Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 - 14 of Sivan, 5780

Jewish groups express concern about rising threats against minorities in Germany

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“The World Jewish Congress is extremely concerned about the rising threats against minorities in Germany from both sides of the political landscape in Germany,’’ WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said following the deadly mass shootings at two shisha bars in the German city of Hanau in which nine people were murdered by a far-right assailant.

‘’Today’s events in Hanau, are just two more examples of the far-right violence that targets Jewish citizens, immigrants and all people, who might not fit a long standing and bizarre racial view of some German citizens. Germany, of all countries in Europe, must be sensitive to this deadly and growing issue. This tragedy underscores the need for far more effective measures by the police and authorities to protect the lives of Germany’s minorities,’’ Lauder said in a statement.

“But it isn’t just minorities that are threatened,” Lauder continued. “These crimes pose the greatest threat to the democratic fabric of German society and Germany’s commitment to uphold the values at the core of its postwar identity.”

He added: ‘’Sadly, the connection between the recent tragedy in Halle to the latest shooting spree in Hanau is evident. Unless German authorities stop this now with real and tough laws along with real law enforcement, the genie of xenophobic bigotry that had been held down for 75 years, will be let loose again and that is something that the world cannot afford.”

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted, “We are heartbroken by the horrifying shooting in Germany last night. We mourn the innocent people who were senselessly murdered in this attack.”

The suspected attacker — 43-year-old German man identified as Tobias R. — was later found dead at his home, alongside his 72-year-old mother.

According to prosecutors, the gunman had posted a manifesto online including conspiracy theories and deeply-racist views. He reportedly left behind a video and a 24-page manifesto in which he said certain peoples “must be completely destroyed.’’

The manifesto calls for eliminating entire countries, including Israel, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Indian, Pakistan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “poison” of racism. Her deputy, Olaf Scholz, took to Twitter to say: “Politically, nobody can deny that 75 years after the Nazi dictatorship there is real terror again.”

In a statement, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said he worried about “the safety of minorities in Germany, and of those who are committed to helping them.”

Schuster and other prominent German Jews recently have said that an uptick in right-wing crimes and the rise of a far-right extremist political party, the Alternative for Germany, had made them consider leaving Germany.

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