With anti-Semitic attacks on the rise in Germany, the country’s federation of Jews has suggested tailoring extra integration classes for migrants, who may still be influenced by their home countries’ anti-Jewish sentiments.
Though the migrant flow is not pouring into Europe with the force of previous years, Vice President of Germany’s Central Council of Jews Abraham Lehrer still believes that the “problem of immigrant Arab-Islamic anti-Semitism” still lies ahead. He was speaking days before the grim 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass which marked the start of the violent assault on Jews by the Nazis.
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According to Lehrer, many asylum seekers who arrive in his country are mainly influenced “by regimes” where anti-Semitism is “a part of [their] rationale” and where “the Jewish state is denied the right to existence.”
As soon as the quest for job and housing is over for these people, they may re-experience this influence from their home countries and “will express their opinions openly,” he says. “In order to prevent this scenario, we need to tailor integration courses more closely to these people, preferably by country of origin.”
Lehrer suggested organizing additional hours in integration classes in which “fundamental values” such as democracy and treatment of women in the European society “are intensively taught.”
Lehrer’s fears are far from being ungrounded – official figures released this summer show that the number of hate crimes committed against Jews in Germany increased by more than 10 percent. While the majority of the crimes were committed by Neo-Nazi groups, in some cases the attackers were Muslim migrants.
In one of the most resonating cases a 19-year-old Syrian migrant used a belt to beat an Israeli wearing a kippa. The attacker, who was convicted of assault and grievous bodily harm, insisted that he just wanted to scare his victim.
READ MORE: Beatings, harassment & bullying: Germany’s anti-Semitic hate crimes soar by 10%
Earlier this year a shocked father revealed to German media that his daughter was told she deserved to be beaten and killed when she admitted to a Muslim student that she did not believe in Allah.
Concerns about anti-Semitism from Muslim immigrants in Germany were earlier raised by Charlotte Knobloch, the President of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria. “Anti-Semitism has grown on the right and the left, in the Muslim community and also in the heart of German society,” Knobloch contended back in 2017.