Germany's Jewish council head concerned over growing right-wing mood

The president of Germany's Central Council of Jews has voiced his concern over the rise of right-wing sentiment in the country, in a trend that he says has left Jewish communities worried about the future.

Josef Schuster said in an interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper on Saturday "that the political mood in our society is clearly drifting off to the right."

His comments come amid rising tensions over the steady flow of migrants to Germany in recent months, which has generated increasing support for right-wing populists demanding stricter border controls and a cap on foreigners.

While Schuster stressed that he did not foresee an imminent exodus, he warned that many Jewish people might consider leaving if the situation worsens.

The threat of anti-Semitism was not only a homegrown problem, he added. "It must be clear to the people that come to us that anti-Semitic behaviour will not be tolerated."

Schuster called for new arrivals to be schooled on recognition of the state of Israel as part of integration courses, "because among the refugees is a significant proportion of Arab people who have grown up with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel stereotypes."

Last update: Sat, 20/02/2016 - 14:05

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