Rabbi Avichai Apel, the Chief Rabbi of Frankfurt and a senior member of the Conference of European Rabbis, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the results of the election in Germany.

“We have a new situation in Germany” following the election, said Rabbi Apel. “The Jewish community in Germany used to have a very nice life here in Germany and, of course, we saw some anti-Semitism in Europe, but people were sure that in Germany – because of the history of the Holocaust – it would not happen here.”

“It happened yesterday,” he continued, referring to the achievements of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

“11% of the German nation elected the AfD which, for us, in their agenda is an anti-Semitic group.”

Regarding the issue of the refugees that were allowed entry to Germany, Rabbi Apel said, “Chancellor Merkel did everything to help refugees and absorb them into German society. She had success but people are not so happy with it, people who lost their jobs, and of course those people naturally elected the AfD and said, ‘We don’t want refugees here. Germany is for the Germans.’”

“We all know that such groups are getting stronger and if issues such as shechita and brit milah are brought up for discussion as they did three or four years ago, we will have a problem because the politicians will not be with us.”

Rabbi Apel also responded to the comments by AfD deputy chairman Alexander Gauland, who earlier on Monday said that Jews should not fear the strong election showing by AfD.

“Those are words which are meant to be nice, but we know that out of 100 parliament members that AfD will have, a big part of them are neo-Nazis. So how can you be friends with the Jews if you’re a neo-Nazi? It’s only words, it’s just politics, it’s not the real thing.”