Frauke Petry
Frauke PetryReuters

A day after the election in Germany, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office but which also gave increased power to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), local Jews remain concerned.

Frauke Petry, the co-chair of AfD, announced on Monday that, despite the party’s strong showing, she would not join the party’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag.

Petry had earlier criticized co-party head Alexander Gauland, who said that the AfD would "go after" the new government and for saying that Germany should be proud of its soldiers in the First and Second World Wars.

Just several months ago, Petry gave an interview to Israel’s Channel 10 News and criticized another member of her party, Bjoern Hoecke, who came under fire for criticizing the Holocaust memorial in Berlin and calling for Germany to stop atoning for its Nazi past.

"We criticize all those statements that came from within the party. We are aware of the great suffering caused by the Holocaust and of the murder of the Jews," Petry said in the interview, though she also expressed her concern about Merkel's immigration policy.

"There are 10,000 potential terrorists in the country who might carry out an attack. It would not have happened if we had not opened the borders,” she opined.

AfD is trying to turn to the mainstream and speak out against anti-Semitism by appealing to Israel and the Jews, noted Channel 10 News, but senior members of the Jewish community in Germany are not buying it.

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Berlin, explained that "when a party is against a minority, it is only a matter of time before they will be against another minority. There are neo-Nazi elements in this party."

Meanwhile, Gauland earlier on Monday said that Jews should not fear the strong election showing by AfD.

“There is nothing in our party, in our program, that could disturb the Jewish people who live here in Germany,” Gauland told reporters.

He also said that he was ready to meet with German Jewish leaders “at any time.”