In Germany, Anti-Semitism Comes from Both the Resurgent Far Right and the Muslim Immigrants It Despises

Oct. 24 2018

A populist hard right has emerged in Germany in recent years, driven by hostility toward both the European Union and mass immigration. Although its supporters are by no means uniformly anti-Semitic, it has left anti-Semites emboldened. Liam Hoare writes:

On August 27 at around 10 p.m., a mob numbering around a dozen approached the kosher restaurant Schalom in the eastern German town of Chemnitz. Far-right demonstrators had been marauding around the city center that day shouting, “Foreigners, out!” and, in some cases, giving the Hitler salute. Dressed in black, their faces covered, the gang descended upon Schalom—launching rocks, bottles, and a metal pipe. The building was damaged and the owner, Uwe Dziuballa, injured. “Judensau, hau ab aus Deutschland,” the assailants reportedly shouted—“Jewish pigs, get out of Germany.”

The day before, a thirty-five-year-old German man was stabbed and killed in Chemnitz during an altercation. Local police arrested two men, including a twenty-three-year-old Syrian refugee. Multiple demonstrations and counter-demonstrations broke out that evening. Packs of far-right thugs “hunted foreigners through the city streets,” the Guardian reported. . . . It is in this context that, the following day, Dziuballa’s restaurant Schalom was set upon. . . .

The far-right populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) [also] held its own rally in Chemnitz. . . . AfD politicians have . . . challenged the German national consensus regarding the country’s past. In January 2017, the regional AfD leader Björn Höcke called Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe a “memorial of shame” and said Germany needs to completely change its “memory politics.” One of their national leaders, Alexander Gauland, . . . landed himself in hot water for arguing Germans “have the right to be proud of the achievements of the German soldiers in two world wars.” . . .

Of course, anti-Semitism in contemporary Germany does not come from the far right alone. Anti-Semitism “is widespread in the refugee communities from Syria and Iraq,” a December 2017 study published by the American Jewish Committee found. . . . Incidents such as the assault on a twenty-one-year-old kippah-wearing Israeli by a nineteen-year-old Syrian refugee in Berlin led Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, to warn “against openly wearing a kippah in big German cities.”

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More about: Anti-Semitism, German Jewry, Germany, Immigration, neo-Nazis, Politics & Current Affairs

How to Prevent Saudi Arabia from Getting Nuclear Weapons

Skeptics of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran warned that it could prompt a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. As they predicted, Saudi Arabia has been seeking assistance from the U.S. in obtaining civilian nuclear capabilities, while also speaking—in imitation of the Islamic Republic—of a “right” to enrich uranium, something it pledged not to do in a 2008 agreement with Washington. Were Riyadh to begin such enrichment, it could also produce the fuel necessary for nuclear weapons. Emily Landau and Shimon Stein warn of the dangers inherent in Saudi proliferation, and discuss how the U.S. and Israel should respond:

So long as the motivation to go nuclear remains strong, states are likely to find a way to develop [nuclear] capabilities, even if they have to pay a price for doing so. In Iran’s case, the major motivation for going nuclear is to enhance its hegemonic power in the Middle East. . . . But in the case of Saudi Arabia, if strong international powers . . . were to take a harsher stance toward Iran’s regional aggressions and missile developments and were to cooperate in order to improve the provisions of the [2015 nuclear deal], this would most likely have a direct and favorable impact on Saudi Arabia’s calculations about whether to develop nuclear capabilities.

A decision by the U.S. administration (or for that matter any other supplier) to allow Saudi Arabia to have enrichment capabilities will confront Israel with a dilemma.

On the one hand, it has been Israeli policy to do its utmost to deny any neighboring country with whom it does not have a peace treaty the means to acquire and develop a nuclear program. If Israel remains loyal to this approach, it should seek to deny Saudi Arabia enrichment capabilities. In practical terms this would imply making its opposition known in Washington.

On the other hand, given the “tactical alliance” with Saudi Arabia which has been primarily developed in response to the common Iranian threat, Israel could consider sacrificing its long-term interest in denying nuclear capabilities for the sake of its current interest in cultivating relations with the Saudis. Israel, [however], should support the traditional U.S. nonproliferation policies that allow states to have access to nuclear fuel for civilian purposes, while denying them the option to produce it themselves.

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More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs, Saudi Arabia