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Anti-Semitism Watch
Does Germany Know Jew-Hatred When It Sees It?

A German judge ruled this week that the July firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal was not anti-Semitic but rather an “act of protest” meant to bring attention to the Gaza conflict, which carried a lesser charge. (h/t Jamie Kirchick.) The daily lives of Jews in Europe, and Germany in particular, have been getting more dangerous for some time, but this is a particularly offensive example of how reluctant Europeans can be to acknowledge the obvious: Their Jewish neighbors are under attack simply for being Jews.

We should not need to say this, but there is a world of difference between protesting at the Israeli embassy and firebombing a German synagogue. If this isn’t a textbook example of anti-Semitism, we don’t know what is. The attackers took out their rage on innocent targets for no reason other than their religion and ethnicity, which the German Jews happened to share with citizens of an entirely different nation.

It is to Europe’s embarrassment that it so often buys the arguments of racists who target all Jews in the name of anti-Zionism. Witness its tolerance for Hamas, an organization openly dedicated to the extermination of every Jew on earth. No wonder so many European Jews are leaving; not only do they face the threat of violence on a daily basis, they find their own governments to be two-faced or shame-faced defenders, if defenders at all.

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  • Andrew Allison

    It appears, sickeningly, that the German leopard has not changed its spots.

  • Tom

    Thought exercise. What would have happened if, on September 12, 2001, some American expatriates had been caught firebombing a mosque in Germany?

  • Fat_Man

    Germany will never forgive the Jews for the Holocaust.

    • Corlyss

      You are a wry devil, FM!

  • wigwag

    Does England know Jew-hatred when it sees it? An Anglican Priest in Surrey accuses Israel of planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks and while his Bishop disciplines him, he suggests the Priest was not motivated by anti-semitism.

    European Jews are now faced with the age-old question that Jews have faced for many centuries; should I stay or should I go.

    It’s time to go.

    • mc

      Just the other day a Guardian writer told off a Jewish commenter by condemning “your country’s” actions against Pelestinians. Both the writer and the commenter were Brits, but apparently these days the left like the right have exclusionary views of what being Brit might mean.

    • Andrew Allison

      Come now, are you really comparing the ravings of an activist who happens to be a priest and has been told to choose which he wants to be with a decision by a German Judge? We are in agreement regarding the anti-Semite-in-Chief, who appears to regard Islamic terrorism as the love the name of which he dare not speak.

  • FriendlyGoat

    We probably should acknowledge that antisemitism by misled Aryans last century may be a somewhat different thing from a growing number of Muslims in Europe who do not like Jews now..

    • Andrew Allison

      The subject (sigh) of the post is a clearly anti-Semitic decision by a presumably Aryan judge! By extension, it is a commentary on the refusal of European countries to recognize the threat posed to their societies by their Muslim populations.

      • FriendlyGoat

        We have individual judges in this country making nutty rulings all the time. When we talk about antisemitism in Europe, we need to realize that some of the ill effects are similar, but the root motivations are changing.

        • Andrew Allison

          I agree that we have (more than our fair share of) nutty judges, but the German decision had nothing to do with Muslim anti-Semitism and everything to do with native anti-Semitism.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Seems to me that the three German Palestinians convicted of arson in the firebombing were likely Muslim. No?

          • Andrew Allison

            This is pathetic. We’re discussing the decision, not the perps.

          • FriendlyGoat

            No, YOU are discussing the decision. I am discussing the whole scenario.

          • Andrew Allison

            Well yes, but one usually expects, except obviously in your case. a reply to bear at least passing relationship to the subject of the thread.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Antisemitism is a broad subject.

          • gabrielsyme

            I would be a little more careful in characterising the decision of the judge. It may well have been that an anti-semitic motivation was an element of a hate crime charge, and if so, would be subject to whatever variant of proof beyond a reasonable doubt Germany uses for criminal cases. If so, the evidence might simply not have been there.

          • Andrew Allison

            It was FG, not I who characterized the specific judge.

          • gabrielsyme

            If so, that’s not apparent. At any rate, it’s not terribly important. It may well be that the judge acted wrongly, but I was just pointing out that we really don’t know enough to say. Short of actually learning German and reading the decision, we’d need coverage from someone who actually knows the German justice system to say whether the decision was improper.

  • Anthony

    Brings to mind “Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947 film starring Gregory Peck) and the subtle (and not so subtle) invidious hatred antisemitism evokes – overt and covert.

    “What a chimera then is man! What a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, feeble earthworm, repository of truth, sewer of uncertainty and error, the glory and scum of the universe.”

  • Corlyss

    “Does Germany Know Jew-Hatred When It Sees It?”
    Yeah, they know it when they practice it too. That was really an easy call when they have a large Muslim population, before which their favorite position is prostrate in supplication. I have to say, they seem to have as much difficulty as our very own Doofus does in trying to make their trembling lips utter the word “terrorism.”

  • adk

    There are some rather high-ranking folks in Washington, DC who might agree with that judge.

    “In an interview with Vox’s Matthew Yglesias, the president yesterday suggested the January attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris was in fact jihadists “randomly [shooting] a bunch of folks in a deli.” Today, both the State Department and White House spokespersons again denied the attack was aimed at Jews. ”

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