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All Too Slowly, Germany Is Waking Up to Contemporary Anti-Semitism

Jan. 19 2018

The German parliament is currently considering a bill that will punish anti-Semitic activity and that acknowledges the specific problem of anti-Semitism among migrants from Muslim countries—even allowing authorities to revoke their residency rights. Toward the end of 2017, the Bundestag also gave legal status to a definition of anti-Semitism that includes “placing collective responsibility on the Jewish people for Israel’s actions.” But, writes Eldad Beck, Germany still has a long way to go:

The German legal establishment’s problematic approach toward the issue of anti-Semitism was demonstrated this week in the city of Wuppertal, when the high court upheld a lower court’s ruling defining the firebombing of a synagogue as a criminal rather than as an anti-Semitic act. The firebombing in question was perpetrated by a group of three young Palestinians living in Germany in the summer of 2014, as Operation Protective Edge was raging in Gaza. Anti-Semitic riots were raging across Germany, drawing mainly Arab and Muslim crowds. The law-enforcement authorities failed to respond in any way.

When the perpetrators who hurled Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Wuppertal were apprehended, they claimed it was an act of “protest against Israeli policy” and not, heaven forbid, an act of anti-Semitism, which would result in harsher punishment. The German judges sided with the perpetrators’ arguments time and time again, despite vocal protests from the German Jewish community. . . .

There is no doubt, [however], that Germany has become more cognizant in recent years, albeit in a limited fashion, of the fact that anti-Semitism is still alive and well in the country. Similarly, there is more acceptance of the fact that hatred of Israel is tantamount to hatred of Jews. . . . It is important and right to confront the anti-Semitism that exists in the Muslim Arab immigrant community, but it is a mistake to ignore the fact that anti-Semitism is still quite prevalent among large portions of mainstream German society—portions whose residency cannot be revoked.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Germany, Immigration, Politics & Current Affairs

How the U.S. Can Strike at Iran without Risking War

In his testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Michael Doran urged the U.S. to pursue a policy of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, and explained how this can be accomplished. (Video of the testimony, along with the full text, are available at the link below.)

The United States . . . has indirect ways of striking at Iran—ways that do not risk drawing the United States into a quagmire. The easiest of these is to support allies who are already in the fight. . . . In contrast to the United States, Israel is already engaged in military operations whose stated goal is to drive Iran from Syria. We should therefore ask ourselves what actions we might take to strengthen Israel’s hand. Militarily, these might include, on the passive end of the spectrum, positioning our forces so as to deter Russian counterattacks against Israel. On the [more active] end, they might include arming and training Syrian forces to engage in operations against Iran and its proxies—much as we armed the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Diplomatically, the United States might associate itself much more directly with the red lines that Israel has announced regarding the Iranian presence in Syria. Israel has, for example, called for pushing Iran and its proxies away from its border on the Golan Heights. Who is prepared to say that Washington has done all in its power to demonstrate to Moscow that it fully supports this goal? In short, a policy of greater coordination with Jerusalem is both possible and desirable.

In Yemen, too, greater coordination with Saudi Arabia is worth pursuing. . . . In Lebanon and Iraq, conditions will not support a hard rollback policy. In these countries the goal should be to shift the policy away from a modus vivendi [with Iran] and in the direction of containment. In Iraq, the priority, of course, is the dismantling of the militia infrastructure that the Iranians have built. In Lebanon, [it should be] using sanctions to force the Lebanese banking sector to choose between doing business with Hizballah and Iran and doing business with the United States and its financial institutions. . . .

Iran will not take a coercive American policy sitting down. It will strike back—and it will do so cleverly. . . . It almost goes without saying that the United States should begin working with its allies now to develop contingency plans for countering the tactics [Tehran is likely to use]. I say “almost” because I know from experience in the White House that contingency planning is something we extol much more than we conduct. As obvious as these tactics [against us] are, they have often taken Western decision makers by surprise, and they have proved effective in wearing down Western resolve.

Read more at Hudson

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen