that what it memorializes is a disgrace.”
The anti-Semitism commissioner of the Federal Government, Felix Klein, has stated that the AfD as a whole is not anti-Semitic, but its leaders tolerate anti-Semitic failures such as the relativization of National Socialist violent crimes. He noted that Jewish involvement in AfD politics raises “some question marks.”
A founding member of the JAfD, who wished to remain anonymous (at least until after the holidays?), also defended Höcke, telling Deutsche Welle: “Even if we would have wanted a different form of expression, we believe the content of his statements are to be agreed with.”
Much like the JafD’s Dimitri Schulz, Kuhs also informed Deutsche Welle that anti-Semitism was widespread among the Arabs: “It’s normal for them,” he said. “Why should they be different when they get here?”
But Deutsche Welle cites official police statistics, which show that more than 90 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Germany are carried out by individuals affiliated with the far-right.