Last year, Michael Blume, the commissioner for combating anti-Semitism in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, came under fire for a series of anti-Israel statements, including one condemned as anti-Semitic by Natan Sharansky. Benjamin Weinthal notes that this sort of problem seems endemic to Germany’s various state and federal officials charged with countering bigotry against Jews. For instance:
Nearly all sixteen German states have commissioners assigned to combat anti-Semitism. The city-state of Berlin has five. In North Rhine-Westphalia there are 22 commissioners, and a federal commissioner exists along with an EU counterpart.
The commissioner of the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, Gerhard Ulrich, who served as a Protestant bishop for northern Germany, preached sermons laced with contemporary anti-Semitism. Ulrich sees the Jews as warmongers—in language that recalls the Hitler movement blaming Jews for a global war: “Therefore we cannot accept it when a modern state invokes this God and His promises when war is waged,” he declared.
Ulrich reduced the cause of conflict and suffering in the Middle East to one country: “The name ‘Israel’ is burdened with the horror and misery of this Middle East war.” He also likened Israel’s security barrier, which has prevented Palestinian terrorism, to the former East Germany’s Berlin Wall.
Sadly, German officials and the EU state apparatus will likely ignore calls to change their behavior. To [quote the interwar German-Jewish journalist Kurt] Tucholsky, “Here the one pointing out the filthiness is perceived as much more dangerous than the one producing the filth.”