Former Israeli minister Rafi Eitan caused a firestorm on Saturday after recording a message of support for the far-right Alternative for Germany(AfD) party.
The video was posted by AfD's Twitter account on Friday. In it, Eitan says, "Please accept our greetings from Israel, especially to your chairman Mr. [Alexander] Gauland.”
"All of us in Israel appreciate your attitude towards Judaism. We read your (statement) on January 27, for International Holocaust Memorial Day," Eitan continues.
"I am sure that if you work wisely, strongly and most importantly realistically... that instead of Alternative for Germany, you might become an Alternative for Europe," he adds.
The 91-year-old Eitan, who served as Israel's Minister of Pensioner Affairs between 2006 and 2009, led the Mossad operation to capture Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann.
The AfD captured nearly 13 percent of the vote and almost 100 seats in parliament in the September election.
Gauland, whom Eitan praised in his message, caused an uproar when he said at an election rally that the Germans no longer needed to hear reproaches about their Nazi past and that they should be proud of the achievements of their soldiers in both World Wars, including the one in which they murdered six million Jews.
Gauland asserted following the election that Jews should not fear the strong election showing by AfD.
Jeremy Issacharoff, Israel's Ambassador to Germany wrote on Twitter on Saturday, “I fully object to Rafi Eitan’s statement made earlier. I find it hard to imagine how the man who caught Eichmann bringing him to trial in Israel, would praise Germans that are proud of the Nazi past and hope that such views could be an alternative for Europe! Sad and shameful.”