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September 25, 2017 9:34 am

Netanyahu Congratulates Germany’s Merkel on Reelection, Far-Right Party Places 3rd

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2012. Photo: EJP.

JNS.org – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday after she secured a fourth term as the country’s leader.

“Congratulations to Angela #Merkel, a true friend of Israel, on her re-election as Chancellor of Germany,” Netanyahu tweeted.

Merkel’s conservative bloc of Christian Democrats and the Bavarian Christian Social Union earned a combined 33 percent of the vote, with the center-left Social Democratic Party finishing second with 20.5 percent.

Meanwhile, according to exit polls, the far-right and anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party garnered around 13 percent of the vote, coming in third. AfD’s rise prompted several Jewish organizations to express alarm.

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German Central Council of Jews President Josef Schuster noted AfD “tolerates far-right thoughts and agitates against minorities.”

Charlotte Knobloch, chairperson of the Munich Jewish community and a former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said AfD’s electoral showing was a “nightmare come true,” the Times of Israel reported.

The Anti-Defamation League called AfD’s performance a “disturbing milestone,” saying the party’s leaders “have made antisemitic statements and played down the evil of the Nazi regime.”

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