How Germany imported anti-Semitism

Hitler’s Germany virtually annihilated its Jewish population and made a strong run at annihilating Europe’s. Post-war Germany thus took pains to enforce a “Never Again” creed.

But that ended when Angela Merkel decided to admit more than a million asylum seekers from Muslim countries. Now, Merkel admits that Germany confronts “a new phenomenon” as the refugees “bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country.”

What in God’s name did Merkel expect?

As the Washington Post observes:

[Imported anti-Semitism] is something critics have warned of for years, given that many of those who arrived in Germany came from nations where anti-Semitism is widespread, including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. But officials, analysts and Jewish and Muslim leaders all say Germany has been slow to recognize the risks.

“The cultural dimension that is linked with the influx was always underestimated,” said Felix Klein, who started work this month as the federal government’s point person for combating anti-Semitism. “Now we have to deal with it.”

Good luck.

One barrier to dealing with imported anti-Semitism is that, according to the Post, the police reflexively attribute instances of anti-Semitic incidents to “the far right,” using it as a default designation when the perpetrator isn’t known. Thus, while police statistics purport to show that 90 percent of anti-Semitic crimes are committed by followers of the far right, a survey of victims commissioned by the German Parliament concluded that Muslims were most often the perpetrators. A separate study found comparatively high levels of anti-Semitic thinking among refugees with a Middle Eastern or North African background.

No surprise there.

The Washington Post reminds us that Merkel’s decision to allow the mass influx of Syrian refugees was widely seen as “a grand gesture of atonement for the worst crimes of German history.” Jews were the primary victims of these crimes. Now, they are the primary victims of the “atonement.”

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