The Anti-Defamation League survey, for instance, found that 56 percent of Muslims in Germany harbored anti-Semitic attitudes, compared with 16 percent for the overall population. Conservative Jews see the political left as unwilling to name this problem out of reluctance to further marginalize an already marginalized group or because of leftist anti-Zionism. The far right, anti-Islam A.
An incident that garnered considerable attention and highlights some of the complexities of this new dynamic occurred on a Berlin street in April , when a year-old Syrian of Palestinian descent took off his belt and flogged a young Israeli man named Adam Armoush, who was wearing a yarmulke. Schuster advised Jews in cities against openly wearing yarmulkes outside. He said he received the yarmulke from a friend along with a caveat that it was not safe to wear outside.
Armoush said he initially debated this. But it ended like that. Anti-Semitism is indeed a mainly European invention with a proven capacity to mutate. Often intertwined with economic and social resentments, demonization of Jews was long part of Christian tradition, and, with the growth of European nationalism in the 19th century, it took on delusive notions of race.
The early signs are mixed. Like other Jewish families, they were ambivalent about remaining in Germany. Despite a wave of racist attacks on immigrants, that revival did not seem to materialize. In fact, the European Union, which was created to temper those impulses, was ascendant. Now, he believed, that sense of security has eroded.
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And you want to install yourselves here. And you have no homeland. It seemed like a rhetorical question, but Feinberg, taking a drag of his cigarette, ventured an answer. Feinberg spotted a passing police car and ran to get help.
Nobody wants you. People had considered him to be a regular guy. A video of the affair went viral on social media. On the day of the event, Feinberg sat underneath a series of paintings of the Star of David before a score of reporters. Since the incident, he had received a torrent of anti-Semitic messages. After Feinberg spoke, the head of RIAS, Benjamin Steinitz, said that the organization had documented well over 3, anti-Semitic incidents since it was founded. Or are they right- wing extremists?
When researchers looked at all reported anti-Semitic incidents — including threats, harassment and targeted vandalism — in Berlin in , they were unable to determine the ideological motivation in nearly half the cases. They could attribute 18 percent of the incidents to right-wing extremists, making it the largest known group, but with such a large proportion of missing information, the numbers were hardly conclusive about which views predominated. The political motivations of violent attackers were even harder to parse.
Of 46 reported anti-Semitic attacks in Berlin in , RIAS could identify the ideological motivation of the perpetrators in just 19 cases. After the event, as guests nibbled on falafel and hummus, Felix Klein took a seat at a corner table. Klein listed several things the German government should be doing at the federal and state levels to fight anti-Semitism; chief among them was training teachers and the police simply to recognize it. He also said school books should include more lessons about Jewish contributions to Germany. The rise of anti-Semitic acts, Klein told me, was not just a matter of rising hate but a rising willingness to express it.
This was because of social media, he said, as well as the A. There are also the challenges that are caused by anti-Semitism from Muslims, he said, though, he added, according to criminal statistics, this was not the main problem. Klein was citing the federal statistic that attributed a vast majority of anti-Semitic crimes in Germany to right-wing extremists, the one that many Jewish community leaders disputed.
I asked Klein if he thought the statistic was reliable. He acknowledged that, in fact, the methodology was flawed: When it was unclear who the perpetrators were, they were automatically classified as right-wing extremists. He leaned in to underscore this point. We should not do that. German anti-Semites are clearly drawn to the A. One survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute, a respected polling organization, found that 55 percent of A. The A. Its politicians traffic in more insidious forms of secondary anti-Semitism.
But to suggest that it be forgotten is a circuitous way of reaching the same end. Yet since the A. It now portrays itself as the protector of Jews fearful of Muslim immigration. Last year, two-dozen Jewish A. On a Sunday afternoon last October, J. When a reporter from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung tried to get his name, the man refused to give it. Another reporter approached the anonymous J. But there was also a more specific Russian angle.
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Indeed, in some voting areas with large numbers of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, the A. Several members of J. Before the event, there was much discussion about the Jewish credentials of one J. One J. It was unclear whether this messaging would gain much traction with Jews in Germany beyond the confines of the gymnasium. Even so, at stake for these parties is not the relatively small number of Jewish votes but rather an appearance of legitimacy and ideological distance from past fascist movements.
The J. During the J. In September , according to a Chicago Sun reporter, the canal still stank of decayed corpses when Jewish survivors and about 30 American Jewish soldiers gathered for the first postwar synagogue service in Berlin. The main neo-Classical sanctuary that had once stood at the site sat in ruins, but a Jewish-American lieutenant stationed in Berlin named Harry Nowalsky, who could see the synagogue from his bedroom window, had made it a personal mission to restore a smaller, still-intact sanctuary in time for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
One Monday morning last year, a year-old local congregant named Shlomit Tripp welcomed a class of fourth graders to the synagogue. Tripp, who wore a tie-dyed headband and carried with her a redheaded puppet she calls Shlomo, runs a Jewish puppet theater. Synagogues in Germany have been under police protection since around , when Marxist militants tried to bomb a Jewish community center in West Berlin. The following year, a still-unsolved arson attack on a home for Jewish seniors in Munich left seven people dead. Congregants told me they understand the need for the precautions but also lamented the impossibility of natural exchanges with the outside community.
The children put on yarmulkes available for guests and sat in benches facing the ark. Tripp began with a question:.
Like a lot of you. After the children left, Tripp told me she has never experienced anti-Semitism from the visiting kids or from her Muslim neighbors and considered fears of Muslim anti-Semitism to be exaggerated. Fraenkelufer Synagogue would not exist today without immigration. After the war, Jews from Eastern Europe formed a small congregation. After , Jews from the former Soviet Union joined, but by the turn of the millennium, the congregation had dwindled. Among the newcomers to the synagogue are Nina and Dekel Peretz. To illustrate this, he told me a story about a childhood family road trip through Europe that involved crossing German territory.
The core idea is that, discounting rivers, parks, roads, and industrial fields, urban agglomerations are built-up areas where houses are not more than metres apart. And the results on this measure are, obviously, rather different: 1. Paris, France: 10,, 2. London, UK: 10,, 3. Madrid, Spain: 6,, 4. Berlin, Germany: 6,, 5. Barcelona, Spain: 5,, 6. Rome, Italy: 3,, 7. Milan, Italy: 3,, 8. Athens, Greece: 3,, 9. Lisbon, Portugal: 2,, Ruhr Area, Germany: 11,, 2.
Paris, France: 10,, 3. London, UK: 10,, 4. Image: Cristian Bortes.
These figures from Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Union, offer that view: 1. London area, UK: 14,, 2. Paris area, France: 12,, 3. Madrid area, Spain: 6,, 4. Barcelona area, Spain: 5,, 5.