BERLIN – Hundreds of people including prominent German politicians and members of the Jewish community have protested against a larger, anti-Israel rally in Berlin.
Police in the German capital of Berlin kept the competing protests on Saturday apart.
The annual al-Quds — Arabic for Jerusalem — march against Israel drew more than 1,000 participants, with some chanting “Palestine will be reborn!” or “Free Gaza!” Others waved Iranian flags.
The German news agency dpa reported that the government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein; the Israeli ambassador in Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff; and Berlin’s top security official, Andreas Geisel, attended the pro-Israel rally.
Geisel urged the German government to consider banning the political wing of the militant group Hezbollah.
Some at the counter-protest waved Israeli flags and banners with slogans such as “It’s time to turn Hamas into hummus.”
Anti-Semitism is once again on the rise in Germany as the number of violent attacks on Jews in Berlin rose by 155 percent last year while threats rose by 77 percent, according to a study published this month by Germany’s Research and Information Center for Anti-Semitism. Across Germany, anti-Semitic attacks were up 14 percent compared to 2017.
This is the latest in a series of studies that shows anti-Semitism in Germany is escalating, particularly over the last three years and especially in 2018. Conversely, crimes against Muslims and mosques have declined slightly from 950 in 2017 to 813 in 2018. And although reported crimes against Muslims have dropped, the severity of those crimes has increased.
In 2018, German authorities registered 10 percent more anti-Semitic offenses than 2017, rising from 1,504 to 1,646 incidents nationwide, 1,083 of which were in Berlin alone. But physical attacks increased by 68 percent, from 37 to 62 cases, 43 of which resulted in injuries. With the rise of far-right parties in 2016 and 2017, anti-Semitism has become more socially acceptable—and, in 2018, more violent.
Berlin’s Problem With Anti-Semitism
The Research and Information Center for Anti-Semitism report states that more and more people with “anti-Semitic attitudes are also increasingly willing to use force against political opponents, critics of anti-Semitic statements, and not least, against men and women recognizable as Jewish” the Trumpet reports.
The report found no evidence to support the commonly believed claim that Germany’s recent surge in anti-Semitism is mostly “imported” due to the refugee crisis. According to the study, most incidents had no apparent political motive (and 49 percent of cases had no traceable motive). In politically motivated cases, right-wing extremism was identified as the main motive (accounting for 18 percent of all cases), followed by activists hostile toward the State of Israel (9 percent). An Islamic motive was only identified in 2 percent of the cases. That’s not to say that Muslim immigration has not added to the increasing hostility in Germany, but it shows that the main cause for the surge are native Germans.
Berlin’s top legal expert for anti-Semitic cases, Claudia Vanoni, made the same observation. “Anti-Semitism has always been here,” she said, adding that the increased frequency and violence against Jews shows that “anti-Semitism is deeply rooted” in Germany, independent of the recent refugee crisis.
Anti-Semitism has not been imported from the Arab world. History, in fact, shows that it is Europe that has been exporting this dangerous poison.
The Common Enemy
Today, we see a surge in anti-Semitism in Europe and the Arab world. Europe has led such a surge before. Under Adolf Hitler, Germany spread its propaganda to the Middle East through radio and printed materials translated into Arabic. Hitler’s mantra was to convince as many Arab countries as possible that they had more in common with the Nazi ideology than they had differences. Hitler’s propaganda machine aroused the Arabs’ hatred against Jews. While Hitler’s Nazi ideology also viewed Arabs as an inferior race, it hated Jews far more.
After World War ii ended and Jews were granted their own state in the Middle East in 1948, Arab hatred against Israel escalated. Arab countries united and attacked the new state.
This hatred for Jews is deep and deadly. For centuries, the Jews in Europe have been the scapegoat for Europe’s problems. Because many Jews survived the Black Death in the 14th century, Europeans blamed the cause of the deadly epidemic on them. Later, it turned out that Jewish hygiene laws saved them from death. Because Christians in Medieval Europe prohibited lending money, Jews filled the need and were therefore dominant in banking. Indebted Christians blamed their financial troubles on the Jews. Because Germany’s defeat in World War i was said to be inexplicable (other than due to the cause of internal traitors), Jews and Communists became the scapegoat. It culminated with Hitler, who blamed the Jews not only for Jesus Christ’s death, but for Germany’s defeat in World War i, Germany’s financial crisis, and every other problem.
Today’s problems are once again blamed on either the Jewish population in Europe or on the Jewish nation of Israel in the Middle East. Forty percent of Germans say blaming Jews for Israel’s policies in the Middle East is appropriate.
Germany still claims to be Israel’s friend. But the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany, as well as many of its policies, should warn the Jews against blind faith in Germany’s promises. What’s more, Bible prophecy foretells that a modern German-Arab alliance will form to destroy Israel.