Modern anti-Semitism in Germany is increasingly being found to include criticism of the modern state of Israel in general and Jews in particular, according to a new report.
The Independent Expert Group on anti-Semitism published its findings in Germany at the end of last month. It found Jews are “increasingly concerned for their safety due to everyday experiences of anti-Semitism” as the number surveyed who agreed with anti-Semitic statements rose from 28 per cent in 2014 to 40 per cent in 2016.
“While the non-Jewish majority does not see current manifestations of anti-Semitism as a relevant problem, Jews in Germany feel they are facing a growing threat… there is concern about anti-Semitism among Muslims, these days especially in refugee and migrant populations.”
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) reports the 311-page study has the support of politicians from across the political spectrum, observing that more needs to be done to fight modern forms of anti-Semitism in the country. The Expert Group said that while traditional forms of anti-Semitism had declined somewhat, modern anti-Semitism, for example, criticism of Israel being transferred to Jews in general, remained “alarmingly popular”.
About 200,000 Jews live in Germany, Europe’s third largest community after Britain and France, up from only about 15,000 who survivied after the end of the Nazi Third Reich.
“Forty percent agree with Israeli-centered anti-Semitism,” Green Party member of the Bundestag Volker Beck told DW. “That’s almost half of the society. It says a lot about the intellectual environment in which Jews have to live.”
“New forms of anti-Semitism have arisen, and unfortunately the end of the Holocaust and the Second World War didn’t mean the end of anti-Semitism,” conservative MP Barbara Woltmann said. “It does worry me that around 20 percent latent anti-Semitism still exists within the populace.”
The parliamentary panel report said rising Jewish fears were partly due to “the growing importance of social media”, which was “key to the spread of hate speech and anti-Semitic agitation”.
The experts issued five “key demands” to fight anti-Semitism. They include appointing an anti-Semitism ombudsman, establishing a national data base for anti-Semitic crimes and providing long-term support for groups researching and trying to combat anti-Semitism.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, in Germany at the end of 2016 there were 2,083 reported cases of attacks on Jews, Jewish property, and hate speech in 2015, up from just 691 cases in 2014.
Previous analysis of crime figures had put the number of anti-Semitic cases in 2015 at 1,366, but closer analysis revealed that crimes such as the smashing of headstones in Jewish ceremonies, or starting fires at synagogues had been incorrectly classified as criminal damage or attempted arson in some states, with no mention made of the anti-Semitic nature of the crimes.
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