Saturday, November 16, 2013

Germany: Antisemitism becoming mainstream

According to the German Interior Ministry, the number of antisemitic crimes has increased by 10.9% from 2011 to 2012.  Antisemitic acts of violence increased by 41.3%.  However, violent crimes make up only a fraction of the antisemitic crimes and of crimes in general.  In 2012, there were 41 cases of antisemitic violence out of 2,464 violent politically motivated crimes.

Jan Riebe of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation says that these statistics are problematic, as there is a high number of unreported cases and classification depends on the police.  Antisemitism is not only violence but a world outlook.

According to a recent study, about 20% of the German population are latent antisemitic.  In comparison to other European countries, this means Germany is less antisemitic than Italy, the UK, the Netherlands or France.

According to a 2012 study by the Ebert Foundation, 24% of Germans are 'secondary' antisemitic - described as relativizing the Holocaust and as antisemitic responses to the Holocaust.  A new antisemitic accusation is that Jews want to benefit from the Holocaust or use the Holocaust for their own interests at the expense of German interests.

"Erinnerung, Verantwortung, Zukunft" (The Remembrance, Responsibility, Future Foundation), says that anti-Jewish stereotypes are now becoming acceptable among all population groups.

Ralf Melzer of the Ebert Foundation says that antisemitic stereotypes are often used in debates on the Middle East conflict.  Riebe also says that in recent years there's been an increase in antisemitic sentiments in discourse about Israel.  Riebe adds that the circumcision debate was a turning point, since, unlike in the past, Israel is now not the only socially acceptable way to mask antisemitism.  Riebe says that many think antisemitism is somebody else's problem, even as they themselves use antisemitic stereotypes.

More: Zeit Online

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