BERLIN (JTA) — Berlin-based right-wing politician Patrik Brinkmann has defended his meeting with a top Israeli official, saying it is part of his goal of building a "political right wing without anti-Semitism."
Brinkmann, a Swedish-German millionaire businessman who has supported neo-Nazi parties in Europe and is pushing an anti-Islam agenda, told the right-populist website freiheitlich.org that his meeting last weekend with visiting Likud Knesset member Ayoub Kara was a precursor to a conference in Berlin that he hoped would "establish a unified force to defend our basic Christian-Jewish values — in Germany and Europe, and eventually also Israel and the USA."
He did not say when the conference is scheduled to take place.
In the online interview, Brinkmann also accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of undermining Israel "by failing to recognize such ancient Israeli provinces as Samaria."
Kara, deputy minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee, confirmed to Yediot Achronot that he had met with Brinkmann. Noting that he also had met with other politicians, Kara said Brinkmann’s ties with neo-Nazis "do not interest me, it is an irrelevant issue."
Brinkmann withdrew in March as head of the right-populist Pro-Deutschland Party after an openly gay politician, Alexander Schlesinger, ran for the party’s seat on a regional assembly. Brinkmann said at the time that he rejected "all forms of decadence, support for National Socialism and anti-Semitism" and lamented the failure to create "a common front of all Islam-critical forces."
Brinkmann reportedly has since returned to a leadership role in the party’s Berlin branch.