Bavaria and Hesse Are Moving to the Right
A day after the horrendous terrorist attack on Israel, two German states held elections—and a record number voted for the far right.
Sunday’s elections in Bavaria and Hesse once more show that a new Germany is emerging. One of the biggest topics that strengthens the far right in Germany is immigration. Many fear terrorism at home, and the images of what happened in Israel likely contributed to the far right’s gains. After years of nation-destroying, left-wing policies, nationalism is on the rise. The changing sentiment will affect Germany’s relationship with Israel.
Germany’s most prominent right-wing party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), is now the second-strongest party in Hesse, receiving 18.4 percent of the vote, a 5.3 percent increase compared to the last election. The conservative Christian Democratic Union (cdu) gained 7.6 percent, securing its lead as the strongest party. Left-leaning parties such as the Social Democrats and Greens lost around 5 percent each.
In Bavaria, the AfD gained 4.4 percent, receiving 14.6 percent of the vote. Another right-leaning party, the Free Voters, sometimes referred to as AfD light, gained 4.2 percent and is now the second-strongest party with 15.8 percent.
Just prior to Bavaria’s election, the leader of the Free Voters was accused of carrying an anti-Semitic pamphlet in his youth as well as imitating Hitler speeches. The accusations appear to have propelled the party forward.
Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (csu), the cdu’s sister party, remained stable at 37 percent while the Greens, Social Democrats, Free Democrats and the Left each lost support.
The csu itself used to be the most right-leaning party in the parliament. In fact, its most prominent leader of the 20th century, Franz Josef Strauss, pledged that there should never be a party to the csu’s right. This is far from the reality today.
The left’s losses are nothing to bemoan. Germany’s left-wing and center parties are supporting nation-destroying policies at home and have emboldened dictators abroad. Faz.net noted:
In the end, migration, inflation and the image of a notoriously divided government led by a weak chancellor blended into a perfect storm. And unlike almost a quarter of a century ago, the pendulum did not swing back from the left to the political center. Instead, the axis of the party system shifted even further to the right than had been the case in the wake of the first migration crisis of 2015–16.
Through open borders, the left has imported radical Islamists who are celebrating Hamas terrorists on German streets, financed terrorists through the Palestinian Authority, and emboldened Iran through lucrative trade deals. Many are now seeing the destruction these policies are causing.
The fact that Sunday’s elections followed Saturday’s Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel sparked much debate in Germany. “We rightly criticize the growing anti-Semitism with regard to Israel, and at the same time a party is virtually courted whose völkisch-nationalist ideology is anti-Semitic at its core,” journalist Georg Restle wrote, referring to the AfD.
He has a point, but his tweet was countered by allegations that the real anti-Semitic ideology is coming from the left. This is a typical response from many AfD voters. Accusations of being an anti-Semite, Holocaust denier and Nazi are countered by pointing to the flaws of the left.
The AfD and Free Voters present themselves as an Israel-friendly party. That’s why many voters ignore the left’s accusations against them. And there is some truth to their counterarguments—but that does not change the danger posed by Germany’s far-right parties.
A 2021 study revealed that 21 percent of Germans and 32 percent of AfD voters agree that “what Jews are doing to Palestinians today” is, in principle, “no different from what the National Socialists did to Jews.”
This is a shocking statistic! Nearly every third AfD voter thinks Jews are committing a holocaust against Palestinians. This is both a distortion of history and the present. It is this very sentiment that is stirring hatred toward Jews today!
One of the AfD’s main goals is to change how Germans view their past. The AfD has repeatedly made light of the nation’s Nazi past and called for a change in its Holocaust remembrance. That’s why the party is drawing support from those who disdain the Jews.
In the 2021 study, 30 percent of total respondents and 59 percent of AfD voters surveyed agreed that Jews “derive an advantage for themselves from Germany’s guilt over the Holocaust.” Of the total population, 24 percent agreed with the statement that Jews have “a strong influence on politics in Germany”; among AfD voters, 50 percent agreed.
What does this mean for Germany’s relationship with Israel? Exactly what we expect reading Bible prophecy.
As our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire explains, there is a strong connection between right-wing, extremist sentiments today and Germany’s past. In fact, the Bible prophesies that the Holocaust of World War ii was but a forerunner of a far greater devastation to come.
Germans today feel betrayed by their own government and are increasingly susceptible to lies, deceit and hatred. God prophesied in the book of Daniel that a leader would rise in the spirit of the ancient king Antiochus to lead modern Germany.
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:23-25).
This leader will use Germany’s rising anti-Islamic sentiment to lead Germany to war against radical Islam. Then Germany will enter into Jerusalem as a peacekeeping force (Daniel 11:40-45; Hosea 5:13). Given Germany’s condemnation of Islamic terrorism, it appears to be Israel’s partner. But the rising anti-Jewish sentiment by the same people who condemn Islamic terrorism is a strong warning. The Bible reveals that this alliance between Germany and Israel will lead to a colossal betrayal. Germany’s lingering and intensifying anti-Jewish sentiments will lead to violent war.
The good news is that Jesus Christ will put an end to this warmongering and establish God’s government on Earth. This coming government will end Germany’s deception and will bring peace and cooperation between former enemies (Isaiah 19:23-25).