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

October 16, 2019 | Benjamin Weinthal
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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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