Rabbis praise Merkel after reelection: 'A responsible leader'

Conference of European Rabbis congratulates reelection of Angerla Merkel as chancellor of Germany, says rise of far-right party worrying.

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Merkel and Rabbi Goldschmidt
Merkel and Rabbi Goldschmidt
Archive of the European Rabbis' Conference

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the President of the Conference of European Rabbis and Rabbi of Moscow, congratulated Angela Merkel on her reelection as Chancellor of Germany Sunday.

According to Rabbi Goldschmidt, Merkel is the 'responsible' leader of the western world and the hope for Europe.

"Four years ago, Merkel received the Rabbi Jacobovitch Prize of the Conference of European Rabbis at a special ceremony in the Great Synagogue of Europe in Brussels, in recognition and gratitude from European Jewry for her steadfast adherence to the rights of Jews to freedom of religion, especially the issues of schechita and circumcision and support of the Jewish community," he said.

"Merkel's re-election reinforces the stability of Europe and its Jewish community," Rabbi Goldschmidt stressed. "We should also know that the future of the agreement with Iran over its nuclear program and Europe's attitude toward Israel will be greatly influenced by the policy of Germany, the leading country in the European Union."

Rabbi Goldschmidt also referred to the strengthening of the extreme right in the parliamentary elections in Germany. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) received 13.5% of the vote to become the second largest party in the country, according to exit polls.

"We are as concerned as all of Europe that the extreme right for the first time since the end of World War II entered the German parliament, against the background of the immigration policy and terrorist attacks that took place in Germany. However, we hope that the government that will be formed will be able to cope with this challenge and fight the phenomenon of racism and Holocaust denial prevalent in this party," Rabbi Goldschmidt said.

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