The German government’s efforts to combat growing anti-Semitism will now be driven by a newly-appointed special commissioner.
A wide majority in the lower house approved a motion Thursday proposed by four of the six parliamentary groups to install the official, who would be chosen by independent experts. Although the commissioner’s powers are yet to be defined, the Central Council of Jews welcomed the vote, calling it an important signal that their concerns were being addressed.
“The fight against anti-Semitism is all of our responsibility,” the group said in a statement. “The respectful treatment of minorities is part of the core values of our democracy.”
The proposal also calls for improved gathering of statistics on anti-Semitic incidents, tighter laws banning Holocaust denial on the internet and consequences for the immigration status of foreign citizens who incite hatred.
As Breitbart Jerusalem has reported, the arrival of large numbers of migrants with pre-existing prejudices against Jews has been credited with the rise in anti-Semitism across Europe in general and Germany in particular.
Schoolteachers and other school officials in Berlin alone have noticed a rising trend of anti-Semitism among pupils and say the expression “You Jew!” has become a common insult.
A report conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) of 21 schools in Berlin shows the antipathy towards Germany’s Jewish population is growing among Turkish and Arab Muslim pupils. The group also found a disturbing rise in support for radical Islamism, according to German broadcaster RBB.
Such is the level of concern, Germany’s ruling parties are preparing legislation that could see migrants who express anti-Semitic views deported from the country.
The CDU-CSU conservative alliance led by Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to present the new bill by International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. The draft legislation states that “absolute acceptance of Jewish life” is a “benchmark for successful integration” in Germany.
“Anyone who rejects Jewish life in Germany or questions Israel’s right to exist can not have a place in our country.” Stephan Harbarth, deputy chairman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary group, told Die Welt. He added that Berlin “must resolutely oppose the anti-Semitism of migrants with an Arab background and from African countries.”
As for refugees from Muslim countries, they have been told to abandon their anti-Semitism and prepare to learn about the Holocaust, in twin warnings issued from the highest levels of government.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said inbound immigrants must reject any lingering notions of anti-Semitism on arrival, saying acceptance of followers of the Jewish faith remains a “non-negotiable” part of the social contract with their new home.
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