Jewish groups in Germany urge crackdown on anti-Semitic acts

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 Reuters International

By Andrea Shalal

BERLIN (Reuters) – Jewish groups in Germany are pressing the authorities to crack down on anti-Semitic acts following the burning of Jewish symbols and Israeli flags at protests.

The American Jewish Committee Berlin, the JSUD group of Jewish university students, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and the German-Israeli Society have called for tougher law enforcement and for new laws to make it easier to ban or disband anti-Semitic demonstrations.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top German officials have condemned anti-Semitic acts seen at demonstrations against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and vowed to prosecute illegal acts.

The American Jewish Committee Berlin said a new study by an Indiana University professor showed broader efforts were also needed to fight anti-Semitic attitudes among Muslim migrants from Syria and Iraq.

German has opened its borders to more than 1 million migrants mainly fleeing Middle East wars since 2015, sparking concerns about a further bump in already increasing anti-Semitism.

“Politicians must guarantee that anti-Semitic attitudes will not be tolerated and that infractions to laws and regulations will be prosecuted,” said the group’s director, Deidre Berger.

She reiterated a longstanding call for the German government to appoint an anti-Semitism commissioner to focus attention on the issue.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller vowed during a menorah lighting at the Brandenburg Gate on Tuesday to combat all forms of anti-Semitism, while demonstrators continued to voice anger at the U.S. move at a separate event near Berlin’s main train station.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany has also condemned anti-Semitic actions.

Indiana University’s Guenther Jikeli, the author of the study, said group interviews of 68 migrants aged 18 to 52 conducted last year revealed widespread anti-Semitic attitudes. They showed rejection of the state of Israel and ignorance about the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe by the Nazis during World War Two, he said.

“There are strong anti-Semitic views among refugees that need to be addressed because otherwise they could become the norm,” he told Reuters TV.

Kurds and other refugees persecuted as minorities in their home countries had more nuanced views and more clearly rejected anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli perspectives, he said.

Fabian Weissbarth, spokesman for AJC, said the study should spur efforts to tackle anti-Semitism among migrants to ensure the findings were not misused by anti-immigrant far-right groups like the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

“If we don’t address it as a society, then the AfD will, and that will lead to hate and incitement,” he said. “We need a differentiated view that recognises that not all refugees are the same, and we need to look at solutions, such as integration measures, what needs to be included in integration courses, and changes in how social workers and politicians react.”

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/jewish-groups-in-germany-urge-crackdown-on-anti-semitic-acts/43752628

2 replies

  1. This is a tricky subject. It seems that the authors of this article purposely mix-up anti-semitism with anti-Israeli Apartheid Government actions. OK, let me speak personally: I have absolutely nothing against Jews as religious people. After all our Prophet even married a Jewish lady and thus taught us to respect Jewish people. However, the Israeli Government should not hide behind the slogal of anti-semitism to block all discussion on their Apartheid action, land theft, ethnic cleansing etc. All these actions are political and not religious.

  2. quote: Indiana University’s Guenther Jikeli, the author of the study, said group interviews of 68 migrants aged 18 to 52 conducted last year revealed widespread anti-Semitic attitudes. They showed rejection of the state of Israel and ignorance about the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe by the Nazis during World War Two, he said.unquote.

    Rejection of the state of Israel should not be considered anti-semitic. Disagreement about the figure of 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis should not be considered anti-semitic. I understand anti-semitic to be anti-Jewish and not anti-Israeli Apartheid State. And the figure of 6 million Jews – well looking at figures of Jews in Europe before and after the war just do not add up to a reduction of 6 million.

    Will I be arrested now? Let’s wait and see. (I managed to visit Israel and Palestine and was not bothered …)

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