18 June 2010
A member of a state legislature in Germany has been suspended for six months after calling Israel a “Jewish terror state” and speaking of a “thriving Holocaust industry”. Holger Apfel, caucus leader of the extreme-right National Democratic Party (NPD) in the parliament of Saxony, in eastern Germany, was expelled by the speaker of the assembly after delivering a speech titled "no to cooperation with rogue countries – end the cooperation between Saxony and Israel." Apfel, a former neo-Nazi, stepped up to the podium and carried out his hate speech, while being jeered by other members.
Even after his time was up, Apfel refused to step down and continued to denounce the "Jewish terror state" and “Jewish rogue state”. His speech was finally stopped after Speaker Matthias Rößler turned off his microphone and instructed policemen to escort Apfel out. The speaker instructed that Apfel be excluded from any parliamentary sessions and committee meetings until December, due to the “particular gravity of the rebuke.”
Saxony is one of the NPD's strongholds in Germany, and the party achieved 5.6 percent of the vote in the 2009 state elections, thus passing the five-percent threshold required for participation for the second time in a row. The NPD has eight of the 132 seats in the Saxony state legislature.
Efforts to have the party banned by the Federal Constitutional Court for its extremist and anti-Semitic statements and activities were aborted in 2003.
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