Far-Right German Politician Booted From Key Parliamentary Post Following Antisemitic ‘Judas’ Tweet
The far-right chairman of the German federal parliament’s legal committee has been booted from his post by fellow legislators following a furor over an antisemitic tweet.
In an unprecedented move, Stephan Brandner — a leading representative of the far-right “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) party in the Bundestag — was brought down on Wednesday after all the parties in the parliament bar his own voted to remove him as chairman of its Legal Affairs Committee.
No dismissal of this kind has occurred before in the 70-year history of the Bundestag.
In a tweet on Oct. 31, Brandner invoked the biblical figure of Judas Iscariot to condemn Udo Lindenberg, a popular musician in Germany who has attacked the AfD’s ultranationalist agenda. A state medal awarded to Lindenberg was denounced by Brandner with the German pejorative “Judaslohn” — “Judas wage.”
As the disciple who betrayed Jesus to the Roman authorities in exchange for financial gain while remaining a devout Jew, according to Christian tradition, Judas became a potent symbol of inherent Jewish deceitfulness during the Middle Ages.
Brandner’s tweet came amid allegations from the AfD’s opponents that the party’s hardline stances have bolstered neo-Nazi violence in the country. Two people were murdered outside a synagogue in the city of Halle on Oct. 9 by a neo-Nazi gunman, after he failed to break into the building during the middle of Yom Kippur services.
Meanwhile, the AfD ‘s parliamentary leaders reacted furiously to Brandner’s removal at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. Party leader Alexander Gauland angrily told a journalist — in reference to Brandner’s offending tweet — “Judas and Jew have nothing to do with each other.”
Gauland’s colleague, Alice Weidel, then added that the question was a testament to the journalist’s “lack of education.”