August 20th, 2009

Charlotte Knobloch wants next government to combat far-right extremism

Munich/Stuttgart – The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany , Charlotte Knobloch, has called on the next government to resolutely combat far-right extremism, maintain positive relations with the State of Israel, and actively promote peace in the Middle East . "The Central Council is non-partisan, but of course we have our principles," she told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspaper. Knobloch once again demanded to outlaw the National Democratic Party (NPD) and to ban far-right extremists from public spaces and the media. When asked about the relationship between Jews and Muslims in Germany , she said it was generally good. However, she said, the Middle East conflict was straining the relationship between the two groups. "Many people draw no distinction between Israeli and German Jews any more." Commenting on the controversial award of the Federal Cross of Merit to Felicia Lange, the President of the Central Council said: "Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism as long as it remains constructive." But a fanatical anti-Israel campaigner, she argued, did not deserve this award. In Knobloch's opinion, the decision to honour Langer should have been better researched and given more careful consideration. (20.08.2009)