German Far-Right Leader Skeptical Of ‘Special Relationship’ With Israel by the Forward

German Far-Right Leader Skeptical Of ‘Special Relationship’ With Israel

Image by Haaretz

After the far-right German “Alternative fur Deutschland” party ran up an impressive score in the country’s federal elections, a party leader is questioning the alliance between Germany and Israel - arguing that Israel’s existence should not be understood as a “national interest.”

“If Israel’s existence is part of the German national interest,” said Alexander Gauland at a party conference, “then we would have to be prepared to send German soldiers to defend the Jewish state.”

He continued: “It’s clear that Israel’s existence is an important point for us. But to turn it into a national interest it sounds so simple but there is a continuous war in Israel. The implications of ‘national interest’ is that we would need to be really prepared to sacrifice our lives for the State of Israel.”

The AfD party contains some elements thought to be allied with neo-Nazis and gained most of its support - 13% of votes in the election - on anti-immigrant appeals. Israel and Germany have had a close relationship since the Holocaust - with Israel receiving direct reparations for the Holocaust and with Germany trading with the Jewish state on favorable terms.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon


Daniel J. Solomon

Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.

German AfD Leader Skeptical Of Relationship With Israel

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

German Far-Right Leader Skeptical Of ‘Special Relationship’ With Israel

Thank you!

This article has been sent!