“[T]here is no reason to give the all-clear. The threat situation in Germany remains tense; it has stabilized on a high level…Germany continues to be a target of jihadist organizations such as ISIL or al-Qaeda. Consequently, Germany as well as German interests in various regions in the world are facing a constantly serious threat, which may any time manifest itself in terrorist attacks motivated by jihadism.” — 2018 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution, Germany.
|German authorities do not always appear to take Islamist anti-Semitism seriously, even when it has obviously deadly potential. On October 4, a knife-wielding Syrian man tried to enter a Berlin synagogue (pictured) while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” The police released him the next day. (Photo by John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images)|
The German government recently announced that it would be cracking down on free speech, with Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht claiming that the German government “is confronting right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism by all means enabled by the rule of law.” The government presented a package of measures, including some that will limit free speech. According to German news outlet Deutsche Welle:
“[O]nline service providers, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter will be obliged to report hate speech to German authorities, and also pass on the IP address of the conspicuous user. Until now, such social media giants have only been required to delete hate speech within a certain time period.”
Germany’s controversial censorship law, known as NetzDG, which came into effect on October 1, 2017, requires social media platforms to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply.
Lambrecht, in announcing the package, referred to the attack on the synagogue in Halle, in which a German man, Stefan Balliet, tried to enter the synagogue to kill Jews there, but failed. He subsequently murdered two people in other locations. Balliet admitted that anti-Semitic and right-wing extremist beliefs motivated him to commit the attack. He is believed to have sought inspiration for the attack on the internet. “What the disinhibition and unleashing of hatred in the net can lead to was shown again in the terrible attack on the Jewish community in Halle”, Lambrecht said.
According to Die Welt, the new package will ensure that, “Existing and proven approaches to prevention against right-wing extremism are to be continued and developed. Specifically, programs to promote democracy and prevent extremism… as well as political education measures in general…” In addition, according to Die Welt, “The work of constitutional protection against right-wing extremism is to be intensified” and measures be taken so that “security authorities and the judiciary are adequately equipped to combat politically motivated crime from the right as necessary”.
The new governmental initiative, however, appears to be directed only against anti-Semitism committed by right-wing extremists. It appears, for example, to ignore anti-Semitic acts committed by Islamist extremists — a peculiar omission, considering the findings of the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA): “Second survey on discrimination and hate crime against Jews in the EU, published in December 2018. According to the survey:
“With respect to the most serious incident of antisemitic harassment, on average, across the 12 Member States surveyed, the most frequently mentioned categories for perpetrators were: ‘someone else I cannot describe’ (31 %); ‘someone with an extremist Muslim view’ (30 %); ‘someone with a left-wing political view’ (21 %); ‘work or school/college colleague’ (16 %); ‘teenager or group of teenagers’ (15 %); ‘an acquaintance or friend’ (15 %); ‘someone with a right-wing political view’ (13 %)”.
Germany was among the 12 member states surveyed.
Previously, in November 2018, the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights published a report, “Antisemitism – Overview of data available in the European Union 2007–2017,” which quoted the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) for stating that in 2017:
“The main perpetrators of antisemitic incidents are ‘Islamists’ and radicalised young Muslims, including schoolchildren, as well as neo-Nazis and sympathisers of extreme-right and, in some cases, extreme-left groups”.
Perhaps most importantly, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) — Germany’s domestic intelligence service — published a report in June 2019 on “Anti-Semitism in Islamism.” The purpose of the report was “to raise public awareness of Islamist anti-Semitism”. According to the report:
“In order to get an idea of the extent and manifestations of anti-Semitic propaganda and events in the Islamist milieu in Germany, since the end of 2015 the BfV has been recording… anti-Semitic events with a suspected Islamist background…
“The recording of these events proves that anti-Semitic events with an Islamist background are not uncommon in Germany. For the period from January to December 2017 alone, more than 100 incidents were recorded, ranging from anti-Zionist sermons to anti-Semitic graffiti to verbal and physical attacks against individuals. Probably this is just the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’. [Emphasis added].
“Violent events have so far been recorded only to a limited extent. Even individual cases, however, make it clear that the ideological radicalization of people and the incitement to hatred and violence through anti-Semitic ideas provide the breeding ground for violent escalations.
“It is also noteworthy that numerous incidents have been caused by individuals, who have so far had no evidence of a link to organized Islamism. For example, in April 2016, a woman in Berlin was addressed by two Arab men because of her necklace pendant in the shape of the land of Israel. The two men then insulted her with the words ‘You shit Jews! You are the scum of the world’. In December 2017, an Arab classmate attacked a Jewish high school student in Berlin with the words: ‘You are child murderers; you should have your heads cut off!’ Also in December 2017, two unknown persons attacked a synagogue in North Rhine-Westphalia and insulted the staff there with the words: ‘Al-Quds belongs to us! Disappear from here, you sons of whores!’
“Such events suggest that the anti-Semitic ideas spread by Islamists are increasingly also found in Muslim social groups outside Islamist organizations. Whether this is a permanent phenomenon – perhaps even a sustained trend – remains to be seen.
“Irrespective of the perspective, however, it should be noted that the anti-Semitic ideas spread by Islamist groups and individuals already present a considerable challenge to peaceful and tolerant coexistence in Germany today”.
The question, then, is why jihadi anti-Semitism does not appear to have been included in the German government’s package of initiatives to combat anti-Semitism?
