Ex-Mossad Agent Who Helped Capture Eichmann Backs Far-right German Party With Nazi Past as 'Great Hope'

Onetime cabinet minister praises extremist group in video, saying he hopes AfD party’s ideology spreads throughout Europe

Former Mossad agent and cabinet minister Rafi Eitan
Tomer Appelbaum

Former cabinet member and Mossad agent Rafi Eitan has expressed support for the far-right Alternative for Germany party, saying he hopes its ideology expands to the rest of Europe.

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day last month, Eitan praised the controversial German party (known as AfD) for coming out against anti-Semitism and supporting Jewish life in Germany. In his video message to the party, published on his Facebook page Saturday, Eitan said: “If you work wisely, powerfully and, most importantly, realistically confronting a situation and deciding to act according to given circumstances, I’m sure that instead of an alternative to Germany, you’ll become an alternative to Europe.”

Eitan’s Facebook page contained a German translation of some of his remarks. Among these he says that “the Muslim world and its culture are very different from those of the West. Anywhere there are Muslims today, in any European country, one can expect violence and terror because of these differences.”

Rafi Eitan voices support for AfD

Eitan was one of the founders of Israel’s intelligence community and has been called its “master spy” and a “living legend.” He was the Mossad agent who headed the mission to abduct Adolf Eichmann and bring him to Israel in 1960 for prosecution. Eitan was later a cabinet minister.

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Israel's Ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, slammed Eitan's comments.

"I totally reject Rafi Eitan's remarks," Issacharoff wrote on Twitter. "It is difficult to believe how the man who captured Eichmann and brought him to justice in Israel is capable of praising right-wing German figures who so greatly admire the Nazi past and even of expressing the hope that they will become an alternative for Europe! It is sad and a disgrace." 

Eitan has previously expressed support for Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party. That party also has anti-Semitic and Nazi roots.

Eitan stated that many of the perpetrators of European terror attacks in recent years were Muslim refugees. “History proves that evil grows when democracies are weak abandoning border control is a sign of weakness. Weakness means inviting attackers,” he said.

Eitan added: “We can learn from the past. When we try to compromise with extremist Islamists, they don’t stop demanding more and more. They will change your democratic society not just through terror, but through changing daily life.”

In his video to AfD, Eitan congratulated its leaders, including Alexander Gauland, who said in September that Germany should be proud of what its soldiers achieved in the two world wars. “Alternative for Germany brings great hope to many people, not just in Germany but in Israel and other Western countries,” Eitan said, since it works to block “the dangerous and mistaken policy of open borders.”

He added that the party has many more friends around the world than it thinks, adding that people in Israel and around the world support “those conservative Germans who want their country to be safer and who want to control its borders – people who believe in democracy and liberty and who strongly oppose anti-Semitism.”

Eitan said he hopes the party becomes sufficiently strong in order to end the policy of open borders and stop the process of turning Germany into an Islamic country, while protecting its citizens from terror and crime. He advised the party to close Germany’s borders to mass Muslim immigration as quickly as possible, since Europe can’t solve the problems of the Islamic world.

AfD came third in September’s parliamentary election in Germany, receiving 12 percent of the vote. The party is noted for expressing racist and xenophobic views, and includes members with anti-Semitic views who are also Holocaust deniers.

In January 2017, a senior member of the AfD called the Holocaust memorial in Berlin a “monument of shame.” After the gains it made in the last election, party leader Gauland said Germany should consider the implications of its responsibility for Israel’s existence – a policy Chancellor Angela Merkel takes pride in.