The head of the German Jewish community has called for a quota cap to be placed on the country’s refugee intake. The Financial Times reports:
“Sooner or later we will not be able to avoid [setting] upper limits,” Dr Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told Welt newspaper.
“Many refugees are fleeing the terror of the Islamic State and want to live in peace and freedom, but at the same time they come from cultures in which hate towards Jews and intolerance are fixed components. Don’t only think about the Jews, think about equal rights for women and the treatment of homosexuals.”
If the inflows continued at the current rates it would become “increasingly difficult” to integrate migrants and “pass on our values”.
Last year, anti-Semitic attacks rose by 25 percent in Germany, though many came from the German far right. As elsewhere in Europe, the German far left has also become more notably anti-Semitic in recent years. And as the FT notes, this comment comes amid calls from within Chancellor Merkel’s own party for caps.
Dr. Schuster’s comments also mark something of a split within the international Jewish community on the question. In the U.S., as Nicholas M. Gallagher noted this weekend, the President of the Anti-Defamation League has lobbied for increased American acceptance of Syrian refugees. But in Germany—where the refugees are higher in number and more concentrated, and tensions are already more fraught—Jewish leaders seem to be thinking different thoughts.