Monday, 30 Jan 2023 - 8 of Shevat, 5783

German government presents its strategy to combat antisemitism and to foster Jewish life

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The fight against anti-Semitism in society as a whole is more urgent than ever in view of current developments. Police statistics and data from civil society hotlines have shown an increase in anti-Semitic incidents and crimes.

In 2021, German police recorded 3,027 antisemitic crimes nationwide, nearly 700 more than the year before.

The German government has adopted its first National Strategy against Anti-Semitism and for fostering Jewish Life.

Its goal is to strengthen Jews in Germany and to make the realities of their lives more visible. It is to contribute to showing and communicating Jewish present and history in their diversity and complexity.

The strategy was presented this week in Berlin by Felix Klein, the federal government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism together with Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism.

‘’Preventing and combating anti-Semitism is the task of society as a whole. Therefore, the strategy addresses state and civil society actors equally. It can and should be used by all political and social levels. Jews should be sure of the support of the federal government and the population,’’ Klein said.

“I am very pleased that with the National Strategy we are presenting today a broadly applicable means of combating anti-Semitism. It serves to review and adapt ongoing measures and programmes. It can be used to determine what is missing in order to create optimal conditions for preventing and combating hatred of Jews and to include and support Jews in the best possible way,” he added.

The fight against anti-Semitism in society as a whole is more urgent than ever in view of current developments. Police statistics and data from civil society hotlines have shown an increase in anti-Semitic incidents and crimes. In 2021, police recorded 3,027 antisemitic crimes nationwide, nearly 700 more than the year before.

Hate and incitement on the internet are taking on ever greater dimensions and acts of violence remained at a high level in the 3rd quarter of this year. Just a fortnight ago, three new attacks on Jewish places were reported, on a rabbi’s house, on the new synagogue in Essen and the synagogue in Berlin-Schöneberg.

Katharina von Schnurbein said:”Europe can only flourish if Jewish life in Europe flourishes. With its EU Strategy, the European Commission is committed to a future free of anti-Semitism. Jews should be able to live in Europe in harmony with their religious and cultural traditions, free from security concerns. This requires resolute government action at all levels and commitment from society as a whole against all forms of anti-Semitism.’’

‘’Germany has a key role to play in this. The German strategy will lead to better recognition of action against anti-Semitism in the country and will also provide important impulses internationally,”she added.

All federal ministries as well as more than forty Jewish and non-Jewish civil society organisations were involved in this strategy. With its innovative model consisting of five fields of action and three cross-sectional dimensions, the strategy aims at concrete applicability. As a national strategy, it not only contains targets for the federal government, but also general goals for others who want to work with it. It contains examples of best practice from the federal and state governments.

By adopting the strategy, Germany implements a commitment that Germany has made together with the other EU Member States. Last year, when it presented its EU Strategy to Combat Anti-Semitism and Promote Jewish Life, the European  Commission called on the member states to present national strategies to combat anti-Semitism by the end of this year.

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