Which is worse: that German Jewish leader Josef Schuster believes what he said to be true, or that he knows it to be false?
By Hugh Fitzgerald, FrontPage Magazine
A report on the rise in antisemitic acts in Germany is here: “Jews in Germany ‘Under Massive Threat,’ Community Leader Warns,” by Dion J. Pierre, Algemeiner, June 8, 2022:
Jewish life in Germany is “under massive threat” amid a resurgence of white nationalism and antisemitic hate crimes, a European Jewish leader warned on Wednesday.
Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, sounded the alarm following the release of a government report finding that far-right extremism threatened German democracy.
The new report on the protection of the constitution shows that Jewish life in Germany continues to be massively threatened.” Schuster said. “The greatest danger comes from the right-wing extremist scene.”
Does Schuster really believe that? How does he know that the “greatest danger” to Jews comes from “right-wing extremists”? Is it because that is what the government wants everyone to believe? Do his fellow Jews report that their main worry is being attacked by “far-right” Germans — or by Muslims?
He can hardly be unaware of the sudden rise in documented attacks by Muslims on German Jews since 2015. He knows what goes on at the annual celebration of Al-Quds Day, where the march by thousands of Muslim participants — not “right-wing German extremists” – features frequent calls to kill Israelis and other Jews, about Zionist conspiracies, and chants of “free Palestine from the river to the sea.”
Flags of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are on display, and imams regularly preach antisemitic verses from the Quran to the crowd in Farsi and Arabic.
He must know, too, from his colleagues at the American Jewish Committee, such as Rabbi Andrew Baker, that the German government has a policy of attributing antisemitic attacks by Muslims to “far-right extremists” who had nothing to do with them.
Under the guise of ‘Israel criticism,’ they [the Muslims] use classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, identifying Israel as having ‘Jewish characteristics’: ‘domineering,’ ‘greedy’ or a ‘child killer,’” sociologist Imke Kummer observed about the marchers.
The German government has a long record of downplaying Muslim antisemitism, and of exaggerating “far-right” antisemitism. Curiously, however, some of the incidents documented at the al-Quds Day march in Berlin have been classified by authorities as forms of far-right antisemitism, independent watchdog groups have discovered.
Critics say the march example and other mislabeled incidents are facilitating attempts to politicize anti-semitism and complicating the apparently losing battle to solve it.
“It means we can’t really use the official statistics on antisemitism in Germany,” Daniel Poensgen, a researcher at the Department for Research and Information on Antisemitism, or RIAS, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Those official statistics cannot be used because they are completely unreliable. The German authorities are determined to minimize the facts about Muslim antisemitism, and thus their own criminal negligence in allowing two million Muslim antisemites into the country since 2015.
Germany’s Interior Ministry did not respond to JTA’s [Jewish Telegraph Agency] request for comment.
Doubts about the ministry’s methodology have become more pronounced as its data have increasingly diverged with [sic] information from across Western Europe — and from the perceptions of German Jews themselves.
Last month, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that supporters of far-right groups were responsible for about 90 percent of the 1,800 recorded anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Germany in 2018, a 20 percent increase over the previous year.
Where’s the data from last four years?
I find it suspect that Seehofer releases data from 2018, but nothing in the four years since. What is he hiding? And who in his right mind believes that only 10% of recorded antisemitic incidents in Germany were committed by Muslims? Let’s compare the data from several European countries similarly situated.
In France, by contrast, more than half of anti-Semitism incidents, and virtually all the violent ones, are perpetrated by immigrants from Muslim countries or their descendants, according to the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.
In Britain, the Community Security Trust suggests that far-right perpetrators are responsible for 50-60 percent of the incidents where victims offered a physical description of their attackers. This happened in about 30 percent of 1,652 cases in 2018, a 19 percent hike from the previous year.
So Muslims, who make up about 5% of the total population in the UK are responsible for 40-50 percent of those antisemitic incidents where victims could provide a physical description of their attacker. In other words, Muslims in the UK are about ten times more likely to commit antisemitic attacks than are the non-Muslim British.
In the Netherlands, the previous director of CIDI, the country’s foremost watchdog on antisemitism, said that Muslims and Arabs are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases recorded in any given year.
How is it that the figures for countries other than Germany record much higher percentages of antisemitic attacks by Muslims? In France, almost all the violent antisemitic attacks are committed by Muslims; in Britain, almost half of all antisemitic attacks are committed by Muslims; in the Netherlands, 70% of the antisemitic attackers are Muslims. Yet in Germany, the government attributes many Muslim attacks to “far-right” extremists, in a desire to keep the public from becoming fully aware of the consequences of the large Muslim immigration that the political class has permitted ever since 2015, with Merkel’s million-Muslim-march. And the Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, even dares to claim, preposterously, that 90% of antisemitic incidents are caused by non-Muslim “far-right extremists.”
In a 2016 survey of hundreds of German Jews who had experienced anti-Semitic incidents, 41 percent said the perpetrator was “someone with a Muslim extremist view” and another 16 percent said it was someone from the far left. Only 20 percent identified their aggressors as belonging to the far-right.
“There is clearly a mismatch here [between what German Jewish victims report, and what the government claims], and it speaks to the inaccuracy of the German official statistics,” the RIAS researcher Poensgen said.
Poensgen said his watchdog organization has talked to officials about the statistics problem.
“There was interest in our criticism, it was listened to and studied, but until now [there’s] severe reluctance on the federal level to change their category system,” Poensgen said.
Confidence in German authorities was undermined in 2014 when a German court ruled that anti-Semitism was not behind the attempt by three Palestinians to set fire to a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal.
