Two years ago, three German men of Palestinian descent threw Molotov cocktails at a synagogue. In a ruling recently upheld by a higher court, the three were declared guilty of the attack but were not convicted of committing a hate crime since—in the courts’ logic—they had been engaged in a political protest against Israel’s policies. Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerstein write:
The German courts’ decisions will further fuel the anti-Semitism engulfing Europe. Jews are specifically warned not to wear kippot or other Jewish symbols in many European capitals. Holocaust survivors in Malmo, Sweden—where, ironically, they settled after escaping the Nazis—are fearful of walking to synagogue on the Sabbath because the anti-Israel political establishment won’t protect them or their rabbi from anti-Semitic threats. Armed guards are stationed in front of synagogues throughout the continent—yet, according to the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Jews do not feel safe inside their own houses of worship.
The German court decision fits the pattern of European officials and the media who find it [safer] to attribute attacks against Jewish citizens to hooliganism, to anger at Israel, or to the plight of unemployed youth [than] to anti-Semitism. . . . [This verdict] has created a new tool for those who seek to deny or to do nothing about the world’s oldest hatred: simply dismissing it as political protest. That allows the guilty to go unpunished, removes the urgency for law-enforcement to act, and soothes the consciences of the apathetic.
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