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GERMANY – Growing German far-right increasingly blaming immigration on Jews
THE JEWISH PRESS
German Jewry is beginning to worry about anti-Semitism again, and according to a local source, it’s long past due time that they did.
In an exclusive interview with a peace activist from Germany,JewishPress.com learned this week that the threat to Jews in the country is rising steadily.
Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazi groups are increasing in popularity, albeit with their initial banner raised against the flood of refugees and migrants streaming into Germany from across Europe.
The activist, a German visitor to Israel, told JewishPress.com on condition of anonymity – is that a backlash is beginning among the German population which is starting to blame its “migrant population” on “the Jews.”
It has taken a while, but Joseph Schuster, president of the country’s Central Council of Jews also expressed the community’s concern in an interview published Saturday in the Sueddeutsche Zetung.
“The political mood in our society is clearly drifting off to the right,” Schuster told the newspaper, noting rising tensions over the steady flow of migrants into the country. Although Schuster told the paper he does not believe the Jews will immediately leave en masse, he did warn that many will “consider” it.
“It must be clear to the people that come to us that anti-Semitic behavior will not be tolerated,” Schuster said. He called on the government to teach the migrants – most of whom are Muslims – to recognize the State of Israel in their cultural integration courses “because among the refugees is a significant proportion of Arab people who have grown up with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel stereotypes.”
While it is true that many attacks on Jews in Europe over the past several years have been traced to Muslim immigrants, that has by no means ever been the source of anti-Semitism on the continent. Adolf Hitler was Austrian, not Syrian. Let’s not confuse the two.
According to the German source there have been weekly anti-migrant demonstrations by German native-born citizens in Leipzig for months already. On the secular New Year, when parties were going “full blast” the central downtown area was “empty, spooky, with no police coverage whatsoever because all the police were out dealing with attacks.
This New Year’s Eve, gangs of young migrant men sexually assaulted countless young women in mass attacks in Cologne and other German towns, according to France24 and myriad other international media. Last year Germany absorbed 1.1 million migrants and the nation’s citizens are reportedly livid with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy for the refugees.
“That night saw hundreds of assaults – it was the first time the media could not hide the facts about migrant violence and German violence in response,” the source said.
Riots were also been carried out by an extremist group known to international police as the neo-Nazi “football hooligans.” The group has branches throughout Europe – in Sweden as well as in Germany.
In Leipzig two weeks later they seized the opportunity to start a rampage during a march by supporters of the anti-migrant Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.) The local Pegida group in Leipzig is known as Legida.
“Merkel take your Muslims with you and go,” read one of the placards at a Legida protest.
Also in January, at least 250 neo-Nazis traveled by car to the Leipzig suburb of Connewitz from “all over the state of Saxony,” according to the World Socialist Web Site, which described a scene of “fascist terror.”
According to a report posted by the Peipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ), the “horde of neo-Nazis” were “goose-stepping” through the district and then began a “rampage of violence” with large stones they had clearly brought with them.
Another eyewitness said the mob was “armed with baseball bats and axes. They broke numerous windows, stormed into a Turkish restaurant and threw tables and benches through the windows into the street.”
The source who spoke with JewishPress.com confirmed the report of the goose-stepping neo-Nazis. “I have seen the marches, and I have also seen the coverage,” the source said. “It is all true.”
Police said in the report that dozens of windows were shattered, fireworks ignited, and cars set ablaze. “The destruction was evidently planned,” according to the report. There were 211 arrests.
It was labeled by historian Sascha Lange, an expert on the resistance groups in the Third Reich, as the “biggest attack by right-wing extremists on shops and houses in Leipzig since the November Pogrom of 1938.”
More ominously, the report added that “it cannot be ruled out that [the riots] were carried out with the knowledge of the security forces or were even initiated by them.”
The source warned JewishPress.com: “Germans are extremely polite and most would never tell a Jew they are not welcome. But if you are blond and blue-eyed and are at a party on a Friday night, thenafter a few drinks it is a good idea to listen to what they are saying when they feel no Jews are around.”
GERMANY – On Holocaust Remembrance Day, German Jews foster concerns over Mideast migrants
When Judith G. helped out at a refugee center near Frankfurt last October and identified herself as Jewish, she was spat on and insulted.
German Jews say the case of Judith G., a 33-year-old optician who asked not to be fully named, isn’t isolated and underlines concerns many have about the record arrivals of asylum seekers, largely from Muslim countries in the Middle East.
Official figures show German-born far-right supporters commit the vast majority of anti-Semitic crimes in the country, and Muslim leaders say nearly all asylum seekers – who can be targets of hate crime themselves – are trying to escape conflict, not stir it up.
Nevertheless, Jews across Germany are hiding their identity when volunteering at refugee shelters for fear of reprisals, adding another layer of complexity to a social, economic and logistical challenge that is stretching the fabric of German society.
“Among the refugees, there are a great many people who grew up with hostility towards Israel and conflate these prejudices with hatred towards Jews in general,” Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews, told Reuters in an interview conducted in October.
Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed last week that anti-Semitic attitudes among some young people arriving from countries where “hatred towards Israel and Jews is commonplace” needed to be dealt with.
The safety of Jewish communities is particularly sensitive in Germany due to the murder of over 6 million Jews by Hitler’s Third Reich, which is marked on Wednesday by the international Holocaust Memorial Day. Today, the German Jewish community numbers around 100,500.
According to a 2013 study by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, 64 percent of German Jews avoid the public display of symbols that would identify them as Jewish. It also found that only 28 percent of them report antisemitic incidents.
Such incidents, as recorded by the Interior Ministry, dropped in 2015 but Jews still remember chants by young Muslims proclaiming “Jews to the gas” on German streets in protests against the 2014 Israeli-Palestinian Gaza War.
Concerns rose earlier this year when two suspected asylum seekers from Syria and Afghanistan attacked and robbed a man wearing a skullcap on the northern island of Fehmarn, a crime the local prosecutor treats as antisemitic.
“We don’t approach the issue of refugees with negative expectations in general,” said Walter Blender, head of the Jewish community in Bad Segeberg, a town on the mainland about 100 km (60 miles) from Fehmarn. “But we are very worried and skeptical, and anecdotal evidence so far showed that we have reason to be scared.”
Preliminary Interior Ministry figures show that far-right supporters were responsible for well over 90 percent of the antisemitic crimes recorded last year up to the end of November. People with a foreign background were blamed for little more than four percent, although this category does not reveal their country of origin or immigration status.
Holocaust Memorial Day in Liverpool
Liverpool’s homosexual Lord Mayor Gary Millar in full regalia and defender of the Big Lie Rabbi Mordechai Wollenberg crept into the gardens of St Johns prior to 9am on the morning of the 27th January 2014 where it appeared that a rather secretive memorial took place.