This article by Dr.Gerstenfeld is an extended version of an article which first appeared in the Algemeiner, and republished here with the author’s consent.
GERMANY’S DISTORTED ANTISEMITISM STATISTICS
Recently the German Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, presented the country’s criminality statistics for 2017. These included 1 500 criminal antisemitic acts or about 4 per day. The minister claimed that 95% of these were motivated by right wing attitudes. Another source reported that there were 947 antisemitic incidents in Berlin in 2017, an increase of 60% from the year before. When presenting the findings Seehofer made the obligatory verbal commitment of zero tolerance for crimes against Jews.
If right wing perpetrators of antisemitic acts were so dominant why did several leading politicians come out in the last few months against Muslim antisemitism? The major public exposure of Muslim hate crimes against Jews started after the burning of a homemade Israeli flag in Berlin in December 2017. The video of this event went around the world. It recalled unpleasant associations with the far more serious 1933 book burnings by the Nazis.
For many years Muslim antisemitism has been intentionally ignored and sometimes whitewashed in Germany. Severe criminal cases coming out of parts of this community were treated as “incidents” instead of as a structural problem. Since last December this suddenly changed. The Christian Democrat, Jens Spahn, nowadays Minister of Health then Deputy Minister of Finance, put it clearly. He said that antisemitism in some Muslim countries was omnipresent. Spahn mentioned ongoing incitement in families and mosques. He furthermore stressed that the Muslim immigration had brought additional antisemitism to Germany. Spahn called on the German Muslim organizations to do their duty and condemn the antisemitic crimes committed by Muslims.
Already in June 2017, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had said “We should not accept when immigrants from predominantly Muslim regions import their established concept of enemies.” In January 2018 Stephan Harbarth, the Deputy Head of the CDU parliamentary faction said that “against imported antisemitism, not only prevention but all means of repression including the right to expel people must be used consistently.”
At the end of March, Wolfgang Schäuble, the chairman of the parliament,2 said “antisemitism is not a ‘specific’ Muslim problem. Yet presently it is also becoming stronger due to migration and the hatred against Israel promoted by radical forces in the Islamic world.”
At about the same time, the head of the CDU parliamentary faction, Volker Kauder demanded that German schools have to be obligated to report antisemitic occurrences. He did so after a Jewish girl in a second class elementary school in Berlin was threatened by a Muslim classmate that he would kill her because she did not believe in Allah.
By April even Chancellor Angela Merkel felt she could no longer remain silent. After yet another antisemitic attack in Berlin she said that the authorities should act with extreme force against antisemitism both by Germans and Arabs. An article in the German Jewish monthly, Juedische Rundschau, stressed Merkel’s major responsibility for antisemites from Muslim countries coming to Germany. It was she who had imported them. The article quoted fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld about the refugee policy of the Prime Minister: “Even if there are decades between the events one cannot kill millions of Jews and then bring millions of their worst enemies to the country.“
The newly appointed antisemitism commissioner Felix Klein also came out against Muslim antisemitism. He said that Muslim refugees frequently come from countries in which antisemitism is in good taste. He added “These people do not shed their prejudices at the border.”
Even the parliamentary faction leader of the leftist Green party Katrin Göring-Eckardt addressed the subject. She said that her party had spoken too little about antisemitism among Muslims and ethnic Arab immigrants. Göring-Eckardt claimed that the right wing AfD party abused the fight against antisemitism to freely express its Islamophobia. She also stated that antisemitism in the form of hostility against Israel should not be tolerated.
The CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer used the attacks by the AfD on Muslims –– which she implicitly seemed to agree to — in order to attack the AfD on the antisemitism within its own ranks.
All these statements about Muslim antisemitism seem bizarre if indeed 95% of the antisemitic crimes in Germany are caused by right wing perpetrators. The public at large has however hardly any possibility to find out the truth.3
For that one has to look into more professional documents. The Office for the Security of the German Federal State of Hessen has published a report on antisemitism on the German internet, authored by Ann-Christin Wegener. In analyzing the manifestations and ideological background of antisemitic agitation on social networks in Germany, it found that right wing and Muslim perpetrators are more or less equally numerous among the hate mongers. Logically: if one adds the incitement on German Turkish and Arab social media, the majority of this antisemitic hate mongering comes from Muslim sources.
Wegener mentions in her study that the authorities’ claim that the dominant majority of antisemitic incidents are caused by the extreme right results from the way the police report crimes. As long as nothing is known about the motivation or the perpetrators, which is probably often the case, these incidents are labelled as right wing politically motivated.
In view of all this the German authorities should order the police to be more truthful in future when reporting about perpetrators of antisemitic incidents.
15 Ibid, 3.