November 15, 2019

Report: 71.4% Increase in Germany Anti-Semitic Violence

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 25: A participant wears a kippah during a "wear a kippah" gathering to protest against anti-Semitism in front of the Jewish Community House on April 25, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. The Jewish community made a public appeal for Jews and non-Jews to attend the event and wear a kippah as a show of solidarity. The effort was sparked by a recent incident in Berlin in which a Syrian Palestinian man berated and struck with his belt a man wearing a kippah. The kippah-wearer was not Jewish, but an Israeli Arab who wore the kippah curious what reaction he might receive while walking in Berlin. In 2017 Germany reportedly recorded 1453 criminal offenses related to anti-Semitism, of which 94 percent were attributed to German citizens. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

German’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution intelligence agency found that there was a 71.4 percent increase in anti-Semitic violence in Germany in 2018.

The agency’s report found that there were 48 instances of anti-Semitic violence in Germany in 2018; in 2017, there were 28 such instances.

The report also found that there were 24,100 right-wing extremists in Germany in 2018, an increase of 100 people from 2017. Around 12,700 are at risk of being violent. The report also noted there was also anti-Semitism rooted in “left-wing extremists” and “Islamists extremists” in Germany.

Overall, there was a 20 percent increase of anti-Semitic crimes in Germany in 2018, according to German Interior Ministry data released in May. Around 90 percent of those crimes were attributed to right-wing extremists, however a plurality of German Jews told a May European Union survey that they experienced anti-Semitism from Islamist extremists.

“We can find in almost all areas of far-right extremism hostile attitudes toward Jews … it’s a development that we must take, very, very, very seriously,” German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “Germany’s domestic intelligence agency notes #antiSemitism is a core element of both right & left-wing extremism, and also essential to Islamist extremist ideology. We must tackle this rise in anti-Semitism and extremism, no matter the source.”

German Commissioner Felix Klein said in May that it’s too dangerous for Jews to be publicly wearing kippahs in Germany, and later backtracked after backlash ensued from his comments. The German parliament passed a resolution in May condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as anti-Semitic; the German government has yet to decide on whether to adopt the parliament’s resolution.

A 2015 ADL survey found that 51 percent of Germans believe that Jews discuss the Holocaust too much and 30 percent believe that anti-Semitism stems from “the way Jews behave.” Germany’s Jewish community is split on whether the biggest threat to Jews comes from right-wing extremists or Islamist extremists, according to The New York Times Magazine.