In response to Hannah Rose’s and Ruben Gerczikow’s op-ed last week in Haaretz, we would like to provide some “alternative facts” about the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, especially why we established the “Jews in the AfD” (JAfD), our party’s Jewish branch, and why our vice-president Marcel Goldhammer, a Jewish ex-IDF soldier, was running on the AfD ticket for the German Parliament.
Spoiler: It’s not just about “slogans”. It’s about getting pro-Israel legislation passed in the Bundestag.
The reason Rose’s and Gerczikow’s piece lacks facts and needs a supplement lies not only in the circumstance that Gerczikow himself is not an independent analyst, but works for the CDU government party (which he neglects to mention). The reason lies in the authors’ ideological background, as well.
They express their belief that the “future of Muslim, and Jewish, life in Europe, rests on” the same “principles”. This dogma is called intersectionality. Intersectionalists believe that all minorities and “marginalized” groups, independently who or from where they are, are natural allies against the oppressive “majority”. This ideology derives from the early feminist movement. Virginia Woolf was probably the first to express this idea in her essay Three Guineas, where she pleaded against Britain’s entry in the war against Nazi Germany and instead wanted it to fight British sexism.
Intersectionalism completely ignores the fact that people are different.
-It also ignores the fact that there can be conflicts between minorities, and that in such cases, the advocates of intersectionality have to choose between the minorities, creating a hierarchy of victimhood which is in itself quintessentially racist.
Thus European Leftists are over a barrel, having to choose between Jews and Muslims as their preferred victim class. The Muslims won. And this choice is a slap in the face off all Jews in Europe with a clear head.
The Left has decided that anti-Semitism is not a form of racism at all. Thus, the so-called Anti-Racists of today are often the greatest anti-Semites as, for example, the Durban Conference or Black Lives Matter shows. As a result, not everyone who wants to loudly commemorate dead Jews is a friend of living Jews.
In Germany, we have many recent examples for this. It’s no a surprise that then-Social Democrat leader and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called Israel an “Apartheid regime” in 2014. His successor Heiko Maas (also SPD) is infamous among German Jews for saying he “went into politics because of the Holocaust”, is at the same time the leading lobbyist for the Iranian regime who denounced US-sanctions against this Islamist dictatorship. In 2019 alone, during his term as Foreign Minister, Germany voted to condemn Israel 15 times in the United Nations Assembly, but introduced zero condemnations of human rights abusers such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Venezuela, according to UN Watch.
One of the resolutions approved by Germany portrayed Israel as “occupying” the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem and the holiest sites of Judaism, according to Gatestone Institute.
Not even the formerly conservative CDU has criticized this Islamo-Socialist policy towards Israel for at least a decade. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats formed coalitions with the Socialists for 12 years.
The only party emphatically criticizing this anti-Zionist German policy is the AfD, and it is absolutely unclear why Rose and Gerczikow interpret this circumstance as “tactics.” Perhaps their time would be better spent fighting anti-Israel attitudes in their own circles.
Our MP Petr Bystron (AfD), a foreign policy expert, posed a formal parliamentary query to the German Government in 2018: “What is the capital of Israel? Please answer with a place name only.”
He eventually received a two-page reply from the socialist-controlled Foreign Ministry that didn’t name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, instead referring to the infamous United Nations Resolution 478, which called the historic Jewish capital a “violation of international law.” No wonder the Times of Israel headlined: “Germany says every state can name capital, but not Jerusalem”.
On May 7th, 2019, the AfD drafted a law to ban BDS, the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions movement in Germany. In the law proposal, the AfD elaborates that “BDS originated from anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist initiatives of Arab groups, that had been active long before the establishment of the State of Israel and had close and friendly contact with the Nazi government of Germany from 1933 to 1945.”
In a bind over this draft from the supposedly “far-right” AfD, the German government was triggered to swiftly draft their own anti-BDS bill. Only days later, on May 17th, 2019 the government majority in the German Parliament officially condemned BDS.
Unfortunately, this “condemnation” doesn’t outlaw BDS, as originally intended by the AfD. It was merely a face-saving measure, as all the other parties voted against the more rigorous anti-BDS initiative proposed by the AfD. An actual ban could have been a turn-off for their many anti-Israel German voters, as the 2020 initiative by 1400 Leftist “artists and cultural leaders” against the BDS ban showed. In 2015, a study by the highly respected, centre-left Bertelsmann foundation showed that 48% of Germans have a negative image of Israel. Among younger Germans in the age of 18 to 25, it is 54%.
On June 16, 2019, the AfD drafted a law to ban Hezbollah activities (bank accounts, fund raising e.g.) in Germany. Unfortunately, this law wasn’t adopted by the German parliament and transferred to the Interior committee.
Jewish intellectuals began to describe the leftist reservation against Jewish self-empowerment early. In the USA, many formerly leftist Jews became conservatives after understanding what had happened to the Left after 1968. In France, author and member of the Académie Française Alain Finkielkraut wrote Le juif imaginaire (The Imaginary Jew) in 1980, denouncing Leftist Jews who used their Jewish roots in order to fight against conservatism, without any interest in what Jewish identity actually means.
In Germany, the first one to voice this Jewish disappointment in the Left was probably the currently most famous German-Jewish journalist, Henryk M. Broder, who wrote Der ewige Antisemit (The Eternal Anti-Semite) in 1985. In 2019, he accepted the AfD’s invitation to the Bundestag and held a speech there in front of our faction assembly.
