Sunday, 20 Jan 2019 - 14 of Shevat, 5779

Germany to launch online site for victims to report antisemitic attacks

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BERLIN—Germany is to  launch an online site for victims to report anti-Semitic attacks,  the country’s Germany’s commissioner for the fight against anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, announced.

The platform will start in  in February. It will be run by the federal Research and Information Center for Anti-Semitism (RIAS) and will take accounts of anti-Semitic incidents from victims and witnesses regardless of whether they are prosecutable crimes or “everyday” verbal hostility.

“We cannot leave fighting anti-Semitism in this country to the Jews,” said Klein, who has been in office since May and reports to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government via the federal Interior Ministry.

Klein called upon German society as a whole to help prevent hatred towards Jews.

“Every anti-Semite in this country has a problem with our democracy and with our civil-law state … that effects all of us in this country,” he said.

“We need this registration office as an important cornerstone in the fight against anti-Semitism, to develop tailor-made strategies for the distinct regions and individual focus groups,” he added.

The reporting center will receive start-up funding of €243,000 ($278,320) in funds from 2019 and will be supported in the long-term by funds from Germany’s Ministry for Family Affairs.

The project intends to find partners in Germany’s 16 states to help victims of anti-Semitism. Federal infrastructure to that end will be set up in Bavaria, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia next year.

Daniel Botmann, from the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the reporting center is necessary because police statistics exclude many non-criminal, anti-Semitic attacks. He said the initiative will be able to provide information of the development of anti-Semitism in Germany.

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