image via flickr

Isn’t it a dilemma that the persecutors in one land are the persecuted in another? The Jews are unsafe in Germany, as the Palestinians are in the Middle East, and they have to face the same kind of disapproval that the Palestinians have to bear at their hands in Israel. Indeed, it is a dilemma.

But more probably, it is more about politics than religion, that drives this hatred. As the recent electoral gains of the far-right populists have to do with the growing antisemitism. Though it is not a good sign, still it is an unfalsifiable reality that the Jewish minority of Europe that has borne the brunt of the far-right rule in Germany just a few generations ago, is in danger again.

According to recent figures, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has surged to 1646 in 2018, an increase of 10% compared to the previous year, including 62 physical attacks compared to 37 in 2017. Again, a report links the growing antisemitism with the resurgence of far-right which is made responsible for 90% of such hate-related crimes.

Germany is the host to 200,000 Jews, whose number swelled since the fall of the Soviet Union in early 1990s. One optimistic aspect is that there exists the realization of the problem as a 2018 report issued by the European Commission found that two-thirds of Germans think anti-Semitism is a problem in their country.

This realization of this problem led Germany to appoint antisemitism Commissioner, Felix Klein, to focus on the rising trend of anti-Semitism in the country. The commissioner advised the Jews not to “wear the Kippah everywhere, all the time in Germany,”

This advice is what has become the center of controversy since then, as the self-acknowledgement of the government that it has failed to act on an administrative basis, that is why reduced itself by issuing such pleas to the minority group. It also means that the government has accepted the defeat has been defeated, and its inability to cope with the bigotry of the dominant group.

Israeli President has also criticized the German commissioner’s ‘advice’ to Jews not wearing a skull cap, equating it with the ‘capitulation’ to anti-Semitism.

According to a survey, the Jews living in European Union feel there has been a rise of anti-Semitism in their countries over the previous decade; while, 85% of them reckon it a serious problem affecting their lives.

There are multiple reasons for this hatred. First of all, there has been a history of entrenched disapproval of Jews by the Germans. Secondly, the sight of a Jew is a reminiscent of the national guilt of the holocaust. However, the German commissioner also believes the social media and internet as the contributory cause of the renewed violence against Jews. Also, the Muslim immigration from the countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have also contributed to this anti-Semitism. Obviously, this is because of the notoriety, the Jews of Israel have earned over the decades in relation to the Palestinian atrocities that has continued since 1948 and increased unabatedly since the six-day war of 1967.

However, the growing bigotry against Jews in Europe, particularly in Germany, is something that is not consistent with the morality with which Europe is known for. The German official stance of discouraging Jews from wearing their skullcap in itself is a defeatism that has also been criticized by the US ambassador, Richard Grenell, who encouraged Jews to wear Kippah in order to educate the Germans about the diversity of their country.