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.”

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories free

Register Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in now

Read more at Moment

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

To Today’s Cosmopolitan and “Oikophobic” Left, Israel Can Never Be Acceptable

Aug. 23 2019

On the day the Knesset passed its nation-state law last year, Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed, “This is our state—the Jewish state. . . . This is our nation, language, and flag.” This declaration, argues Wiliam Voegeli, points precisely to what the American left finds so unpalatable about Israel:

Sign up to read more

You've read all your free articles for this month

Register

Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Claremont Review of Books

More about: Anti-Zionism, Leftism, Nation-State Law, Nationalism