Lost in Germany - opinion

As a Jew in Germany, one obviously has to come to terms with the fact that the position of an antisemitism commissioner is in most cases cosmetic.

 GERMAN FOREIGN Minister Annalena Baerbock meets with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in February. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
GERMAN FOREIGN Minister Annalena Baerbock meets with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, in February.
(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

All 16 German states, including the federal government, currently have commissioners tasked with fighting antisemitism. The city-state of Berlin has five commissioners devoted to fighting antisemitism. In the “best Germany ever,” Jews should actually feel very protected in view of this fact, and that there might soon be more commissioners than Jews in the country, to put in satirical terms.

Unfortunately, there is a catch. While German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stoically points to the danger from the extreme Right, the dangers of Islamism are being denied by her ministry.

Antisemitism from the right-wing populist side is condemned everywhere, and one can be sure of applause from the left-wing forces. If, however, one points to Muslim Jew-hatred, of which the majority of Jews are afraid, in its particularly aggressive form, one runs the risk, even as a German Jew, of being unjustifiably placed in an extreme right-wing corner.

Germany’s condition has deteriorated dramatically since the uncontrolled influx of migrants and refugees in 2015. And there is a disturbing tendency to silence those – not just Jews and women – who criticize unfettered immigration that contributes to a spike in antisemitism and misogyny.

Unfortunately, however, the government’s federal antisemitism commissioner can hardly take action either; who shoots at his own employer? Even the Central Council of Jews, the main German Jewish organization, often seems to have its hands tied. Financially dependent on the government and reliant on Berlin for ensuring the security of Jewish institutions, it is not surprising that the Central Council is often silent when an outcry would be necessary.

 People take part in demonstrations following the killing of a German man in Chemnitz, in Chemnitz, Germany September 1, 2018. (credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS) People take part in demonstrations following the killing of a German man in Chemnitz, in Chemnitz, Germany September 1, 2018. (credit: HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/REUTERS)

The antisemitism commissioner of the southern German state of  Baden-Württemberg, Michael Blume, is an example of something rotten in Germany’s fight against Jew-hatred. Blume’s position can be described as a farce. He punishes criticism of his work with publicity on Twitter.

One would want an antisemitism commissioner to end the sister-city relationship between Freiburg and Isfahan, a city in the murderous regime of Iran, which wants to wipe out Israel; and terminate the bank account of one of the largest BDS-affiliated organizations at the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg. But Blume apparently does not want to understand.

Blume prefers to look for “scientific connections” between antisemitism and decarbonization. No kidding.

Critics are defamed by him as right-wing trolls, including the prominent German Jewish author Henryk M. Broder, a child of Holocaust survivors, who with unparalleled wit never tires of putting his finger in the wound of those who like to pose as “friends of the Jews” and who he unmasks with razor-sharp precision.

In an interview with Deutschlandfunk (Broadcast Germany), Blume fabricated that there are “right-wing extremists” within the Jewish community who react with “hatred” toward his German Muslim wife. I know of no one in the Jewish communities to whom the accusation applies. Blume provided no evidence. 

Why Blume defames Jews, of all people, in the interview is quite disconcerting for an antisemitism official. His inclusion in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s “Global Antisemitism Top Ten” list of people committing the worst antisemitic incidents in 2021 is no coincidence.

THUS, AS a Jew in Germany, one obviously has to come to terms with the fact that the position of an antisemitism commissioner is in most cases cosmetic, in order to soothe the German conscience, but in reality can hardly make a difference.

Now, as is well known, the fish stinks from the head first.

During her recent visit to Israel, Germany’s new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, one day after visiting Yad Vashem, assured Palestinian Authority head, Mahmoud Abbas, that Germany would be his reliable partner.

This means that Palestinian terror pensions will continue to be indirectly financed by German taxpayers, and that UNRWA will not have to worry about printing anti-Israel hate textbooks.

The show must go on.

Israel is currently experiencing one of the worst waves of terror in recent years, with 14 dead in just over two weeks.

In its statement, the federal foreign office uses the boilerplate language that is already familiar from the bad times of the previous foreign minister, Heiko Maas. It speaks of a possible “spiral of violence” between Jews, Muslims and Christians. The fact that it is a matter of Islamist terror is not mentioned. Thank God, they do not call for “moderation on all sides.” 

It seems as though Germany’s politicians want to ignore the fact that the Islamists who commit terror attacks against “infidels” in Germany have the same mindset as the Islamists who attack Israelis. It’s no use mourning the dead terror victims in Israel, if the money keeps flowing to the Palestinians, and Germany indirectly co-finances  “terror pensions” paid to the families of Palestinian terrorists.

How good it is that in the worst of all cases for us Jews, there is Israel.

I have no idea where non-Jewish Germans can flee.

The writer, a German-Jewish activist, fights antisemitism.