Wiesenthal Center: Is it Open Season For Anti-Semites to Attack Jews in Germany’s Capital?
August 8, 2018
Shocking Statistics confirm 80 anti-Semitic felonies in Berlin during first half of 2018
The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed outrage and deep concern over the release of statistics confirming that 20% of offenses in Berlin targeted Jews. Deutsche Welle, quoting the Berlin-based Tagesspiegel, reported that 1/5 of 401 reported anti-Semitic attacks in Germany took place in Berlin, the nation’s capital city.
Berlin, which is both Germany's capital and one of its 16 federal states, registered almost twice as many anti-Semitic offenses as Bavaria, second in the national statistics with 43 offenses. However, Bavaria has 12.5 million residents, in comparison to Berlin's 3.5 million.
“We raised these concerns directly with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier when he visited the Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in June,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading international Jewish human rights NGO. “Other than dutifully counting the reported case, the reality is that Germany is not taking anti-Semitism seriously,” he charged.
“The chants of ‘Death to Jews’ have been heard on the streets of Germany and by radical Islamists. Jewish students have been bullied in class. Jews are told by their communal leaders to hide their Jewishness in public. And there is no coherent plan by authorities to counter extreme anti-Jewish views brought to Germany by migrants from the Arab and Muslim worlds,” Cooper added.
“Where is the outcry from fellow German citizens, from the media, from the pundits against anti-Semitism whether from neo-Nazis or Islamist extremists? The release of these shocking hate crimes statistics must serve as a wake-up call. Anti-Semitism represents a stark challenge to the values underpinning democratic Germany’s society,” Rabbi Cooper also said.
“If such trends continue—increased anti-Semitism and apathy from their neighbors, the viability of the future of Jewish life in Germany could be imperiled,” he concluded.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).