These are some remarkable admissions, and they’re not just coming from the Jewish community. Up until now, Angela Merkel has brushed aside such charges, choosing to stick with her “We can do it” slogan. But now, in a recent interview, she was forced to concede the obvious. She’s quoted as saying, “Germany is confronting a new phenomenon as refugees bring another form of anti-Semitism into the country.”
Germany is also doing something difficult for a country that sees itself as the open and tolerant antidote to the prejudice-driven murder machine it once was: acknowledging that the problem’s resurgence has been fueled not only by the far right, whose views have increasingly infiltrated the mainstream, but also in significant part by Muslims, including refugees.
“The nature of anti-Semitism in Germany is definitely changing,” said Sergey Lagodinsky, a member of the assembly of the Jewish community in Berlin. “We’re having a lot more violent, everyday confrontations that come through incidents with immigrants.”
That’s not an easy admission in Germany, where Merkel led the push three years ago to open the country to more than a million asylum seekers — many of them Muslims fleeing conflict. At the time, the move was widely seen, at least in part, as a grand gesture of atonement for the worst crimes of German history.
But is that really true or is it a form of deflection to provide political cover? Dating back to the days of Genesis there’s really only been one form of antisemitism. People who have come to power in nations around the world have always managed to come up with some reason to blame the Jews for everything from a bad harvest to being too successful at business and “robbing” the non-Jewish locals. The result was, if the Jews were lucky, just ostracism, the seizure of their property and being driven from the land. In other cases, and all too often, the “solution to the Jewish problem” was of a far more terminal nature. The only thing that changed was the faces who were persecuting them.
This isn’t a new form of antisemitism. It’s the same old poison in the system being perpetrated by two conflicting and radically different groups. The key difference here is that one group was home grown in Germany, sprouting from roots planted long ago. The other was knowingly brought in by Germany’s government.