In chat with Merkel, Netanyahu says Israel worried about rising anti-Semitism


German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the Chancellery in Berlin (AP/Wolfgang Rattayl)
Congratulating the German chancellor on her election victory, PM refrains from direct comment on rise of far-right AfD

By Raphael Ahren | The Times of Israel

Israel is concerned about the rise of anti-Semitic elements within German politics, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, in an apparent first allusion to the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany party in Sunday’s Bundestag elections.

In a telephone call with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was reelected to lead the country for a fourth term, Netanyahu called on the next German government to assume “historic responsibility” and reject efforts to deny or marginalize the Holocaust.

He did not denounce the Alternative for Germany, known in Germany as AfD, instead highlighting Israel’s concern about rising anti-Semitism from various corners.

“I called on the to-be-formed government to act in order to strengthen the forces in Germany that accept the historic responsibility,” he said, according to a somewhat cryptic readout of the conversation provided by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Israel is worried about the rise of anti-Semitism in recent years among political elements on the right and on the left, as well as among Islamist elements.”

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