A far-right party in Germany finished second in voting in the political home state of Chancellor Angela Merkel, ahead of Merkel's party, spurring concerns among Jewish leaders in Germany.

Alternative for Germany, known as AfD, with its anti-immigrant and ultranationalist platform, picked up 21 percent of the vote Sunday in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, behind the center-left Social Democratic Party with 31 percent, which retained leadership in the state. Merkel's Christian Democratic Union had 19 percent; it was the first time that the AfD surpassed the Christian Democrats in any German state election.

The fact that the right-populist party did so well — winning 18 seats in the 71-seat legislature — is widely seen as a further indictment of Merkel's liberal policy toward accepting refugees from war-torn Muslim countries and has set off alarm bells among Jewish leaders in Germany.

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