Few in their right mind could agree
Like the Muslims shouting Sieg Heil at an Al-Quds march, a clearly antisemitic act that was deliberately attributed by the government to “far-right” extremists, this attack too was also misattributed by that court ruling that the attempt by three Palestinians to burn down a synagogue had nothing to do with antisemitism. Few in their right mind could possibly agree.
To some critics, there is a political dimension to the apparent reluctance of German authorities to blame anti-semitism on Muslim immigrants. Surveys suggest that group is considerably more anti-semitic than non-immigrants, or at least more open about it.
But ‘the new Muslim antisemitism is taboo, as addressing it would only strengthen opponents of immigration,’ Krisztina Koenen, a journalist for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Der Welt, wrote in an analysis she published in March in the Hungarian-Jewish magazine Neokohn.
The government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced considerable criticism, including that she is importing antisemitism, over her decision to let in more than 2 million immigrants from Syria and the Middle East since 2015.
Naturally there are many in the German government, and in the political class generally, who have a stake in hiding from the public the truth about Muslim antisemitism in Germany today. They don’t want the public to realize that two million Muslim carriers of antisemitism have been allowed into Germany since 2015, and made life most unpleasant, and physically dangerous, for many German Jews. Such a realization would spell their political ruin, given that the German public is already disturbed by the high crime rates of Muslims, their unwillingness to work and inability to integrate into the larger society, their readiness to take advantage of every conceivable benefit that a generous welfare state has to offer, including free or highly subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, family allowances, and more.
Last year, a German federal entity went to some pains to refute the claim about importing anti-semitism. The study by the Berlin-based EVZ foundation claims that there is no connection between antisemitism and immigration, despite claims by some Jews to the contrary.
The conclusion prompted scathing criticism by Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international affairs for the American Jewish Committee and the point man on anti-Semitism of the OSCE intergovernmental organization. He said the report’s authors “ignore the data, dismiss the problem, and blame the victims.”
It’s a bad business when the EVZ Foundation’s researchers on antisemitism in Germany, according to Rabbi Andew Baker of the American Jewish Committee, “ignore the data, dismiss the problem, and blame the victims.” We need know only one ineluctable fact – that the EVZ Foundation denies that there is any connection between antisemitism and immigration. In other words, those two million Muslim migrants have had nothing to do with the sharp rise in antisemitism that occurred during the very years – 2015 to 2020 — when they were arriving in Germany. Only a fool, or a deliberate dissembler, could make such an absurd claim.
Here is one example out of many, cited by Rabbi Baker, of how an antisemitic event has been misclassified by the Interior Ministry:
In 2014 [there was a mischaracterized event] in which about 20 men shouted the Nazi slogan “Sieg heil” at an al-Quds Day march, a pro-Palestinian event where the mostly Muslim participants typically chant anti-Israel and anti-American slogans. The episode appeared as a far-right incident in the Interior Ministry’s records.
Those Palestinians at the Al-Quds March had nothing to do with Germany’s “far-right.” They had learned their antisemitism from the Qur’an and hadith.
Schuster’s warning comes as the German federal government prepares the Democracy Promotion Act, a legislative effort to fight racial and antisemitic bigotry. The government has also enacted a series of additional social programs meant to integrate citizens most at risk of radicalization.
Germany’s Jewish community of nearly 100,000 has disproportionately felt the effects of conspiracies and fear mongering in recent years. In 2021 German Jews were the target of 3,028 antisemitic hate crimes involving verbal abuse and assault, including a 12 percent increase in the number of antisemitic crimes committed by right-wing extremists. Nearly half of all incidents recorded, which rose 30% from the previous year, occurred during Israel’s 2021 operation in Gaza.
Community not fooled
If there was a 12% increase in the number of antisemitic crimes by “right-wing extremists,” but a 30% rise in the total number of antisemitic crimes, whatever their source, then this means that far more than 30% of that rise must be attributed to the only other source of antisemitism – Muslims.
Antisemitism in Germany has evolved in recent decades, according to a 2020-2021 report on antisemitism by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
Just as Jewish life in Germany has changed over the past 30 years and has often become more diverse, so has the hatred of Jews that has been going on for centuries and in some cases for thousands of years,” the report said. “The demonstrations and riots that took place against the background of the escalation in the Middle East conflict in the spring of 2021 demonstrated how antisemitism is currently and directly manifesting itself in Germany.”
The report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution uses tortured language but the meaning is this: Antisemitism increased precisely during the run-up to, and during, the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. “Far-right” Germans would have no cause to be particularly exercised by that war in Gaza and, in response, to act against Jews, but Muslims were enraged by the “Zionists” soundly defeating Hamas, and took out their rage on Jews in Germany. .
Antisemitism on the far right, the report said, has plagued German politics since the 19th century when nationalist and folk hatreds combined into Nazi racial supremacy.
The German government wants to stick with the antisemitism it knows — the “far-right” kind — and attempts to downplay the new, more virulent and widespread virus of antisemitism that Muslims have brought with them, undeclared in their mental baggage, to Germany, just as they have to other countries in Europe.
Josef Schuster should be ashamed to have bought into the government’s attempt to blame “far-right extremists” for so many of the antisemitic acts and attacks carried out by Muslims. The government apparatchiks are protecting themselves by deflecting the German public’s attention to “far-right” antisemites, hoping that the public will believe the official script, and thus not blame the political echelon for having admitted two million Muslims, almost all of whom are virulent antisemites. into the country since 2015.
But the Jews looking fearfully over their shoulders as they walk to the synagogue, or as they sit in a kosher restaurant, or find themselves suddenly confronted by a group of Muslims eager to beat up “a dirty Jew,” cannot be fooled, not even by Josef Shuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. They know who “massively” threatens them — it is not the “far-right.”
Which is worse: that Schuster believes what he said to be true, or that he knows it to be false? Whatever the answer, Josef Schuster needs to be replaced.