(photo credit: ALEXANDRA BEIER / REUTERS)
AACHEN – The former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said in a Friday interview that antisemitism is spreading rapidly in the country, raising alarm bells about the future of Jewish life in the federal republic.
Charlotte Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor who headed the council from 2006 to 2010, told the Heilbronner Stimme newspaper that “Antisemitism [is] in the heart of German society.”
Knobloch, who is currently the president of the Munich Jewish community, added that Jewish life can only function “in public with police protection and under the most serious security precautions.” She cited the example of the authorities who canceled a Hanukka festival in the city of Mülheim because security could not guarantee protection for the participants.
Knobloch, who played a key role in advocating for the passage of an anti-BDS bill in Munich in December, added that “Jewish institutions, synagogues, and cemeteries are frequently damaged.”
She described a daily climate of “aggressive antisemitism” that exists in Germany, where there are nearly 100,000 registered members of the Central Council of Jews.
Knobloch said antisemitic violence, including physical attacks, are part and parcel of German society. She called on the German government to employ a commissioner for antisemitism. “Antisemitism has been strengthened from the right and left and in the Muslim community,” said Knobloch.
Knobloch previously told The Jerusalem Post
that the boycott Israel campaign “disguises the socially unacceptable.” She continued: “It has modernized the Nazi slogan ‘Don’t buy from Jews!’ by demanding, ‘Don’t buy from the Jewish state.’”
Germany’s government has refused to entirely outlaw the antisemitic terrorist organizations Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
. There are 950 active Hezbollah operatives in Germany.