In the Face of Anti-Semitism, Angela Merkel Says Much and Does Little

Oct. 16 2019

Commenting on the attack at a synagogue in the German city of Halle on Yom Kippur, which left two dead, the retired British officer Richard Kemp observed that Chancellor Angela Merkel responded, “as always, [with] words only, when action is needed.” Benjamin Weinthal, elaborating on Kemp’s remark, notes that the attack comes alongside a pattern of German official tolerance toward anti-Semitism:

It is worth noting that the neo-Nazi [who carried out the Halle attack] was wedded to an anti-Semitic world view that included the theory [that Germany was under the thumb of a] “Zionist-occupied government.” The crucible where anti-Semites from the extreme right wing, left wing, and Islamism meet is a burning desire to smash the state of Israel.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany has urged Merkel to outlaw the lethal anti-Semitic terrorist entity Hizballah. Merkel and her foreign ministry . . . have vehemently refused to ban Hizballah and its 1,050 members and supporters in Germany, who spread their lethal anti-Semitic ideology. [Likewise], Merkel’s government declined to label as anti-Semitic the [Iranian] general Hossein Salami’s call to “wipe Israel off the map.” Merkel and her foreign ministry insist on designating Salami’s talk mere “anti-Israel rhetoric.”

All of this helps to explain why the goalposts in Germany have moved in a direction that permits greater tolerance for lethal anti-Semitic activities and language. There is simply no real counterterrorism policy targeting anti-Semitism in Germany. . . . [When Merkel] declines to say that the Iranian regime’s call to exterminate more than six million Israeli Jews is not anti-Semitic, [how] can her pledge via [a] spokesman that “We must oppose any form of anti-Semitism” be grounded in reality?

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More about: Angela Merkel, Anti-Semitism, German Jewry, Hizballah


Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?

On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Election 2019, Israeli politics