German police downplay Muslim community’s anti-Semitism, experts say following latest outburst of hatred against Jews

Police arrest a person after riots at a demonstration in support of Palestinians in Berlin, Germany, May 9, 2021. REUTERS / Christian Mang.

Anti-Semitic acts by Muslims or left-wing activists are under-represented in German police records, Germany’s top anti-Semitism official admitted, as anti-Semitic protests continue in German cities sparked by the last conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“Anti-Semitism linked to Israel has penetrated the middle of society,” Felix Klein, the German Federal Government Commissioner responsible for combating anti-Semitism, said on Friday in an interview with German radio.

“About 40% of society agrees with phrases like, ‘With what Israel is doing, I can understand if anyone has something against the Jews,'” Klein observed. “So an environment was created that might not have existed in this form seven years ago. [during the Israel-Gaza war of 2014]. “

While Germany has seen a sharp annual increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes for most of the past decade, police statistics attribute 90% of these offenses to neo-Nazi groups. As Klein noted in his radio interview, the protests seen in recent days seem to “thwart” this statistical picture.

This distortion – which undermines anti-Semitism strategies by downplaying its Muslim component – has long been criticized by anti-Semitism experts. “I think an outdated understanding of extremism is also a key factor here,” commented Alexander Rasumny, analyst at the anti-Semitism watchdog RIAS.

However, Klein pointed out that many daily cases of Muslim anti-Semitism – verbal insults and degrading gestures directed at Jews – fall below the criminal threshold.

“The abuse of the religion of Islam to go against the Jews needs to be clarified,” Klein said. “I also have the impression that a lot of Muslims in Germany reject it. And we also need to allow them to express that point of view within their own communities, of course. “

Lamya Kaddor, a Muslim writer living in Germany, said in another article that she was “stunned” by the willingness of young Muslims in Germany to participate in angry pro-Palestinian protests.

“I am amazed that so many people from a Muslim family can be mobilized for this in such a short time,” Kaddor wrote in an article for the broadcaster. Non-delivery report. “There is no other time when they flock to the streets in such large numbers. This mobilizing power in the Middle East conflict can only be explained by anti-Semitism.

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