Sunday, January 1, 2017

Germany: Anti-Semitism on the rise, but no anti-Semites to be found

Remember when it was so fashionable, a few years ago, to say So long, Israel; Hello, Berlin?

Anti-semitism tolerated in Germany (2010): Long-standing anti-Semitic,
anti-Israel exhibit in Cologne city centre
Via i24NEWS:
A memorial plaque at a Synagogue defaced with right-wing slogans. 
An Israeli tourist denied service by a Burger King employee saying "I don't serve Jews." 
A student being refused a seat on the tram for wearing a Star of David necklace. 
A politician forced to resign after anti-Semitic threats against his family. 
Those are just some of the anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Germany this year by the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, an NGO campaigning against right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism. In an attempt to raise awareness for the rise of such incidents, the NGO projected descriptions of the events on buildings in five major German cities over the past few weeks.

“Many people were actually surprised to hear that Jews in Germany are still being attacked on a daily basis,” said Miki Hermer, who initiated the project. 
“They think anti-Semitism is a problem that ended in 1945, that they don't need to worry about that anymore, but we are here to show them that's not true.”  (...)
Nevertheless, experts involved in the fight against anti-Semitism agree that this is a growing problem in Germany. 
“Members of the Jewish community feel constantly under threat – from the right wing, from migrants, from Muslims,” MP Volker Beck, who heads the Germany-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Committee in the German Bundestag, told i24NEWS. (...)
“Public opinion polls show that a third of the population sees Jews as being 'different,' which may not be an aggressive form of anti-Semitism, but it does excludes Jewish citizens from our society. It creates a certain atmosphere, like Jews don't deserve the same rights and respect,” he adds. (...)
Then came the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, also known as Operation Protective Edge, which sparked pro-Palestinian rallies across Germany in which calls of "Jews to the gas" were repeatedly heard.
Since then, argues Hermer, anti-Semitism has been on an upwards trend. (...)
 “Modern anti-Semitism is manifested nowadays mostly through criticism against Israel and Zionism, and through conspiracy theories blaming Jews for manipulating the media and the banking systems,” she explained. “You can find these views anywhere, it's really a symptom of the whole society.”
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