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November 30, 2016 12:07 am

Top European Rabbi Voices Alarm as Antisemitic Incidents in Germany Reportedly Jump Threefold

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Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The number of antisemitic incidents in Germany jumped threefold in 2015, the Times of London reported on Tuesday.

According to the report — which cited German Justice Ministry data obtained by the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper — there were 2,083 cases of “attacks on Jews, Jewish property and hate speech against Jews” last year, up from 691 the previous year.

In a statement made in response to the report, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt — president of the Conference of European Rabbis — said, “We are in a new era of antisemitism globally. There is a rejection of mainstream politics and we need to be aware of the waves of antisemitism sweeping across Europe. As a society we must take measures to reject antisemitism and ensure that it does not become a new norm.”

The data, the report said, was compiled as part of the German Justice Ministry’s first-ever nationwide analysis of xenophobic and far-right crime.

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Overall, the data showed there were 24,600 criminal cases in Germany in 2015 involving xenophobic or far-right motives.

In September, as reported by The Algemeiner, a German Jewish leader called the dramatic success of the new far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in local elections in a northeastern German state “a nightmare come true.”

And, as reported by The Algemeiner in August, the ongoing rise in support for far-right parties across Europe has widely been attributed to the Syrian refugee crisis, escalating Islamic terrorism and dissatisfaction with political elites.

“The refugee crisis speaks to a fear of aliens taking the native land,” Cas Mudde, a Dutch political scientist and an associate professor at the University of Georgia’s School for Public and International Affairs, said. “Authoritarianism is a reaction to the terrorism, and the connection made between refugees and terrorism. Populism plays into the European Union and its inability to deal with terrorism and the refugee crisis.”

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