BERLIN - The German government released on Monday the findings of a two
year inquiry into modern anti-Semitism in the Federal Republic, showing
that latent anti-Semitism affects one of every five Germans.
202 page study, entitled "Anti-Semitism in Germany," covered a wide
spectrum of German anti-Semitism, including hatred of the Jewish state
as a manifestations of anti-Semitism within the Left movement and
Islamic-animated loathing of Israel and Jews, especially from Iran's
regime and the Turkish media.
Anti-Semitism among Left and Right grows in Germany
Israel Embassy slams German anti-Semitic cartoon
Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a member of the ten member commission, told The Jerusalem Post on
Tuesday, that the "experts came to the conclusion that the ideology of
the Iranian regime is anti-Semitic." According to the report, "The state
anti-Semitism is, however, not only relevant on the propaganda level"
in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The study notes that Iran's
anti-Semitic ideology plays a role in Germany.
When asked what
the report means by Iran's regime not limiting its anti-Semitism to its
domestic agenda, Wahdat-Hagh said, Iran supports foreign anti-Semitic
entities "militarily, financially and ideologically." He cited the
Lebanese group Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
Germany the strong presence of Iran's regime is located in Hamburg. "In
view of the facts that the political head of Iran is also considered a
spiritual figure for many extremist thinking Muslims," wrote the
commission's authors. The study says that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the
Supreme Leader in Iran, is the sponsor of the Islamic Center in Hamburg
According to one commission member, Dr. Juliane Wetzel,
hyperbolic criticism of Israel as an expression of anti-Semitism exists
between 40 and 50% of the population. However, Dr. Clemens Heni, a
leading German scholar of contemporary German anti-Semitism, said Wetzel
plays down the widespread form of anti-Israel anti-Semitism in the
He told the Post on
Tuesday, "according to a 2003 poll by the European Commission 65% of
Germans see Israel as the 'biggest threat' on a worldwide scale. In fact
the numbers are probably even higher, over 80% at least, who have a
more or less have an anti-Israel stand. The reports ignores this, as
well as the term 'Islamofascism,' which is an important term to
understand the pro-Nazi attitude of many Muslim and Arab anti-Semites."
Heni, who was not a member of the commission, faulted the study for
"ignoring leading scholars in the field like Robert S. Wistrich, Jeffrey
Herf, Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, Daniel Pipes, Martin Kramer among many
Though the modern anti-Semitism -hate directed toward
the Jewish state- has mushroomed in Germany, there were no Israeli
experts on the commission.
While the study devoted considerable treatment to extremist right-wing anti-Semitism, Dr. Wahdat-Hagh, a senior research fellow with the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy and expert on Islamic-fueled anti-Semitism, said the commission investigated the "anti-Semitic content of the Turkish press in Germany."
to the inquiry, roughly 90% of documented anti-Semitic crimes come from
the extreme right and neo-Nazi-based groups. Soccer matches are a
frequent source of anti-Semitic diatribes. Soccer fans have chanted
"Jews belong in the gas chamber" and "Bring back Auschwitz" and
"Synagogues must burn."
The study revealed that the word "Jew"
is used a pejorative term among German pupils to denigrate fellow
students and as form of insult.
The historian Dr. Peter
Longerich, a historian of the Nazi period and member of the commission,
noted that "Anti-Semitism in our society is based on widespread
prejudices, cliches with deep roots and pure ignorance about everything
to do with Jews and Judaism."