Even Israel itself, the only Jewish state, is an example for this Jewish disappointment in the Left. Israel stopped being a socialist country in the late 70s. To wit: Jews all over the world have become more conservative, because Leftists around the world have become more anti-Semitic. And the “Jews in the AfD” (JAfD) is only one tiny product in this evolution of a greater right-wing mosaic.
The second reason for this change within the Jewish community is Muslim anti-Semitism, which has always existed and has never been moderated by any secularization – but didn’t use to be a big issue in Europe, until the mass migration of Muslims began a few decades ago. 2014 was a watershed for the small Jewish community in Germany because, during Operation Protective Edge, thousands of Muslims all over the country demonstrated against Israel, shouting slogans like “Gas the Jews” (“Hamas, Hamas, Juden ins Gas”), an unimaginable transgression since the end of Hitler’s regime. These incidents, and especially the official Jewish leadership’s weak response, led to the establishment of the Jüdische Rundschau, the only independent Jewish newspaper in Germany. (The other one, the Jüdische Allgemeine, is published by the Central Council of Jews in Germany and is thus funded by the German government.)
While official German government statistics suggest the majority of anti-Semitic crimes are committed by “right-wingers”, every single survey among German Jews shows the opposite, the most shocking one (by University of Bielefeld) finding that 81% of anti-Semitic violence is committed by Muslims.
The reason these official statistics differ so much from lived Jewish experience is simple: the German govenment regards every crime where Nazi symbols or Nazi slogans are used as a “right-wing” crime, even if the offender is a Muslim or a leftist. So, when an Afghan refugee gives the Nazi salute at the Oktoberfest, the government statistics call that a “right-wing hate crime”. And when leftist extremists vandalize an AfD office, drawing Swastikas on the windows, the German government calls that a “right-wing hate crime”, too.
There’s nothing “Islamophobic” or “xenophobic” about wanting robust borders and a tight immigration system, like Israel’s, for example. And there’s nothing extremist about combating religious fundamentalism; these convictions derive from the best Western and Jewish traditions of thought. A state can’t exist without borders; and a non-secularized religion will never be compatible with a secular state.
Instead of accepting the AfD as a new, democratic, conservative and pro-Zionist party, some Jews denounce healthy, civic positions as far-right. Rose and Gerczikow charge that we “ignore the existence of non-European or immigrant Jews”; they even call us “assimilated”. Concerning the first charge, someone should tell Gerczikow that, of all Jews, especially the Arabic and Oriental ones traditionally have voted for right-wing parties in Israel, and still do.
Concerning the second charge, we want to emphasize that we don’t regard ourselves as assimilated Jews, quite the opposite: An assimilated Jew wouldn’t emphasize his Jewishness, and he wouldn’t join a party rejected by most Germans. He would rather join the ruling party and go for a nice job there, like Gerczikow did.
Most JAfD members are immigrants, and we have never tried to deny it. And migrants, as long as they are civilized, are highly welcome in the AfD. How lacking the article by Gerczikow and Rose is in terms of actual facts, is evident when they accuse AfD of being “fiercely xenophobic”, a party whose vice-chair is Dr. Alice Weidel, a lesbian who is married to a Sri Lankan wife, with whom she is raising two children. If we believe Gerczikow and Rose, Dr. Weidel will need to call the German secret service to arrange for her protection from the “xenophobic Aryans” within her own party. Big newspapers, such as FOCUS and even the left-wing TAZ, acknowledged that the AfD faction is more “diverse” and “colorful” than the Bundestag factions of the liberal FDP party and even Gerczikow’s and Angela Merkel’s CDU.
On May 23, 2018 Suzanna F., a 14 year old Jewish girl from the city of Mainz, whose parents had immigrated from Romania, was raped and killed by Ali Bashar, a fake refugee from Iraq. After dumping her body in the bushes, he fled the German police prosecution and escaped, of all places, to his home country, Iraq.
But the victims of German leftist policy aren’t only found within the borders of Merkel’s Reich. Rina Shnerb, a 17 year old Jewish girl, was killed in August 2019 in Shomron by terrorists working for an Arab NGO which is funded, among others, by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the German Green Party foundation, while our party’s foundation, the Desiderius-Erasmus-Stiftung, is named after the famous catholic humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam, and its president, former CDU-lawmaker Erika Steinbach, has been active in German-Israeli-society for more than 30 years.
Condemning murders like these and combating those Germans who are responsible for them is not racist. It’s normal. It’s being empathetic. This empathy we share with all victims of violence, rape and terror which the migration waves from Africa and the Arab world have brought to Germany, Israel and Europe.
For all readers who’d like to get a brief and entertaining inside look of how Israel is debated in the German Parliament we recommend to watch this video made by American-Israeli journalist Orit Arfa, who lives in Berlin:
Artur Abramovych, born in Ukraine, studied German literature, history and philosophy in Freiburg, Bamberg and Paris. He is member of the Desiderius-Erasmus-fund’s Board of trustees, works as cultural policy advisor for AfD and is a regular contributor to CATO magazine and Junge Freiheit newspaper. He is president of JAfD.
Marcel Goldhammer, born in Germany, worked as an actor and model in Europe, Japan and China. He immigrated to Israel in 2013 and served in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit in 2014, during Operation Protective Edge. Later he became a freelance writer for conservative and Jewish newspapers in Germany and Austria. In 2020 he started working for the Social Media department of the AfD faction and began hosting talk show and comedy formats. In 2021 he ran for the German Parliament as an AfD candidate in the district of Berlin-Neukölln. He is vice-president of JAfD.