A man wearing a kippah listens to speakers during an anti-Semitism protest at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BERLIN – The German capital’s Jewish community removed its logo from envelopes containing its monthly magazine to protect members from anti-Semitic attacks.
“Despite considerably higher costs, the community’s executive board decided to send the community magazine in a neutral envelope, in order to reduce the hostility toward our more than 10,000 members,” Berlin Jewish community spokesman Ilan Kiesling told The Jerusalem Post on Friday.
“Many community members were thinking about canceling their subscription,” Kiesling said, The decision to distribute Jewish Berlin in unmarked envelopes was taken as part of new security protocols set with the police and the security department of the city’s Jewish community.
“It is a sad reality that a large part of Jewish life for years has taken place behind bulletproof glass, barbed wire and security access controls,” Kiesling said.
He added that the recent attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, in which Islamic terrorists killed five Jews, have created a new situation leading to “great insecurity” among community members.
Parents registering their children for Jewish kindergartens and schools “wish to be informed of the exact details of security measures,” Kiesling said. The community is working with the police and the Berlin Senate administration to “strengthen the security of our institutions,” he added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday, “We are glad and thankful that there is Jewish life in Germany again. And we would like to continue living well together with the Jews who are in Germany today.”
In his Die Welt
column titled “More protection for Jews means less dignity” on Thursday, Henryk M. Broder, a leading German expert on contemporary anti-Semitism, criticized the fortress-like security measures to protect Jews as an illusion.
“It will not become better. It will become worse. Toulouse was the prelude to Brussels and Brussels led to Paris. Copenhagen will not be the final station. The list of attacks will become longer,” wrote Broder.
In 2012, a French-Algerian Islamist killed four French Jews in Toulouse. Two years later, a French Islamic State fighter used an automatic weapon to kill four people, including two Israelis, at the Brussels Jewish museum.
Broder wrote, “What we are now experiencing is not a renaissance of Jewish life in Germany and Europe, rather the end of an experiment,” adding “Murderous anti-Semitism is not unique to Germany. It belongs now to Europe like the imported Islamism which enables anti-Semitism.”
Josef Schuster, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said that Jewish life “still is possible in Germany.”
The Merkel administration has rejected a ban of the so-called political wing of Hezbollah in the Federal Republic. According to Germany’s most recent intelligence report, Hezbollah has 950 active members in the country, including 250 in Berlin.
A statement attributed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah reads: “If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I do not say the Israeli.” Hezbollah’s blew up an Israeli tour bus in Burgas, Bulgaria in 2012, resulting in the murder of five Israelis and their Bulgaria bus driver.