Anti-Semitism Is on the Rise Again in Germany and Politicians Fail to Act Accordingly


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

More than 70 years after the Holocaust, Germany is again experiencing a spike in anti-Semitic hate crime. Recently, Berlin was named Europe’s anti-Semitism capital in the Jerusalem Post due to an increase in recorded anti-Semitic incidents. According to a report by the Berlin-based Research and Information Center on Antisemitism (RIAS), there have been 1,083 incidents of anti-Semitism in Berlin in 2018. Several months ago a Syrian refugee tried to run into a Berlin synagogue wielding a knife, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great” in Arabic) and “F**k Israel.” He was fortunately stopped by security personnel.


Anti-Semitism in schools

Jewish students have recently been attacked at Muslim schools in Berlin. For example, a 14-year old Jewish boy was sent to such a school, chosen by his parents in particular for it’s “colorful mix of cultures.” When it was revealed in class that he is Jewish, his overwhelmingly Arab and Turkish classmates started bullying him

He was punched, kicked and slapped until his parents ultimately decided he should switch schools after teachers failed to act. The principal is quoted as saying, “Your pushing the issue isn’t getting us anywhere.” What’s especially striking is that some of his attackers called Jews “murderers” that “hate Palestinians,” while also having well learned about the history of anti-Semitism in Germany, even holding a presentation about the Holocaust themselves. 

“In the future, I won’t be so quick to say that I’m a Jew,” the boy explained in an interview with a German newspaper.

Jews should not be scared into hiding their faith or ancestry in school. Education has to include teaching kids about anti-Semitism, both about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism around the world. And yes, particularly in the Middle East, where it is still a huge problem. These bullies should have been told that their Israel-centered anti-Semitism is as wrong as that of the Nazis. 

It should go without saying that school officials have to take consequent actions when such attacks are reported. The perpetrators of this harassment and violence should have to face harsh penalties for their actions, because victims of anti-Semitism don’t deserve school officials looking the other way. 


Far-Right Terror

While there’s been a significant rise in attacks on Jews by Arabs and Muslims, there has been a spike in far-right attacks on Jews as well. 

Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists have promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories arguing that in the end– not international crises and government inaction on border protection– but a “Jewish conspiracy” is somehow responsible for the uncoordinated influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants. 

On Yom Kippur Day 2019, the holiest day in Judaism, a white nationalist live-streamed his terror attack, trying to enter a synagogue in Halle, Germany. He failed to open the locked door and then turned to kill a woman in the street and a man in a nearby kebab shop. If he had managed to open the door, what would have followed would have been horrific. 


Wearing the kippah

There are several instances where Jews have been attacked for wearing a kippah. For example, a 19-year old Jewish student was attacked in a gym in the German city of Freiburg, with his attacker shouting at him “You dirty Jew!” and “Liberate Palestine!”, spitting on his kippah and throwing it in the trash bin. In another case, two people wearing kippahs have been verbally and physically attacked by a group of Arabic speaking men in the streets of Berlin. 

In May 2019, Germany’s top federal official against anti-Semitism even openly stated he would not advise Jews to wear the kippah in public, citing such incidents. Nobody should be surprised if one feels that the government has given up on protecting Jews in light of these incidents.


‘Never Again’

The phrase ‘Never again’ is often repeated by German politicians after highly publicised anti-Semitic attacks or incidents. Of course, anti-Semitism should never have a place in German society, yet the same people rarely do anything significant to combat anti-Semitism. The fact is, the German Foreign Ministry is often rather hostile to Israel, routinely voting in favor of anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations. 

You might ask: What does the German UN voting record have to do with anti-Semitism on German streets? Well, it is indicative of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments in society, as anti-Semitism–in contrast to other forms of racism and religious intolerance–is often legitimized by the fact that Jews are supposed “oppressors” or “conspirators.” 

Just recently, comments by Germany’s UN ambassador made it on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of the top ten most anti-Semitic incidents. He ranks 6th for comparing Israel to the terrorist organization Hamas. He should have been removed a long time ago for this and Germany’s inexcusable voting record at the UN. 

Instead of repeating the same press statements, politicians should work to end anti-Israel behavior by the government and protect the Jewish people in Germany by spreading awareness about anti-Israel conspiracy theories that portray Jews as “oppressors” or part of a global conspiracy.

Sebastian Thormann is studying Information Systems at the University of Passau, Germany. He is interested in US and German politics as well as economics. His other hobbies include coding, skiing, and playing the piano.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Sebastian Thormann

Sebastian Thormann is studying Information Systems at the University of Passau, Germany. He is interested in US and German politics as well as economics. His other hobbies include coding, skiing, and playing the piano.

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