Especially as, in April 2018, according to Die Welt, Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted in an interview:
“We now also have new phenomena, whereby we have refugees or people of Arab origin who bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country.”
Furthermore, German authorities do not always appear to take Islamist anti-Semitism seriously, even when it has obviously deadly potential. On October 4, a knife-wielding Syrian man tried to enter a Berlin synagogue while shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “Fuck Israel.” According to the regional newspaper Neues Deutschland, police took the man into custody in a psychiatric hospital, because there was “no urgent suspicion of a crime, only the initial suspicion of trespassing”. In addition, “there were no indications of the possible radicalization of the man”. The police released him the next day, even though he had literally been “caught in the act” by the synagogue guards.
The foiled knife attack, however, did cause Berlin’s interior administration to announce an increased police presence in front of Jewish institutions. What, however, is the point of an increased police presence, when potential perpetrators are immediately set free and only seen as causing a “suspicion of trespassing?”
The Central Council of Jews in Germany criticized the man’s release. “The speedy release of the perpetrator is incomprehensible,” said President Josef Schuster, adding that the prosecutor’s office had “negligently handled an attempt to attack a synagogue”.
German intelligence assessments, found in the 2018 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution, confirm the magnitude of the jihadi threat, not only against German Jews, but against all Germans:
“Considering nothing but the hard numbers, one can say that the Islamist extremist following increased slightly to a total of 26,560 individuals in 2018 (2017: 25,810). While no Islamist extremist attack was staged in Germany in 2018, the detection of a number of attack plans in various stages of preparation has shown that there is no reason to give the all-clear. The threat situation in Germany remains tense; it has stabilized on a high level…Germany continues to be a target of jihadist organizations such as ISIL or al-Qaeda. Consequently, Germany as well as German interests in various regions in the world are facing a constantly serious threat, which may any time manifest itself in terrorist attacks motivated by jihadism”.
Given the official threat scenario, the German government owes all its citizens an explanation as to why it is so “selective” in its response to anti-Semitism.
Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.
(Photo: Aish.com / YouTube)
Despite advances in modern medicine, China is setting up roadblocks to cope with an outbreak of an ancient plague that once wiped out one-third of the world’s population and may have been one of the plagues that God used to strike Egypt.
Chinese officials installed temperature scanners at airports and checkpoints on main roads in an attempt to stop the spread of Bubonic plague as a fourth case was discovered in less than three weeks. A program to exterminate rats and fleas, which carry the disease, was also launched in Inner Mongolia where the disease seems to be originating.
Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.
Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.
The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Pope Francis Meets Thailand’s Buddhist Patriarch in Golden Temple (screenshot)
Pope Francis topped off his three-day visit to Thailand last Saturday with a meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple. The meeting took place in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha. The Pope followed Buddhist custom by removing his shoes.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood. The Declaration s a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
An Israeli company says it is using space travel technology to help solve one of the most pressing problems down on Earth — the reliance on diesel fuel, a major source of pollution.
Israeli startup GenCell has developed an electric generator based on a hydrogen-energy technology used to power some of the most-famous space missions in history.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
On January 18, a Shia Muslim rebel group launched a terror attack that claimed the lives of 111 in Yemen.
Days earlier, a Pakistani general captured popular sentiment whenever Muslims kill fellow Muslims by saying “Those who targeted innocents [Muslims] in a mosque can never be true Muslim[s].”
Such is the nature of one of the greatest claims that Islamic terrorism is much more politically than religiously driven. Thus, after another terrorist attack claimed the lives of Muslims in Bangladesh in 2016, it prime minister,
Sheikh Hasina, declared that “Anyone who believes in religion cannot do such act. They do not have any religion, their only religion is terrorism.”
Having predicted last year that a recession would begin in the summer of 2019 and that it would likely start with a major repo crisis, I am now proven wrong by 2019’s fourth-quarter GDP. If the repo crisis that started in the final week of summer had actually been the start of a recession, we would have seen fourth-quarter GDP go negative. Instead, it came in at 2.1% growth.
I find that an interesting number because third-quarter GDP also came in at 2.1% growth, and second-quarter GDP came in at 2.0% growth. Now fourth-quarter GDP came in exactly at 2.1% growth. Coincidence or goal-seeking? Notice the numbers are “seasonally adjusted,” and think about how many assumptions are made in seasonal adjustments.
The effort to impeach and remove President Donald Trump from office has produced many losers and few winners. The drama of the trial in the U.S. Senate is must-see TV for political junkies, but it has also been dispiriting viewing for Americans of all political stripes.
Few issues have divided the country more starkly than the question of whether or not the president should be removed from office. The arguments from both sides of the spectrum and their lawyers, as well as from the talking heads on television, have not worked to change any minds from their original political positions.
Last week, President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his electoral opponent Blue and White leader Benny Gantz were at the White House for the announcement. So were a bunch of international diplomats, including three from Arab nations. The Palestinians refused to attend and rejected the plan sight-unseen.
Anyone surveying the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations already knows that the Palestinians’ goal is the eradication of Israel. The difference in the new U.S. plan, however, is that the initial major steps in its implementation can be taken unilaterally by Israel, even with no Palestinian participation
The U.S. “Peace to Prosperity” plan presented by President Donald Trump last week proposes unprecedented criteria for the formation of a Palestinian state. Among them is this one: “The Palestinians shall have ended all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbors, or which compensate or incentivize criminal or violent activity.”
The context of this directive cannot be ignored; our 20 years of research show that the PLO has transformed Palestinian schools into a tool of war against Israel.