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August 4, 2021 4:18 pm
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German Government to Spend $40 Million on Researching What Fuels Antisemitism, Racism

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Demonstrators in Berlin brandish Turkish and Palestinian flags as they burn an Israeli flag during a 2017 protest. Photo: Jüdisches Forum für Demokratie und gegen Antisemitismus.

The German government will spend more than $40 million (35 million euros) to fund research projects into the causes of antisemitism, hatred and racism as part of a wider effort to fight the growing phenomena, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research announced on Wednesday.

“It is more than shameful that Jews in Germany feel threatened,” said Germany’s Education and Research Minister Anja Karliczek. “Antisemitism and racism have no place in Germany. They are poison and a big threat for social cohesion. We must fight this poison with all our determination. But we can only fight what we understand.”

A number of academic researchers on the subject of antisemitism will be funded with a total of $14 million over a period of four years. Additional funding of $27 million will be granted to projects to combat right-wing extremism and racism.

“We want to expand our knowledge base in order to effectively combat racism and antisemitism,” Karliczek continued. “The research projects we fund will contribute to this understanding and help develop suitable measures to prevent and combat antisemitism in education, civil society and politics.”

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She added that the research groups will address questions including how antisemitism reaches children in schools, and what the public can do to immunize against online hate speech.

The initiative will examine the dynamics and facets of antisemitism from different disciplinary perspectives and will include academics from theology, education, political science and law. Selected projects range from “antisemitism in online media” to “antisemitism in the context of the judiciary,” “Christian signatures of antisemitism,” and the prevention of antisemitism in education. Jewish perspectives will be systematically included, the government said. 

“To build the basis of our actions, reliable knowledge of the current manifestations of antisemitism, right-wing extremism and racism is indispensable,” said Felix Klein, Germany’s Federal Commissioner to combat antisemitism and promote Jewish life.

“The current funding guideline for research on antisemitism supports a wide range of research projects. Together with the funding guideline for right-wing extremism and racism, this gives us a clearer picture of these phenomena and their connections,” he said.

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