US/World News

German Jewish groups call on gov’t to confront antisemitism

(JTA) – Nearly 40 Jewish organizations in Germany have called on the government to confront antisemitism following a series of anti-Jewish attacks in the country. The open letter, which was signed July 16 by the groups as the Jewish Forum for Democracy and Anti-Semitism, calls for Germany to adhere to the International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance’s definition of antisemitism and to take seriously the experiences of attack victims. It also calls for recognition that antisemitism is an “an attack on the inviolability of human dignity and on the foundations of the entire liberal democratic community.” “Anti-Semitism cannot be successfully fought as a mere subcategory of racism,” the statement says. “Anti-Semitism, racism and Islamophobia cannot be equated.”

The statement, written in German, also says that civil and religious groups that have requested or already receive public funding should only receive the funds if they have publicly distanced themselves from all forms of antisemitism, including Muslim organizations. The German government has not publicly responded to the letter,  according to the Deutsch Welle news service. Over the weekend, a Jewish-Syrian man was assaulted in a Berlin park by a group of young adults and teens after they noticed he was wearing a Star of David. Days earlier a Syrian man, 19, was found guilty of an April attack against an Israeli man who was wearing a kippah on a Berlin street.

CAP: People take part in the “Berlin wears kippah” event, with more than 2,000 Jews and non-Jews wearing the traditional skullcap to show solidarity with Jews on April 25, 2018 in Berlin after Germany has been rocked by a series of anti-Semitic incidents. (AFP PHOTO / Tobias SCHWARZ)

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