Israel has made known through diplomatic channels that it would not welcome a visit by the reputedly neo-Nazi Republican Party.
The Bonn. Foreign Ministry conveyed the message to the party’s West Berlin branch. It was told that Jerusalem considers the Republican Party’s policies too unclear to permit ties with Israel.
Carsten Pagel, the party spokesman in West Berlin, said Friday they were disappointed by the Israeli response. He said the branch had hoped to hold a meeting in Israel some time next month.
The idea reportedly originated with Thorsten Thaler, the West Berlin party leader who asked the Foreign Ministry in Bonn to find out the Israeli reaction.
The Republican Party, based in Munich, is generally regarded as the most Nazi-like of the extreme right-wing parties in West Germany. It is headed by a former Waffen SS official, Franz Schoenhuber.
The Republicans surprised and alarmed many political observers by winning 8 percent of the popular vote in the recent nationwide elections to the Parliament of Europe.
It scored a similar percentage this past winter in West Berlin elections, winning seats in the municipal legislature for the first time.
Schoenhuber recently angered the Jewish community when he remarked that Jews were “the fifth occupying power in Germany,” the first four being the United States, Soviet Union, Britain and France.
He explained that he spoke in connection with the scandal surrounding the late Werner Nachmann, former chairman of West Germany’s Jewish community, who was accused posthumously of embezzling about $12 million of reparations funds earmarked for Jewish Holocaust survivors.
Schoenhuber alleged there was a cover-up of the affair because people are afraid of being called anti-Semitic.
The Jewish community pointed out that on the contrary, an exhaustive investigation was undertaken but failed so far to produce a conclusive report or recover the stolen money.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.