In 2020, there were 2,275 crimes motivated by anti-Semitism committed in Germany, the highest number in 20 years. According to Bogdan Musiał, a Polish historian who works in Germany, Islamic radicalization and left-wing opposition to Israel accounts for this rise. He said that in left-wing circles, Israel is seen as racist and accused of practicing a form of apartheid against the Palestinians.
Musiał notes that security for synagogues and Jewish schools is nothing new in Germany, and these locations have been vulnerable to attacks for years. However, a number of Jews who have arrived from Russia and aided by the German state have become a source of envy, leading to hostility from other migrants. In many Muslim communities, anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish views prevail.
This kind of anti-Semitism, however, is “absolutely not present in the parliament or in ruling circles”, underlined the Polish historian. Even the Euro-skeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) refuses to attack Jews and actively supports Israel. In fact, any party which attempted to adopt anti-Semitism would in all probability be made illegal by Germany’s court system.
According to the Polish academic, the German establishment is highly sensitive to any political anti-Semitism because of the country’s past and the likely international reaction to any sign of anti-Semitism. Germany stands or falls on the strength of its exports and does not want to fall foul of any boycotts that could result from tolerating anti-Semitism.
Musiał feels that the situation in Germany for Jews is not as acute as in France where the number of Muslims is higher and so is the number of attacks on Jews. He also feels that it is not inconceivable that Germany would react against increased Muslim immigration if it found that it was leading to anti-Semitism and other social problems.
But he concludes that migration policies will depend on the make-up of the next ruling German coalition. If the Greens enter the coalition, they will press for a continuation of a liberal immigration policy. But among the Greens there are also a few politicians who are keen to block immigration, but they want to do so while presenting a humane face.
Musiał said that Poland’s stance on migrants often leads to attacks on the country, especially when contrasted with Germany’s openness to mass migration.