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Monday, December 18, 2006

German Jews under siege - from whom?

The SPIEGEL performs a valuable service in highlighting the increasing insecurity of Germany's Jewish community. Unfortunately the article also reflects an equivocation about the source of the danger which British readers may find familiar.

For a start, there's this:-

'Berlin's state parliament lists 62 reported cases under the category "(right-wing) extremism" in its study "Indicators of Violence at Berlin's Schools, 2004/2005." That's a steep increase in comparison with the previous year, when only 39 cases were registered. The category "(right-wing) extremism" includes "anti-Semitic, racist / xenophobic and right-wing extremist remarks" by children and adolescents, in addition to remarks that "incite racial hatred or express fundamentalist / Islamist fundamentalist views."'

So Muslim anti-Semites are lumped in with neo-Nazi ones - a positively Livingstonian sleight of hand by Berlin's 'Red-Red' (i.e. Social Democrat and Socialist) ruling coalition. And it seems they're less than keen on providing a breakdown...

'The incidents prompted Peter Trapp, a member of the Christian Democrat Party (CDU) in Berlin's parliament, to submit a formal query: Trapp wants to know how many such incidents have occurred recently. He also wants to know how many of those incidents can be attributed to "the right-wing extremist camp" and how many can be traced to adolescents "of non-German origin." Trapp has yet to receive a reply -- indeed, the CDU complains that it is taking unusually long.'

If Herr Trapp ever gets his answer, what will it show? My guess would be based on the following factors:

1. Berlin is home to by far the largest Jewish community in Germany.

2. The neo-Nazi strongholds in Berlin are the bleak working-class estates on the edges of the former East Berlin - and these are not areas where you will find many Jews. Rather, it is black people who become easy targets for the skinhead thugs. The rest of the city is, relatively speaking, mercifully free from the neo-Nazi problem.

3. Berlin has a vast Muslim (mainly Turkish and Arab) population - several times the size of the Jewish community in the whole of Germany, let alone in Berlin. Inner-city areas close to the city centre, such as Kreuzberg, have overwhelmingly Muslim populations. But these are also areas where many of the recent Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union have settled.

So, lots of Muslims, and lots of Muslim votes to be lost by left-wing politicians if they were to speak out too plainly against Muslim anti-Semitism. Much better to fudge the statistics. Any of this sound familiar?

Or to redefine it as something that isn't quite anti-Semitism as such. Again, you may be reminded of Ken 'concentration camp' Livingstone. The report quotes one Peter Wagenknecht from 'the Kreuzberg-based project "Educational Building Blocks Against Anti-Semitism"' (I'm pretty sure it sounds better in the original German). I'm reluctant to knock what must surely be an eminently worthy project, but all the same it's depressing to see how the Left's betrayal of the Jews has been internalized even by somebody working in total good faith to combat anti-Semitism (or is this just the SPIEGEL reporter's spin?):-

'Students from Arab or Turkish families have been politicized by the conflict in the Middle East such that their "anti-Israeli" attitude sometimes crosses over into open anti-Semitism'

Sorry, but the Israel-demonizing 'politics' which these kids have absorbed wouldn't 'cross over' into the beating up of a Berlin schoolgirl if it wasn't itself anti-Semitic at its core. It emanates largely from countries which are Jew-free and glad to be so. If it had anything to do with human rights they'd be beating themselves up too in protest against the Iraqi insurgency and the Janjaweed. And even if every last Jew in Israel were dripping with Palestinian blood, such an attack would not be one jot less racist. Just as it would be racist to brand all of Germany's Turks and Arabs as rabid anti-Semites on the strength of the actions of a small minority, or to inflict 'collective punishment' on them for the crimes committed by Islamic regimes. Anyone who has failed to grasp this has simply not understood what racism is and what is wrong with it.

For there are always reasons for anti-Semitism. Once there was a man who wrote a book full of them. He attracted a following among ordinary people who had been 'politicized' by the bitter experiences of defeat, hyperinflation and mass unemployment. How many of today's lefties, if they'd been around in 1933, would have declared that it was all very worrying and unpleasant but not really anti-Semitism?

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